Monarchy, Autocracy or Democracy? Rethinking Term Limits Towards Peace, Stability and Development in Central Africa
Afua Boatemaa Yakohene, Juliana Abena Appiah, and Elorm Mawuli-Kwawu
Central Africa’s governance system is punctuated with human rights abuses, high corruption index, abuse of incumbency power, particularly disrespect for political term limits. Central Africa is marked by civil unrest, disrespect for the rule of law and suppression of civil liberties. This observation could well explain why the area reels under slow economic growth and development despite oil export earnings. Its economic underdevelopment fraught with political inhibitions has been linked to poor governance structures, practices and fragile constitution that are easily amendable. Post-colonial rule in Africa has not provided much hope for the region despite the instutionalisation of Regional Economic Communities to harmonise the various economies in the region. Using secondary data, this paper assesses the historicity of the area that Central Africa occupies to establish whether bequeathed colonial legacies have any bearing on their systems of government and approaches resulting in non-adherence to term limits as established in their individual constitutions and legal frameworks. The paper touches briefly on their various governance systems generally and shows the consequences that come in the wake of a term limit violation and its prospects for national and regional peace, stability and development as a whole.
Adekson, J. B. (1976). Army in a Multi-Ethnic Society: The Case of Nkrumah's Ghana,
1957-1966. Armed Forces & Society, 2(2), 251-272.
Abaya, M. (2016). No Place for Immunity: The Arguments against the African Criminal
Court's Article 46BIS. Temp. Int'l & Comp. LJ, 30, 189.
Aniekwu, N. I. (2006). Converging constructions: A historical perspective on sexuality and
feminism in post-colonial Africa. African Sociological Review, 10(1), 143-160.
Afegbua, S. I., &Adejuwon, K. D. (2012). The challenges of leadership and governance in
Africa. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 2(9), 141.
Adegboye, A. A. (2013). Consolidating participatory democracy in Africa: the challenges and
the way forward. European Scientific Journal, ESJ, 9(2).
African Development Bank (2005) Republic of Governance: Country Governance Profile of
Gabon’ https://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Project-and-Operations/ADB-BD-IF-2005-229-EN-GABON-GOVERNANCEPROFILE-06-12-05.PDF (30th April 2017).
Angola’s Constitution of 2010.
https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/Angola_2010.pdf?lang=en (3rd May 2017).
Annan, K. (2016) ‘African Leaders Should Stop Holding on onto Power When their Term of
Office Ends’. http://howafrica.com/african-leaders-stop-holding-power-kofi-annan/ (21st April 2017).
Aljazeera (2016)‘ Former DRC Vice President Bemba jailed for war crimes’
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/06/congolese-vice-president-jailed-war-crimes-160621130120485.html (22nd May 2017.
Brown, N. R. (2014). Candidate ambition and advancement under term limits. Atlantic
Economic Journal, 42(1), 53-64.
Bradley, M. T. (2011). African perceptions of democracy. African Journal of Political
Science and International Relations, 5(11), 456-464.
Brosnan, W. (2016) ‘Congressional term Limits ensure Accountability’
http://search.proquest.com.ejournals.um.edu.mt/docview/1848081618/citation/F8F185AC1947AAPQ/1?accountid=27934 (4th May 2017).
Basham, P. (2009) ‘Term Limits: A Reform that works’ Democracy Institute Pp. 2-3
www.democracyinstitute.org/LiteratureRetrieve.aspx?ID=87909 (11th June 2017).
Chou, M., Pan, C., & Poole, A. (2017). The threat of autocracy diffusion in consolidated
democracies? The case of China, Singapore and Australia. Contemporary Politics, 23(2), 175-194.
Carothers, T. (2002). The end of the transition paradigm. Journal of Democracy, 13(1), 5-21
Crawford, G. (2005). The European Union and democracy promotion in Africa: the case of
Ghana. The European Journal of Development Research, 17(4), 571-600.
Cowan, G. (1960) Democracy in West Africa. International Journal, vol.15, No. 3 Pp. 173-
184, Sage Publications, Ltd. On behalf of the Canadian International Council.
Carter, B. (2016) ‘Congo’s President embarrassing attempt to Ingratiate himself to Trump’
http://africasacountry.com/2017/01/congo-president-denis-sassou-nguessos- embarrassing-attempt-to-ingratiate-himself-to-Donald-trump/. [Retrieved on 30th May 2017]
Decalo, S. (1998). Civil-military relations in Africa. Florida Academic Pr.
Elhauge, E. (1998). What term limits do that ordinary voting cannot. Cato Institute.
Equatorial Guinea 2015 Human Rights Report.
https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/252889.pdf (2nd May 19, 2017).
Fombe, O. (2012) ‘Corruption and Economic Development in Cameroon’.
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:pXzPuwD9MAUJ:projekter.aau.dk/projekter/files/68760145/Final_thesis_Nyemkuna_2012.doc+&cd=6&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=gh (3rd May 2017).
French, R (New York Times 1997) ‘Mobutu SeseSeko, 66, Longtime Dictator of
Zaire’https://partners.nytimes.com/library/world/090897obit-mobutu.html (30th April 2017).
George, M (2016) ‘A Look at Presidential Term Limits in Central Africa ahead of Elections’
Harris Institute. http://law.wustl.edu/harris/lexlata/?p=918 (30th April 2017).
Gyimah-Boadi, E. (2015). Africa's Waning Democratic Commitment. Journal of Democracy,
Ingerstand, G. and Lindell, M. (2015) ‘Challenges to Peace and Security in Central Africa:
The Role of ECCAS’. Pp.1-5.
https://www.foi.se/download/18.2bc30cfb157f5e989c311b9/.../FOI+Memo+5327.pdf (10th June 16, 2017).
Harkness, K. A. (2017). Military loyalty and the failure of democratization in Africa: how
ethnic armies shape the capacity of presidents to defy term limits. Democratization, 24(5), 801-818.
Joseph, R. (2014). Growth, Security, and democracy in Africa. Journal of Democracy, 25(4),
Kousser, T. (2006). The limited impact of term limits: Contingent effects on the complexity
and breadth of laws. State Politics & Policy Quarterly, 6(4), 410-429.
King, L. D. (2005). How Societies are Born: Governance in West Central Africa before 1600:
Vansina, Jan: Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, pp. 325.
Kopp, D. (2013). ‘Election Spotlights Cameroon’s Weak Democracy’
(3rd May, 2017).
Knutsen, C. (2010). ‘Africa’s Growth Tragedy Revisited: Weak States, Strong Rulers’ Pp. 5-8
http://folk.uio.no/carlhk/tirsdagssem/CHK.pdf (14th June 14, 2017).
Lebas, A. (2016). ‘Term Limits and Beyond: Africa’s Democratic Hurdles’ Pp. 169-174
http://www.currenthistory.com/CurrentHistory_LeBas.pdf (14th June 2017).
Looney, R (2015). ‘Angola Awaits its Arab Spring’
https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/09/03/angola-awaits-its-arab-spring/ (14 April, 2021).
Maravall, J. M. (2007). Accountability and the Survival of Governments. In Carles Boix
and Susan Stokes (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics. http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/09/03/angola-awaits-its-arab-spring/ (3rd May 2017).
Momoh, Z. (2016). African Solutions to African Problems: A Critical Appraisal. Journal of
African Union Studies, 5(1), 39-62.
Malunda, D., & Musana, S. (2012). Rwanda Case Study on Economic Transformation: report
for the African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET).
Maltz, G. (2007). The case for Presidential Term Limits. Journal of Democracy, 18(1), 128-
Nyamnjoh, F. B., Wete, F., & Fonchingong, T. (1996). Media and Civil Society in
Cameroon. Africa Media Review, 10, 37-66.
Omotola, J. S. (2011). Third-Term Politics and the De-Institutionalisation of Power in Africa.
Africa Review, 3(2), 123-139.
Owusu, M. (1971). Culture and Democracy in West Africa: Some Persistent Problems. Africa
Today, 18(1), 68-76.
Oladipo, O. (2001). ‘Tradition and the Quest for Democracy in Africa’.
https://them.polylog.org/2/foo-en.htm (29th May 2017).
Posner, D. N., and Young, D. J. (2007). The Institutionalization of Political Power in Africa.
Journal of Democracy, 18(3), 126-140.
Pensandor, G. (2007). ‘Secretive Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos heads towards
exit. http://mgafrica.com/article/2017-02-03-secretive-angolan-president-jose-eduardo-dos-santos-heads-towards-exit/ (3rd May 2017).
Rodney, W. (1973). ‘How Europe Underdeveloped Africa’ Pp. 174-198, Bogle-L'Ouverture
London and Tanzanian Publishing House, Dar-es-Salaam.
Regan, T. (2012). ‘Assessing the Chinese Influence in Ghana, Angola, and Zimbabwe: The
Impact of Politics, Partners, and Petro’ Pp. 64-66.
https://fsi.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/CISAC_Thesis_Thompson.pdf (14th June 2017).
Skaar, E. et al. (2015). ‘Angola: Negative Peace and Autocracy in the Shadow of Impunity’
London and New York: Routledge (Transitional Justice Series) Pp. 149- 173.
Smuts, M. (2014). ‘Organized Violence in the Elizabethan Monarchical Republic’. Journal of
the Historical Association. Vol: 99 ISS: 336 Pp. 418 -443.
Smart, M., and Sturm, D. (2013) ‘Term Limits and Electoral Accountability’. Journal of
Public Economics. Vol. 107 Pp. 93–102.
Siaroff, A. (2012) ‘the Comparative Situation of Presidents around the World: Powers And
Tenure’ Pp.3, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association, The University of Alberta, Edmonton, 12-15 June 2012.
Smith, D. (2012). ‘Angola's José Eduardo dos Santos: Africa's least-known autocrat’.
(3rd May 2017).
Seigle J. (2017). ‘Constitutional Term Limits for African Leaders’. Center for African Studies
http://africacenter.org/spotlight/constitutional-term-limits-african-leaders/?utm_source=April+2017+Month+in+Review&utm_campaign=Mar+2017+Newsletter&utm_medium=email. (20th April 2017).
Schmitt et al. (2014). ‘Angolans head homewards by train from the Democratic Republic of
Congo. http://www.unhcr.org/news/latest/2014/8/53f36c049/angolans-head-homewards-train-democratic-republic-congo.html (17th May 2017).
Schneid, F. (2011). ‘The French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars’ Pp. 7-10.
http://ieg-ego.eu/en/threads/alliances-and-wars/war-as-an-agent-of-transfer/frederick-c-schneid-the-french-revolutionary-and-napoleonic-wars (12th June 2017).
Tuckness, A. (2016). ‘Locke’s Political Philosophy’. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Tusalem, R. F. (2014). Bringing the Military Back. In The Politicisation of the Military and Its Effect on Democratic Consolidation’. International Political Science Review 35, No.4 Pp. 482–501.
Titiunik, R., and Klasnja M. (2017). ‘The Incumbency Curse: Weak Parties, Term Limits, and
Unfulfilled Accountability’. American Political Science Review [0003-0554] Vol: 111 Iss: 1 Pp. 129 -148.
Turner, T. (1997). ‘Kabila Returns, In a Cloud of Uncertainty’, African Studies Quarterly,
Volume 1, Issue 3, Pp. 26-31.
Tabarrok, A (1994) ‘A Survey, Critique, and Self-Defense of Term Limits’. Cato Journal
https://www.cato.org/cato-journal/fall-1994/survey-critique-new-defense-term-limits (4th May 2021).
The Economist. (2016). ‘Gabon’s president is re-elected, thanks to a 99.93% turnout in his home
province’. http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21706445-ali-bongo-ondimba-beats-jean-ping-few-thousand-votes-gabonu2019s-president (30th April 2017).
US Department of State. (2017). ‘A Brief History of Equatorial Guinea’.
https://www.thoughtco.com/brief-history-of-equatorial-guinea-43726 (2nd May 2017).
United Nations Development Programme. (2017). ‘Central Africa: A Sub-Region Falling
United Nations Development Programme. Sub Regional Assessment Report. No.1, March
2017. Pp. 6-10.
Voice of America. (2009). ‘France Court Decision Re-Opens Congo War Crime
Investigation’. http://www.voanews.com/a/a-13-2007-01-11-voa2/336204.html (22nd May 2017).
Van De Walle, N. (2000). ‘The Impact of Multi-Party Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa’
Conference Paper delivered at Norwegian Association for Development Research Annual Conference, “The State Under Pressure”, 5-6 October, 2000, Bergen, Norway.
Van Der Vyer, J. (2010). ‘Prosecutor V. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo (Decision Pursuant To
Article 67(1) (A) And (B) of the Rome Statute on the Charges of the Prosecutor against Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo) International Criminal Court, Pre-Trial Chamber Ii, June 15, 2009. American Journal of International Law, Vol 104, No 2. Pp. 241-247.
Vuylsteke, Y. (2016). ‘The 2016 Ibrahim Index of African Governance: Key Findings’ Pp. 5
http://mo.ibrahim.foundation/news/2016/progress-african-governance-last-decade-held-back-deterioration-safety-rule-law/ (15th June 2017).
Whiteley, P. (1988). ‘Review: Autocracy by Gordon Tullock’. The Economic Journal. Vol. 98,
No. 391. Pp. 527-528.
Woldemariam, Y. (2016). ‘Africa Desperately Needs Term Limits’.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yohannes-woldemariam/term-limits-in- africa_b_8393578.html (2nd May 2017).
Wortman, R. (2013). ‘Russian Monarchy: Representation and Rule’. Academic Studies Press.
Pp. 3-33, MA, USA.
William, P. (2008). ‘State Failure in Africa: Causes, Consequences and Responses’. Journal
of Contemporary African Studies, Vol 28, No 2. Pp. 3-10.