Nigerian former President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has expressed concerns about the impact of democracy as currently practiced in Africa, suggesting that it has contributed to serious crises on the continent, including rising poverty and unemployment.
He therefore called for urgent review of the general democratic framework if the continent is to survive the challenges posed by governance that meets global standars, in the context of transparency and accountability.
In a recent Democracy Dialogue 2023 event on Thursday 28th September, organized by the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation (GJF) in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, former Nigerian President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan raised concerns about the state of democracy in Africa.
He emphasized the need for urgent review and improvement of the democratic practices in the continent, particularly in terms of transparency and accountability. Jonathan highlighted several issues and challenges related to democracy in Africa.
He pointed out that democracy in Africa had led to serious crises in recent years. He cited a wave of military interventions across the continent, which had some people supporting or celebrating such actions. This trend raised alarm about the state of democracy in Africa.
The former President emphasized that leadership in African democracies should focus on translating democracy into economic well-being for the people. He believed that democracy should encourage and support development.
Jonathan identified rising poverty and unemployment as significant challenges in African countries. These challenges had eroded trust among the citizens and contributed to the crisis of democracy. He also mentioned the violation of rules of law and the rights of people by government officials, which further undermined trust.
Furthermore, he stressed that African political leaders had a responsibility to ensure the endurance of democracy by adhering to the rule of law, respecting the rights of the people, strengthening public institutions, and implementing policies that positively impact the lives of citizens.
The former President explained that the annual democracy dialogue, organized by GJF, brought together stakeholders from across Africa to critically examine the state of democracy on the continent and make necessary recommendations. The dialogue aimed to foster effective communication and set an agenda for political development in Africa.
Jonathan expressed his appreciation for the contributions of the people of Bayelsa and other Nigerians to the success of the event, emphasizing that their presence demonstrated faith in democracy and a determination to find workable solutions to the leadership challenges facing the African continent.
Overall, Jonathan’s remarks underscore the importance of addressing key issues such as poverty, unemployment, and governance transparency to strengthen democracy in Africa and restore trust among its citizens.