ISBN 9780798301848
Pages 280
Dimensions 234 x 156 mm
Published 2008
Publisher Africa Institute of South Africa, South Africa
Format Paperback

African Political Elites

The Search for Democracy and Good Governance

edited by Francis Nwonwu, Dirk Kotze

African Political Elites looks at the five African countries that acted as the vanguards in creating the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) initiative: Nigeria, South Africa, Senegal, Egypt and Algeria. The leadership structures, trends in political democratisation, and prospects of continued democratic stability are examined from the perspectives of the five countries. The implications of the new political dispensation for Africa in the context of the African Union (AU), and African development through NEPAD, make up the central theme of the book. The fact that the selected countries have emerged from diverse eras of political misrule including long periods of military dictatorship, apartheid hegemony, and civilian autocracy is of significance in the new political order. The book documents the views of a wide range of stakeholders including politicians, academics, business leaders and the media on the ethos of African political elites and the future of NEPAD as Africa's flagship in development.

The authors have divergent opinions about Africa's political achievements; but the optimists submit that the breaking away from the undemocratic and dictatorial past must be seen as denoting some measure of success. Others consider African political elites and NEPAD as too reticent and lacking the political will and drive to liberate Africa from the current political quagmire. Serving and aspiring political elites in Africa should see themselves through the mirror of this book and apply their minds to the constructive views expressed herein. This book is recommended as essential reading for students and academics interested in African democratic evolution and the role of elites as architects of Africa's political and democratic trajectory.

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About the Editors

Francis Nwonwu

Francis O. C. Nwonwu is a Professor and a research specialist: Research Programmes at the Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA). He obtained a Ph.D in Natural Resource Economics in 1983 from Iowa State University, Ames Iowa, USA. He was formerly the Head, Economics and Sociology Division, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria and Executive Director of FORSEE Consultancies.

Dirk Kotze

Dirk Kotze is a Professor in the Department of Political Sciences at the University of South Africa (Unisa), and is a graduate of the University of Stellenbosch and Witwatersrand University. He has been a guest lecturer and Visiting Fellow at numerous overseas academic institutions, and is currently serving as a member of a South African ministerial panel on the ownership of land by foreigners. He has published widely in the field of both South African and African politics, and is a sought-after commentator on contemporary political affairs in South Africa.

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