President Mahama says the West must not force democracy on Africa, as it is not a one size fit all system.
He said different countries on the continent are at different stages of the democratic journey, which is evolving and must not be forced on a people.
The President says it doesn’t help for big world powers to go proselytising democracy across the continent for this can have its negative consequences like it is happening in the Middle East and North Africa.
Speaking at the 71st UN General Assembly Wednesday, he said, “a properly functioning peer system can avoid some of the meltdowns we are experiencing in some African countries due to the desire to remain in power interminably.”
According to President Mahama, Africa has the potential to be the next continent on the rise with many success stories to count yet the continent is seen as a homogenous unit and treated as such by the West.
He bemoaned the fact that the West does not take cognisance of the fact that Africa is a whole continent with different people, diverse culture, democracies and even economic development.
“Human progress is not a seamless movement forward, it encompasses periods of reversal, mistakes, fumbling and even falling. All parts of the world have been through this and they have learnt from their mistakes and picked themselves up and they have moved forward. African must be allowed the same latitude,” he said.
The President said the 54 countries of Africa are at different stages of development and there must be room for the continent to make its mistakes and learn from those mistakes.
He pointed to the fastest growing youth population of Africa promising a large labour force, a growing middle class with increasing disposable incomes and a booming ICT growth.
“African needs to strengthen institutions and we are working to build them. We must ingrain transparency and integrity more and more in our governance systems,” he said.
Reiterating President Obama’s call for Africa needing strong institutions and not strong men during his historic visit to Ghana, Mahama said institutions must be “strengthen to eliminate the incidence of corruption that impoverishes our people.