The Travails of Democratic Transitions and the Challenges of Development in West Africa since the 1900s

Salaudeen, Abdulkadir ; Abdulwahab, Abdulkabir (2022)


The 1990s marked a watershed in the transition to democracy in West Africa. However, after three decades, democracy is yet to be rooted in the region due to frequent military interventions (coup d’états) and the subsequent suspension of constitution and democratic structures that characterize military regime. While there are scholarly studies on the challenges of democratic transition and development in individual African states, much has not been written on West African sub region as a whole. This paper intends to fill that gap. It identifies some challenges of democracy in West Africa. It utilizes secondary source of data and employs the concept of ‘Fragile State’ as its framework for analysis. Fragile State refers to a situation whereby government cannot deliver its statutory core functions which include securing lives and property and ensuring political stability. It concludes that disregard for the rule of law and ‘do or die’ politics are some of the challenges creating impediments to the entrenchment of democracy in West Africa. To democratize and strengthen democracy in West Africa, it recommends that politics should be seen as selfless and patriotic endeavour guided by the rule of law.