INTERVIEW: WESTERN STYLE OF DEMOCRACY NOT SUITABLE FOR AFRICA: UN OFFICIAL

KIGALI, “The western style of democracy is not suitable for Africa,” said a UN official on Saturday.

“Africa should build its own model and style of democracy because western and African countries differ in social behaviors, cultural norms and tradition,” Deputy Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) AbdallaHamdok told Xinhua in an exclusive interview in Kigali, capital city of Rwanda.

“Democratic decisions have the advantage of being transparent, fast and efficient. But on the other side it ignores minority positions,” said Hamdok on the sidelines of the annual Ibrahim Governance Weekend.

“The democracy does not suppose to be imported. It has to be linked with the history and the countries’ context that is why Africa’s own model of democracy is the way to go,” said Hamdok, who is also Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation Advisory Council.

According to him, Africa’s colonialism experience disrupted the national and traditional development on the continent, including the culture and the way African countries governed themselves.

He said today the election is a norm in Africa and this is giving the continent its own model.

“We will definitely be democratic by building up our own model Africa and upholding the best tenancy of democracy and its principles such as participation of citizens, respect of human right and the rule of law,” said the official.

The three-day event convenes prominent African political and business leaders, representatives from civil society, multilateral and regional institutions as well as Africa’s major international partners to debate issues of critical importance to Africa, according to organizers.

Established in 2006, the non-grant making organization focuses on defining, assessing and enhancing governance and leadership in Africa through its four main initiatives including Ibrahim Index of African Governance, Ibrahim Forum, Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership and Ibrahim Leadership Fellowships.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK