Category Archives: Ernest Wamba dia Wamba

Experiences of Democracy in Africa: Reflections on Practices of Communalist Palaver as a Method of Resolving Contradictions

This article by Ernest Wamba dia Wamba originally appeared in Philosophy and Social Action XI (3) 1985, and has been edited for clarity.

Discussions about democracy in Africa, the lack of it or the need for it, have become rather fashionable. Radical intellectuals (Marxist or not) are demanding democracy—often understood as a multi-party system, i.e., as a formal political scheme—to be authorized by the existing one-party state—through which people will “participate” in the decision-making of the entire country, society and people. In this perspective, democracy is seen or viewed from the point of view of the dominant/ruling classes. It is a modification of a form of class rule which is being demanded, i.e., a form of association or partnership to the possible sharing in the class interests rather than a construction of community solidarity geared towards restricting the ruling class. Continue reading