Africa

Africa: When African Political Parties Lost the Plot


Political parties in Africa emerged as a byproduct of colonial rule. They were never organic. To the colonizers, it was as simple as teaching a toddler to tie shoelaces – only that, they weren’t teaching, they were dictating.

Their playbook went something like this: assemble various groups, slap the label “political parties” on them, toss them into the ring, and let the gladiators fight to the death. They called this savage battle “competition” and crowned the last one standing as the supreme ruler for a few years. Then, guess what? Rinse and repeat! They even had the audacity to dub this circus act “periodic democratic elections.”

But here’s the kicker, Africa, despite all the time that has passed, still clings to this antiquated system like it’s the last lifebuoy on a sinking ship. It’s like fitting square pegs into round holes, right? The result is pure comedy gold.

Now, let’s ponder why the colonizers didn’t leave us with something more sensible, like Chambers of Commerce or Development Think Tanks. They probably thought we were allergic to progress, or did they believe our brains couldn’t handle the intellectual rigor of running think tanks? The irony is delicious.

Parties, as they stand today, are about as welcome as a porcupine at a balloon factory. Back in the day, they blossomed from ethnic, regional, or religious identities, which is like mixing oil with water. Our ancestors, on the other hand, had a knack for flexible production systems and barter arrangements. They knew how to keep the economic boat afloat without drowning in ‘party politics’.