Former President John Mahama has urged African countries to build democracies that are shaped by the will of the people and best address the needs of its citizenry.
According to the former President, there was no shortcut to achieving a sound democratic dispensation and that countries must find the type of democracy that responds favourably to the needs of the people.
“There is no shortcut to democratic consolidation and economic prosperity. We need to work at it, we need to stay the course of structural reform,” he said.
Speaking at the ‘For Mind Speak’ Conference in Kenya, former President Mahama opined that although some developed nations have had success with their form of democracy, it was unhealthy for African nations to copy and practice same as it was likely to fail due to components that do not address the challenges of the African society.
“The United States was the example of a true and great democracy. Many African countries emulated and wished same for their own countries but we are realising that the democracy that exists in the United States cannot and perhaps should not be in the same form for us,” he added.
The more African countries build their own democracies the more African businesses will flourish and its people prosper as well, he said.
The former President noted that the continent was making significant progress socially, economically and politically due to the spread of democracy, stating that it was time for its enormous human resources including the youth and citizens in the Diaspora to contribute to its survival.
“We are in critical times presently as the nations in the so-called Western world have allowed fear, religious intolerance and xenophobia, ethnic and racial prejudice to move them into isolation and closing its borders. What is at stake for us here in Africa is our very survival,” he stressed.
Democracy, he said was non-negotiable after years of military takeovers on the continent, adding that all effort must be directed to ensuring a sustainable form of governance, based on the will of the people.
“Political stability and the rule of law are necessary, not only as a foundation for prosperity but also a protection against the looming threat of terrorism and violence that had claimed too many lives on the continent,” the former President said.