Are democracy and development mutually exclusive in context of Africa?

Africa Day, formerly African Freedom Day and African Liberation Day is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the African Union (AU) on May 25, 1963.

Speaking on the changing democratic landscape and developments made over the years, Ronak Gopaldas says despite the narrative of Africa rising, there is still no inclusive growth.

The argument for proponents of democracy has been if you have multi-party elections, you have the rule of law, respect for human rights, that is going to create an environment that is conducive for bottom up growth. You are going to get investment, trade and growth and that is going to deliver.

Ronak Gopaldas, political economist

But what we have seen despite this 'Africa rising' narrative which is a superficial narrative, is that even though the continent was the fastest growing continent in the world for many years it hasn't delivered inclusive growth for the people.

Ronak Gopaldas, Africa strategist at RMB

Using Ethiopia and Rwanda as an example of 'command an d control economies' that have improved in service delivery, Gopaladas asks: What is better? Democracy or is it development and are the two mutually exclusive?

Ruwanda is the prime example, we know that President Paul Kagame is extending his term limits.....now people will argue that despite him running again, they are happy with the progress because the is actuality delivering for his people.

Ronak Gopaldas, Africa strategist at RMB

So the argument is that we would happily trade political expression and political pluralism if we are seeing tangible results and food on the table, so it's about politics of the stomach.

Ronak Gopaldas, Africa strategist at RMB

Click on the link below for the full audio...


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