Political conditions in sub-Saharan Africa Most post-colonial African states have evolved as either single-party, patrimonial, autocratic, centralized political systems founded on ethnic clientelism or as dictatorial (semi-permanent) military regimes. With the exception of Botswana and Mauritius, most incumbent governments have a questionable political legitimacy which in some cases (Ethiopia, Liberia, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda) causes continual internal conflicts and ethnic strife (Carter Centre, 1989). African bureaucracies are overdeveloped and unaccountable because of the underdevelopment of the formal civil institutions which should control them. Urbanized elites monopolize both political and economic power, leading to a decreasing equity and transparency in the allocation of national resources. Furthermore, the state dominates many aspects of associational life, consciously limiting the existence Development consultant and research student at the Institute o Development f Studies, University of Sussex, UK. Developmenr Policy Review (SAGE, London, Newbury Park and New Delhi), Vol. 9 (1991). 53-84. Develoomenr Policv Review or autonomy of organizations representing the interests of divergent economic and social groups (Bratton, 1988: 18). However, Africaâs pervasive webs of affective relations,2 with their own social logic of reciprocity (Hyden, 1983, 1988), render Western normative institutional distinctions between the government, the party, commercial and voluntary sectors and civil
Development Policy Review – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 1991
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