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  1. The post-colonial experiences of Nigeria and South Africa in regards to democratization



    Describe the post-colonial experiences of Nigeria and South Africa in regards to democratiation and maintaining a cohesive country. Review the political systems of both countries and the to which each have addressed corruption and economic inequality. on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, but make some references to earlier events. What divides existed prior to and during colonialism and how has each country addressed these? Discuss the executive and legislative branches in terms of selection and powers. Mention some political parties and important figures along with a discussion of the federal or unitary states and some reference to the courts. TRC and Mandela videos should help on South Africa. For Nigeria, reference Boko Haram.    


Subject History Pages 6 Style APA


Democratization in Nigeria and South Africa


Colonialism saw countries in Africa go through authoritarian rule by European colonialists. While some countries found their independence from their European colonialists and started the transition towards being democratic countries, other countries went through different transitional periods or longer times to gain independence. Such countries are Nigeria and South Africa. Although gaining independence freed Nigeria and South Africa from their European colonialists, they went through different post-colonial adversities that saw distinct democratization processes. The countries shifted into other political systems that set up while facing insurgents’ oppositions while addressing economic inequality and corruption.

Nigeria’s Democratization

Nigeria’s gain of independence from Britain on October 1, 1960, left the country at a point where post-colonial adversities emerged. Amaechi (2010) highlights hardships included poverty, religion, socio-cultural ethnic life, language, and educational development. With a 250 ethnic group differentiation, Nigerians had issues in language and socio-cultural interactions. These adversities escalated, especially in the 33 years (1966-1999) that the country underwent a military regime after independence, escalating corruption and economic inequality in the country.

Military officers enforced the “divide and rule” British colonial policy on Nigerians. The policy oversaw looting, pillaging, and favoured resource allocation to regions where chief military officers came from increasing ethnic segregation, poverty, and corruption in Nigeria. Amaechi (2010) reiterates that this led to the increased ethnic clashes as the discriminated ethnic groups sought to fight for the available resources. However, in May 1999, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar handed power to civilians making Nigeria a democracy.

Democratization in Nigeria saw the emergence of political changes. Part of these political changes sought to help with promoting values such as equality, equity, and justice in the country (Carbone & Cassani, 2016). Part of the democratization process saw Nigeria hold presidential elections with reforms to the constitution to ensure that a president held office for a four-year term, which he or she can renew once after. In addition, Nigeria’s federal republic saw the political system that supported the three branches of the government, the executive, the legislative, and judiciary.

Nigeria’s legislative branch is composed of two chambers. These chambers of the National Assembly are the House of Representatives and the Senate. While the House Representatives seats 360 members are chaired by the House’s Speaker, the Senate seats 109 members chaired by the President of the Senate. Legislators are usually from both houses that go through a bill taken through the law-making process (National Parliaments: Nigeria, 2017). The country’s president is the last to sign the bill into law by giving it assent. On the other hand, the judiciary has the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the High Court, and other courts. These different courts include specialized courts, magistrate courts, and Sharia courts.

As a federal republic, Nigeria’s president serves with executive power. The president is also the head of state, the head of the government, and the head of the multi-party system. Therefore, the president can come from one of the 91 political parties with the People’s Democratic Party, All Progressive Congress, and African Democratic Congress as the major political parties (Carbone & Cassani, 2016). However, with westernization and democracy growing in Nigeria, the insurgency also has been a major issue in the country over the last two decades.

Boko Haram is the most rampant of insurgent militant groups in Nigeria. Founded in 2002, Boko Haram is an Islamic militant group with the agenda to decentralize and overthrow the Nigerian government to make Nigeria an Islamic state. Since its militant activities, the group has bombed, assassinated, and high jacked resources from the government and donors in the North-Eastern part of the country, where their activities are rampant as of 2009 (Brechenmacher, 2019). However, military action has led to fewer activities by the insurgent group as of 2015.

To curb corruption in Nigeria and increase economic equality, Nigeria has gone through processes of economic reform. The government has implemented measures to increase economic development and increase the military’s expenditure (Abu & Staniewski, 2019). Decreasing the rent of civilians, educating people on political rights, promoting civil liberties, and reducing the overreliance on the country’s economy through diversification of natural resources will decrease corruption and increase economic development. With increased economic growth, there is a guarantee that there will be equal dispersion of help to all regions in Nigeria, fostering openness and economic equality.

South Africa’s Democratization

Of the African countries, South Africa was the last to gain its independence after 40 years of apartheid. In the early 1990s, South Africa started the process towards a democratic nation, and with that in 1994; the country held its first elections where Nelson Mandela won the presidential election unanimously, from the African National Congress (ANC) Party against his opponent from the Democratic Alliance (DA) party, offering South Africa the first black president. The end to the apartheid rule in South Africa did not guarantee blotting of memory on the adversities that people in the country had faced during the 40-year apartheid period.

People in South Africa, especially black people, faced adversities such as government-instigated violence and racism bound on segregation on the grounds of white supremacy during apartheid. During the apartheid period, black people in South Africa faced segregated discrimination promoting racism in urban centers; some races, like black people, were removed and sent into concentration camps, called townships like Soweto, while white people lived in the urban areas (Saho, 2018). On the same, black people were marred with government-instigated violence, where law enforcement under the government’s guidelines would rain havoc on black people whipping them in the streets and placing curfews on them. The occurrences of violence and segregation based on racism and white supremacy were imprinted in black South Africans, who, even after the election of Mandela as president, were not sure of a unified country (Facing History and Ourselves, 2017). Therefore, there was a need for a new constitution that would unify South Africa, known as “the rainbow nation.”

As a constitutional democracy, South Africa works on a three-tier governmental system with an independent judiciary. The three-tier governmental system includes the national, provincial, and local governments (South African Government, 2016).  Each of these governmental tiers entails legislative, and executive authorities drafted in the constitution. The country’s legislature is composed of Parliament at the national tier and provincial legislature. The parliament is composed of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces. The executive is formed of the Cabinet at the national level and Provincial executive councils (South African Government, 2016).  The Cabinet is composed of the President, deputy president, and ministers, while the Provincial executive council consists of the Premier and members of the executive council. The country’s judicial systems follow a democratic system with courts like the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court of Appeal, High courts, and Magistrate Courts.

Drafting a new constitution in South Africa required the institution of a Constitutional Court that would oversee its making. The constitution aimed to ensure that South Africans lived amicably while each race and tribe maintained their identity (Facing History and Ourselves, 2017). Therefore, the drafting of the constitution saw the championing of basic rights, rights to elections for all, the formation of legislative bodies, the formation of a judiciary body, respect of traditional cultures amongst civilians, and non-discrimination of sexual orientation, heritage, or race. The constitution also championed and included gay rights for its LGBT community, marking it as the first-ever constitution to have such. The constitution came to be a success and was ratified on December 18, 1996.

Following the constitution’s ratification, South Africa sought to reconcile the different ethnicities, especially black people, who had faced government-instigated violence. Therefore, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was formed in 1995. The TRC offered ways in which the country could heal as a whole from the incidences of apartheid and white supremacy (Facing History and Ourselves, 2017). The TRC successfully ensured that the victims of apartheid who committed violations against human rights forgave perpetrators (Abongile, 2019). The South African government also promoted peace, love, and unity through sports engagement where people from different races participated in sports like rugby as a symbol of national cohesion.

While the election of Mandela, the ratification of a new constitution, and the formation of the TRC propelled South Africa into the democratic republic it is now, there were still holes left marking economic inequality from apartheid. The class issue amongst rich whites and poor blacks in South Africa was seen even after apartheid (Facing History and Ourselves, 2017). Therefore, the ANC, as the ruling party, looked into redistributing wealth to the poor in the country through the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) that was later changed to the Growth, Employment, and Redistribution (GEAR). GEAR focused successfully on the country’s economic growth through investment and expansion that offered South Africans equal opportunities.



Abongile. (2019, January 16). South Africa – First 20 Years of Democracy (1994 – 2014). South African History Online. https://www.sahistory.org.za/article/south-africa-first-20-years-democracy-1994-2014

Abu, N., & Staniewski, M. W. (2019). Determinants of corruption in Nigeria: evidence from various estimation techniques. Economic Research-Ekonomska Istraživanja, 32(1), 3052–3076. https://doi.org/10.1080/1331677x.2019.1655467

Amaechi, C. (2010). Democratization in Nigeria: Nation Building Versus State Building (pp. 127–139). https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ijdmr/article/view/56227/44672

Brechenmacher, S. (2019, May 3). Stabilizing Northeast Nigeria After Boko Haram. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. https://carnegieendowment.org/2019/05/03/stabilizing-northeast-nigeria-after-boko-haram-pub-79042

Carbone, G., & Cassani, A. (2016). Nigeria and Democratic Progress by Elections in Africa. Africa Spectrum, 51(3), 33–59. https://doi.org/10.1177/000203971605100302

Facing History and Ourselves. (2017). Transition to Democracy. Facing History and Ourselves. https://www.facinghistory.org/confronting-apartheid/chapter-4/introduction

National Parliaments: Nigeria. (2017, March 22). National Parliaments: Nigeria. Loc.gov. https://www.loc.gov/law/help/national-parliaments/nigeria.php

 Saho. (2018, March 15). A history of Apartheid in South Africa. South African History Online. https://www.sahistory.org.za/article/history-apartheid-south-africa

South African Government. (2016). Structure and functions of the South African Government | South African Government. Www.gov.za. https://www.gov.za/about-government/government-system/structure-and-functions-south-african-government#













Appendix A:

Communication Plan for an Inpatient Unit to Evaluate the Impact of Transformational Leadership Style Compared to Other Leader Styles such as Bureaucratic and Laissez-Faire Leadership in Nurse Engagement, Retention, and Team Member Satisfaction Over the Course of One Year

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