Over the last three weeks we have discussed a wide range of topics that impact Africa and this week we explore Presidential term limits in African Countries
This photo from the website Rappler.com gives a snapshot on the longest serving leaders in Africa. All these leaders have at one stage been criticised by both their citizens and the international
But what would be an ideal term limit for African Presidents?
The system here in the UK is that elections are held every 5 years but if the same party wins four consecutive elections, without changing their party leader, that leader could potentially be Prime Minister for 20 years
I understand that China changes leadership every 10 years but the same party remains in charge whilst in the US a President serves only two terms regardless which party is in power.
What are the merits or otherwise of these systems?
What can African countries learn from these systems?
Should age matter instead of term limits? So instead of imposing term limits African countries could impose an age limit?
My fellow blogger here @ttaaggooee argues that China, England and indeed the US are all units and therefore it would be difficult if not impossible to assume we can propose or draft a one-size-fits-all kind of democracy for a continent which is as diverse as Africa.
He has a point, Africa is made up of 54 diverse countries that should be treated as such and not lumped together. But these countries operate in a global structure with rules that all countries by and large are expected to obey. For African countries some of these rules appear unfair due to the terms of engagement amongst other things.
Lets take aid for instance, most countries receive aid in some form or other, but Sub-Saharan African countries receive the largest proportion of aid at 45% (DAC statistics on aid 2011).
This aid comes with conditions such as good governance. One of the measures for good governance are free and fair elections yet donors don’t like it when an African president “overstays” even when the said president wins the elections fair and square.
Why is this?
Can good governance be measured?
Can the models used in Europe, US, China work in African countries?
What would an African inspired democracy look like?
Should we tear up the books and return to village Chief
Is there an ideal model for presidential term limits?
To explore these questions and the broader issue of Presidential term limits in African countries join us on Twitter on Friday 21 June 2013 7pm BST using #AOTBCHAT