GLOBAL DEMOCRACY: THE ROLES OF AFRICAN STATES AND THE
CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE BUILDING OF GLOBAL DEMOCRACY AS A
NECESSARY CONDITION IN THE APPLICATION OF HUMAN
When I declared myself some few years ago a Mundialist
Activist, I knew very well that I had a huge task ahead
of me. Since then, I have contributed quite a few
articles in the direction of global democracy. What this
means is that even though I live in Ghana, I contribute
articles depicting my opinion in respect of those whose
condition outside my country required my intervention in
the area of democracy. One of these people is Dan Aung
San Sun Kyi of Burma who is a first class democrat
languishing in the jail of first class communist Burma.
What then is global democracy? Looking at the title of
the topic, we have some other delicate words as human
rights and civil society. What do these words mean also?
Let me quickly define these words before I continue. I
believe civil society refers to those of you who are
listening to me , those out there in the streets anywhere
around the world, whether they know it or not and myself.
It is not any other organization with the label NGO,
Foundation or whatever. It is just you and I. I will
quickly touch also on human rights as those declarations
recorded in a very special document called "The Universal
Declaration of Human Rights' enunciated about 60 years
ago. Much of our discussion today will centre on these
Coming now to the words Global Democracy, alas! I
would have wished that the theme centers solely on Ghana,
then I could speak so long because I've been born and
bred in this country and know its history very well. But
to come to talk also on other African states, I must
admit that I cannot be the best in this area .It is
because Africa is so large that I should not exaggerate
to know it all. I can only give my very humble
contribution. I do not need to have a Doctorate degree
from Harvard or Sorbonne to write on Africa. It is only
an African - who can try his best and I am an African and
by extension a World Citizen.
Over the years we've all come to appreciate the word
democracy. It is now so commonly used that even a young
child in the primary school must have heard it before. It
is pompously pronounced to denote freedom or liberty.
Certain political parties have to include the word
democracy as a business name for their organizations
purposely for vote catching. They assume that the name
democracy is acoustically attractive. Probably it is but
certainly it goes beyond just attraction. This word has
seen battle throughout the ages. Great philosophers
discussed it. I believe Socrates may have discussed and
debated on it.
Cicero also may have discussed it. Etymologically
speaking, this word which originates from the Greek
language means 'The Peoples' Power'. The breakdown is as
follows: 'Demos 'stands for people whereas 'Kratos
'stands for power, rule or strength.
Without being too verbose, let me just give the
commonest definition which I have memorized over the
years, since primary school.
I remember the Gettysburg address by Abraham Lincoln
of the U.S.A on November 19, 1863.'That government of the
people, by the people and for the people'.
With this basic knowledge and understanding of
democracy, I am armed to the teeth every time I mention
it or hear it.
My other studies in government increased my knowledge
concerning democracy as opposed to other forms of
governmental systems, the commonest which we call
communism and this is diametrically opposed to democracy.
It would be noteworthy to speak a little bit on the
condition of African states before the Second World War
of 1945-1949. Which country in Africa could be said to be
democratic before the war? None. They were being ruled by
the 'Masters 'who signed the Treaty of Berlin. They
became post- colonial after the war. The word democracy
emerged during the independence struggles. The struggle
was so intense. I do not intend to go into such
struggles. But we know that some countries cut off
relations from their masters preferring to go through
more difficult times., e.g.Guinea of Sekou Toure. Now, we
know that almost all the African countries have had their
independence. In order words, they are all on their own
to manage their own affairs. They all have their
respective governments and are known to be free . As to
whether they are free or not is not part of this
discussion. We would do well to reserve this for another
time like this.
As a writer based in Ghana I cannot theoretically
ascribe the kind of democracy I experience in Ghana to
any other country outside me. That will be a historical
and sociological error I can only describe some events as
I have read it from the media or from books. To conclude
or assume that all African countries have attained the
full measure of democracy which is a prerequisite for
adoption into the global democratic circle will also be
tantamount to disaster .I would not even think of making
this attempt because even in my own country Ghana I find
it very difficult to consider it as a fully and matured
You cannot talk of proper democracy without mentioning
good governance or respect for human rights. Ghana is not
close to it since we attained our independence over 50
years ago. If you are a Ghanaian out there, do not worry.
These are my personal views; I believe we still have many
more years to run to get near the required level of
democracy. It will surely be a long battle.
What now should I say about the other African States?
Can I consider the North African countries as democratic?
Do the constitutions of those countries reflect freedom
of speech and freedom of the press? Let's forget about
them if they do not. We all know that many of them do
not. Libya do not as well as Egypt: if they do we cannot
continue to see a Head of State at the helm of affairs
for over twenty years.
I cannot see any African country whose constitution is
truly in line with the Peoples' democratic aspirations.
What do we say about Zimbabwe? In the African countries
there is always the tendency to manipulate the
constitution and the whole electoral system any time a
new government is in power. It will be a sheer waste of
time to delve into the democratic processes of these
The least said about them, the better!
Most of the constitutions of these countries hardly go
through a referendum when there ought to be the direct
People's involvement and not their parliaments. Such has
been the case in Ghana when the former military Junta led
by Flight Lieutenant J. J. Rawlings enacted
constitutional provisions without the People's direct
So where lies the democracy?
For African countries to become fully democratic or
get closer to it, there must be a constitutional network
to infuse ideas and call for changes.
I therefore propose the African Democratic
The African Democratic Council if properly formed will
have the power to bring out and reject the undemocratic
articles in many of the African countries' constitutions.
The African Union and the ECOWAS have become lame ducks
over the years. They make laws that they find hard to
What have these Organizations done over the years when
we talk of serious human rights violations? To me, and
most often, they come into the struggle rather too late.
Here again, I do not intend to go into much details. Let
us be warned that for so long as we refuse to take strong
measures against people in authority with the view to
bring about the necessary changes, we shall forever
remain as pawns in the hands of these Dracula minded
What do we do to forestall human rights violations
before they occur? Let's have a sober reflection on
these. Human Rights violations occur every day against
fellow Africans. It is not only Samora Machel of
Mozambique whose plane could crash in the mountains and
be considered an accident, the
..also could use helicopter
gunships against Africans since they can convince the
world that the person is a rebel. What also do we say
about Ken Sara Wiwa of Nigeria?
The formation of the African Democratic Council will
be the right step in the right direction to unearth all
human rights violations by fellow Africans against the
same Africans or external forces against Africans. We
must play these roles. Enough is enough. This is not for
It is for now and eternal now!
If I have not mentioned your country, do not think
your country is free. I would be writing a whole book if
I should try to mention every country. Just let's get
back to work and I'll prove myself beyond any measure of
By the way, what do you say concerning Paul Biya's
Cameroon? What about our neighbours Togo and La
Côte d'Ivoire. Some have what I call a political
dynasty. It is a real shame! Let's therefore remind
ourselves, that the future of Africa rests in our hands.
Let's oppose those that deserve opposition and praise
those that deserve it. Our good friends of ASCOP will
surely give us a helping hand in dealing with issues.
That's why we are always together.
We shall be affiliated to them in a certain measure.
We shall also be an independent body. The African
Democratic Council must succeed. That depends on us.
Thank you all.
M.D. World Resource Consult
Deputy Secretary-General of Registry
of World Citizens
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