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Transition to Democracy in Africa - Essay Example

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This paper “Transition to Democracy in Africa” seeks to analyze the transition to democracy in Africa. It analyzes the decisive transition to democracy by South Africa and the policies adopted by the country, and the difficulties and challenges that hinder the transition…
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Transition to Democracy in Africa
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Transition to Democracy in Africa

Download file to see previous pages... The first part analyzes the decisive transition to democracy by South Africa and the policies adopted by the country, and the second part examines the difficulties and challenges that hinder the transition to democracy for many African nations. Part 1 The decisive democratic transformation by South Africa has been a source of inspiration for civilization across the world. Only a few analysts predicted such radical progress, considering the bloody and long history of the country against apartheid. Indeed, majority of the experts expected the country to succumb to ethnic violence common in many African nations when repression begins to transform to revolution. Today, many parts of the African continent and across the world are experiencing civil wars, with international terrorism plugging both developing and developed world into a state of anarchy. There is need to design democratic preventive and resolution methods to create a peaceful world free from hatred, bitterness, wars, enmity, and oppression (Donaldson and Marais, 2002). The experiences by South Africa may provide some invaluable insights for transition to democracy for other countries. The apartheid regime responsible for the reign of terror for more than four decades and the subsequent incarceration of thousand of people is among the most ruthless and heartless regimes to ever occur since Hitler’s reign in Germany. This is why the peaceful transition to democracy by South Africa remains one of the most significant democratic transitions in the world. The racial prejudice and discrimination against the natives of the country began in 1652 with the first Europeans from Holland. The intensity of racial discrimination against the indigenous people, particularly the San and the Khoikhoi increased during the subsequent domination by the British and Dutch in Cape Colony. However, the Dutch established inland colonies, resulting to clashes with the British coastal colonies, and ultimately culminated to the Boer war between 1899 and 1902. Nevertheless, there was some power sharing between the British and the Dutch (now refereeing to themselves Afrikaners) until in 1940s when the Afrikaner National Party gained a stronger majority (Nathan, 2004). The African National Party institutionalized discrimination after coming into power in 1948. The strategists in the party invented apartheid to enable them cement their control over the social and economic system. The concept of apartheid was to ensure white dominance and extending racial separation. Thus, the “Grand Apartheid” plan was set in motion in the 1960s, focusing on police regression and territorial separation. The party enacted apartheid laws touching all aspects of life. With the assistance of the European Community and the United States, the pressure began on the South African President Botha to dismantle apartheid in 1980s. The end of 1991 saw the revoke of the legal apartheid framework. However, internal violence continued, but Nelson Mandela and F. W. de Klerk reached an agreement for the implementation of majority rule in 1993. Mandela was able to convince the United Nation to lift the remaining sanctions on the country. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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