Political parties In Africa

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Political parties in African were founded with the basic goal of being the main vehicles for African Nationalism. Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o (1992) in his book 30 years of independence in Africa correctly states that Africans were no longer a homogenous people ruled by benevolent chiefs who discussed with the elders under a tree for hours until they agreed. He (Prof. Nyong’o) points out that great division of African people into social groups and categories with different interests and different attitudes towards the colonial state. The consequent of this was their inability to constitute a united front against the colonial regime. Political parties then were formed to bring people together (mobilize) regardless of their geographical diversity, interests in society or ethnic affiliation in the common quest for freedom - getting rid of the colonial rule. A political party in Africa today can be briefly defined as any group, however loosely organized, seeking to elect government office holders under a given label. Political parties are distinguished from interest groups and other forms of political organizations because they offer a slate of candidates competing to win election to public office. As earlier mentioned, political parties were vehicles for African Nationalism before independence. On attaining independence, more than often (in Africa) party leaders would assume leadership (presidency). African countries faced numerous political difficulties since attaining independence. These basically concerned governmental and administrational snags. Some were vestiges of old colonial governments, others came about solely as a result of the inadequacies of the new ones. African states were finding it difficult to adapt to the coming of the hitherto foreign concept of democracy. Parliamentary systems failed, and many cases, we saw them replaced with one party military
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