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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Legitimacy of Governments and the Resolution of Intra-National Conflicts in Africa
Author:Quashigah, E.K.
Periodical:African Journal of International and Comparative Law
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:political systems
Politics and Government
Inter-African Relations
Abstract:In Africa there exist many governments which are constitutionally legitimate while at the same time being 'politically and socially illegitimate' because they have ceased to be responsive to the aspirations of the people. Legitimacy is better perceived as a functional attribute rather than as a mere legal idea. This article proposes some constitutional measures which can ensure the legitimacy of governments and hence prevent the emergence of intranational conflicts in Africa. African countries are prone to conflicts because they have rather limited unifying features. Ethnicity is one of the major factors affecting nationbuilding in Africa. In this context federalism is a viable option as a system of government. The author emphasizes the importance of 'good governance' and states that the political interests of minorities should be protected in the constitution. To inculcate a culture of democracy, empowerment of the people is essential, amongst others by the introduction of street and ward governments. Accountability of the government and the reduction of corruption is also of vital importance. The author sketches the nature of a suggested anticorruption tribunal and recommends the instauration of a human rights commissioner. Finally he discusses how the OAU could help to secure the legitimacy of governments. Notes, ref.