Election Universe

Elections and democratic renewal in Africa

Elections and democratic renewal in Africa
April 27 2015, 07:26

The importance of electoral process on the consolidation of democracy in African countries has been recently highlighted by Said Adejumoby in his book “Democratic renewal in Africa, Trends and Discourses” (Chapter 3: Beyond Authoritharism: Elections and the changing dynamics of state –society relations in Africa) published by Palgrave Macmillan, Hampshire UK in 2015.

Dr Adejumoby, Chief of the Public Administration Section and coordinator of the Africa Governance Report (AGR) for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), stated that elections have shaped the dynamics of the relations between state and society in Africa, creating an adequate space for increased political participation. The use of new information technologies, have also promoted citizen activism and social organization of non state forces in advancing the democratic cause of Africa.

According to Adejumoby, the constitutive and regulative rules of elections are gradually being redefined and an unconditional defense of the integrity of elections, driven largely by the people, is increasingly taking root as seen in recent electoral processes.

Elections in Africa have provided not only the space for political contestations by the political parties, but have also served as a platform for social actors and forces to reengage the state and push for reforms both, at the electoral and broader governance levels.

Throughout history, failures associated with elections in Africa have ignited social reactions from different social forces, bringing together social organizations around elections -based issues to strengthen the electoral game.

The urge for political accountability, which is implicit in the process of electoral optimization, could reshape the way politics are conducted in Africa, leading to full democracy.