Are we going back to the 1960(s), what do Coups mean to African democracy? These questions were asked by the Africans Rising coordinator, Hardi Yakubu in his opening remarks as he set the pace for discussions during a webinar organised by Africans Rising on the 15th of September 2023, on the theme, “Military Coups in Africa and the future of African democracy.
After introducing the panellists who had been selected from different African countries, they all took turns to elaborate on the issue of military coups in Africa.
Dr. Wada Nafiou from Niger elucidated on the different coups that Niger has experienced with the 4th and recent one being the coups of 26th June 2023. Dr. Wada further explained that when the military takes over it is democracy going backwards with civilians suffering the consequences. This includes bad governance, financial crisis, lack of free movement and electricity.
Following suit, Theresa from Gabon spoke about the current coups in Gabon. She said, “when democracy fails, then the military needs to take over the responsibility”. She added that the transition is prioritising the needs of the people.
On her part, Denis Ayebere says politics in Africa has been militarized and that African problems require African solutions.
At the end of the discussions, some of the recommendations arrived at include:
- Decolonising the mind of Africans
- Other African countries should be able to support a fellow country in distress.
- African liberation is needed.
- The need for collective solidarity for unity is strength. Ubuntu should not just be a philosophy on paper.
While closing the discussions, Africans Rising coordinator, Hardi Yakubu said, “we don’t just need to talk but see what actions can be taken and show solidarity across Africa. As such we need to critically analyse coups in their own substance to prevent those who take out oppressors from becoming oppressors themselves because it is only in unison that we can achieve what we have set out for ourselves”.