POLITICS AND DEMOCRARY IN AFRICA
Mr. Joseph Matthiam
Uncertainty, chaos and convulsion seem to characterize Africa in the background of tribal wars, ancestral hate, famine and disasters.
The events of Eastern Europe have disqualified the systems of single parties. However, the fact of having many parties in itself is not yet democracy. What makes the democratic process hesitant in our countries is the fact that the democracy which we wish to implement is an imported system, the result of a history and culture which is not ours. Hence there have been many false steps. It would be far better to inspire us on the spirit of tolerance and solidarity of ancestral ways of organization. But it is also true that in the name of African tradition bloody dictators have created a kind of legitimation. There cannot be democracy where there isnít a state of law and respect of human rights. However the problem of Africa today is the creation of a modern democracy which takes into account our values of civilization. One needs a serious process of judgement.
Also economic models are imported. Hence very few get rich in relation to group poverty. The civilization mission of the West, which was the slogan of the past century, transformed into a mission of advice and approach which tends to reduce our States ‑ if we are not careful enough ‑ no longer to colonies but to branches of industrialized countries. In this context the policies of austerity are carried out and imposed upon by international organization which tend to reduce consumption making prices rise and putting in danger social peace and stability.
The Afro‑pessimism on the situation in Africa following reports of the World Bank omits recognizing the responsibility of those who today are suppressing us. Africans must take on their own responsibilities and must prepare co‑ordinated and consistent policies.
Then there is the problem of young people to be solved which is a policy problem. There is the problem of Islamic radicalism. Although it is firstly directed against the Muslims themselves, it must not stop vigilance on the part of Christians who must work together with Muslims who have remained faithful to the authentic Islam.
It is not easy to commit oneself in politics in an honest way and according to Christian charity. However Christians must overcome the shyness and a certain phobia for political commitment. And priests must courageously take a stand on problems of Africa. It is vital for the Church to be present in all battles of our times through the media, the press, cultural centres, etc. Public life deserves greater consideration in forming Christians and in particular in forming formators and priests. Otherwise the city will be built without us, perhaps against us.
Origional text† in Italian
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