Opinion

Earned peace, democracy stimulate nation’s growth

Given, won freedom to blame for unrest in Africa

February 14, 2018

Adam Kasambula

By Adam Kasambula, Stockholm, Sweden

Peace and democracy are two main factors which drive progress of any given society. A society, which wins or receives them like godsend, will abuse them, for it must earn them.

Unlike third world countries, which build their instability on the backbone of given or won democracy, most developed economies build their growths on the pillar of earned peace and freedom.

Earning peace and democracy is a process of, among other things, interconnecting a nation. It synchronises all factors within a country for them to emerge as one.

A country, whose human resource is in balance with its economic, environmental, political and social needs, has earned its peace and democracy.

Such a country has successfully channeled and pumped peace and democracy through the media, which turns out to become its medium of development.

The medium, in turn, creates a strong and hard-to-break backbone. And a meaningful independence is a result of earned peace and democracy, not a given or won one.

Subdivisions under the Ugandan Protectorate (1926 borders). The areas in red and blue hues had centralised kingdoms prior to British arrival, while the colonialists introduced centralised rule on the Baganda model to areas in yellow. Areas in khaki never had centralised kingdoms – Wikipedia

Most post-colonial African countries either receiving independence peacefully or through winning battles explains their longstanding backwardness.

The failure to earn independence has negatively affected post-colonial African countries. It is the real factor that built the civil-unrest backbone upon which most of them exist.

Civil wars, corruption, poverty and political mismanagement are common in most post-colonial African countries and signs of the phenomenon to end are not in sight.

However, some nations, which have been an integral part of the colonial system, have managed to partly defeat the post-colonial trauma.

Pseudo colonials were homogenised in those countries that peace and democracy were a requisite for all as a nation, not for only one tribe.

South Africa is a good example of such countries. Ethnic groups though fight against each other, the nation remains intact.

Countries, which received or won peace and democracy, are still haunted. For instance, Uganda, which was given independence by the British in 1961, has passed through series of socio-political and economic turbulence of different magnitudes.

Unlike other countries, which were brutish colonies and beneficiaries of integral British presence, Uganda was a protectorate with few settlers.

President Yoweri Museveni (L) shakes hands with Buganda King Ronald Mwenda Mutebi at a function. PHOTO | AGENCY

As a result, soon after Uganda was given independence, a civil war pitting the State and the Buganda broke out, leading to a political civil unrest that saw the Buganda establishments destroyed, many killed and its King sent into exile.

The aftermath of the civil unrest witnessed Uganda’s economic downfall compounded by war pitting the government and Tanzania-supported fighters.

The so-called ‘liberation’ war sent Uganda into a new post-independence Trauma, which ushered into Uganda a backbone of the won models of peace and democracy.

This backbone was not an integral part of the entire nation, but belonged to the war lords. With that type of backbone still in place, the actors stage managed an election in 1980, resulting into disagreements.

A new civil unrest erupted in Uganda, lasting for five years, leaving many killed and prompting fighters of the National Resistance Army/Movement to match into taking power in 1986.

Since then Uganda struggled to uproot that civil unrest backbone the country inherited from the 1961 given independence.

The NRM government has passed through several disorders. Risks are that more potholes are still on the Uganda’s political roads, signalling more turmoil ahead.

Turbulence is a normal phenomenon to every developed or developing economy. But like a vehicle, Uganda needs to create strong shock absorbers to manage them.

The East African country has, in the first place, to transform the then given and now won peace and democracy into earned ones.
It can achieve the process by integrating its human, environmental, political and social resources and synchronising them into institutions.

The institutions will, in a long run, become the governance channel or media for translating development.

To continue playing with the existing backbone is tantamount to embracing a vicious circle which will end up producing catastrophic situations witnessed in many third world countries, including Libya in Africa and Iran in Asia.

Engineer Adam Kasambula is a political
analyst

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