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: 382

Article in Press

A review of ethnicity, democracy, and good governance in Africa

Brivery Siamabele and Jonah Kondowe

  •  Received: 21 March 2021
  •  Accepted: 04 June 2021
This paper argues that ethnicity by itself, even though misconceived is not a cause of conflict but could be, once easily manipulated by powerful elites to suit their political and economic needs. Using the data from the secondary sources, this review addresses how the misconceptions of democracy in Africa is expanding ethnicity challenges and how such affects good governance of the continent. The paper argues that most debates about the relationship between ethnicity-democratization argue little about the external factors of the politicization of ethnic identities beyond colonial rule. Debates around ethnicity-democratization do not clearly indicate how the colonial inflitrated inequalities, stereotypes, and divisions have survived and evolved in the globalization era. Also, debates in literature do not indicate how political elites seeking power have been using such ethnic tendencies of stereotypes and keep reproducing them from one generation to another in the globalization period for their political mileage. Democracy in the current era has been defined as rule by the minority who have access to public resources and can manipulate elections for their good. This, in other ways, is expanding, fuelling, and supporting the philosophy of divide and rule, which never serves the interest of the majority but the degeneration of strong men and women in power in the form of ethnic democracy. Ethnic democracy in this paper is considered to be a democracy based on ethnic boundaries, instigated by the divide and rule principle, which this paper opposes

Keywords: Africa, Colonialism, Ethnicity, Governance, Nationalism