African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 392

Full Length Research Paper

Leadership flaws and fallibilities impacting democratization processes, governance and functional statehood in Africa

  Joy Asongazoh Alemazung
  1School of International Business (SIB), University of Applied Sciences, Bremen, Germany. 2African Good Governance Network, Germany. 
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 04 January 2011
  •  Published: 31 January 2011



The United Nations, the World Banks, other western institutions and nations have all reported that, despite its richness in human and natural resources, Africa is characterized by wars, poverty and disaster. In spite of the continent’s devastating tyrannical rule since the period of independence, it was only towards the late 80s that a World Bank (1989) report blamed Africa’s underdevelopment and devastation on “the crisis of government”. This paper is an analysis of the leadership flaws and the political fallibilities notorious to African political systems. It analyzes the weaknesses and phenomena of leadership failures qualifying them into different categories, such as lack of statesmanship of its leaders, ethnic divisions and clientelism, non-constitutionalism, change of power through coup and “inheritance”, manipulation and rejection of election results by incumbent etc. It further presents them as stumbling blocks to governance, democracy and democratization processes that are typical of Africa. According to the analysis in this paper, these flaws in leadership have resulted in failed transitions to democracy, failed governance and dysfunctional states in Africa. These flaws and fallibilities manifest in far reaching political dimensions, that are only common to Africa, leaving the continent in a state of poverty, conflict, despair and dependence.


Key words:    Leadership flaws and fallibilities, democracy, corruption, flexible constitution, ethnicity, clientelism, neo-patrimonialism, political disease.