The De-Colonization of Africa Essay

The De-Colonization of Africa Essay

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The De-Colonization of Africa


When a country such as South Africa, or for that matter most African nations, changes governing power, a sufficiently stable social basis is vital to the survival and consolidation of the new political system and transition to democracy. The history of the de-colonization of Africa forewarned South Africa allowing it to prepare for the ensuing changes it faced in the early nineties. South Africa made adequate reforms in its military in order to make the transition to democracy smooth, peaceful, and successful however despite its efforts many of the formal political changes in South Africa were not accompanied by sufficient social change. Although South Africa did have many problems in its transition, it was better prepared for the change to a true democracy than most of the other African countries at the time.
In its transition to democracy, South Africa was quite different from the rest of the African countries because a single race democracy already existed. Prior to 1994 there were general elections with an elected official made president, however the elections only included the white portion of the population. In all of the other African countries the transition to democracy was from an authoritarian colonial rule, not from a single race democracy (Bratton 68).
South Africa was also different from the other African countries that were moving towards democracy at the time because of its military structure. The Chief of Defense Force, the head South African military officer, was responsible to the Parliament's Public Accounts Committee and thus could not make decisions that were not approved by a larger body. As long as the public perceived that the government had control of the army, it ...


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... Michael. South African citizen currently residing in South Africa. Personal
Interview. 27 November 1999.
"Living Standards In South Africa." The Economist 29 February 1992: 21.

Matloff, Judith. "South African Schools Struggle to Make Grade." The Christian Science
Monitor 9 January 1996: 10.
Musoke, David. "Uganda: Lawyers Criticize Army for Civilian Detentions." Inter
Press Service 7 May 1991.
Phinny, Robert H. "The start of a parade of African democracies?" The Houston
Chronicle 26 December 1994: A19.
"Social Conditions." The PRS Group 1 September 1992.
Stamets, Reena S. "In Nigeria, like rest of Africa, Military wields uniform power."
St. Petersburg Times 5 December 1993: 18A.
"Zambia." The Economist Intelligence Unit No 1 (1992): 4-11.
"Zimbabwe." Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Online. Internet. 3 December 1999. Available:
www.um.dk.


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