The integral need for a comprehensive Paradigm Shift within African Political Affairs
The integral need for a comprehensive Paradigm Shift within African Political Affairs: An examination on the correlation between effective governance and the voter.
Leadership remains one of the most important aspects in the political milieu of the world at large. Nevertheless this paper explicitly examines leadership within the scope of African political affairs.
In the quest to understand leadership political psychologists have argued that it is important to learn not only what the leaders involved are like but equally what those they lead want and the nature of the context in which they are operating. Generally people expect virtuous leadership from their leaders which is effective and produces efficient service delivery, proper running of government institutions, improved standards of living etc. And in order to provide the above mentioned expectations leaders should be working in line with these expectations as their primary structure. Therefore leadership shouldn't be about pursuing self-interest, it should be about pursuing national interest and striving to uplift the socio-economic status of that particular country. Despite one not being part of the leadership in place, if he/she feels that he/she can make a positive contribution for things to be better, he/she can just usher out his/her ideas to the leadership then progress will be made.
Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal. It is disturbing to have a political arena which is surrounded by people who always make complaints about how things should be done when they are so selfish with their productive concepts. Therefore this paper argues that there is an emergent need for a "paradigm shift" in African politics so that better results can be achieved in establishing well-structured and transparent political structures and government institutions and also attaining better standards of living in most parts of the continent. This Paradigm shift is a fundamental change in the basic concepts and experimental practices of a scientific discipline but peculiarly within the Political context. (Thomas Kuhn 1922-1996) Now in the African contexts paradigm shifts entails a complete overhaul of the current existing political structures and behaviors with appropriate and well organized political structures and milieu.
African politicians must desist from the self-enrichment and purposefully sustain their mandate. Here, I refer to the acts of portraying a picture which signifies that they can or they could only contribute to the nation's well-being, only if they were part of the leadership they could have done so and so. In addition those politicians who keep opposing all the good initiatives designed by their political counter parts be it the ruling party or the opposition only to satisfy their selfish interests. It doesn't matter whether one is in the ruling party or in the opposition party or an independent candidate, prioritizing the needs and wants of the constituency first should be the priority of each and every player in the political game. The players in the game of politics should bear in mind that whatever they do affects the day to day living of the people hence they should be very constructive and supportive to progressive working which will upgrade the lives of people. Today African politics should adopt that political system which promotes new initiatives and provision of competitive developmental ideas, which takes the continent forward. Politics should not be a free rider game where everyone can participate, even those without qualifications, abilities and capabilities to actively participate, think, plan and decide on political decision which makes the lives of the people better. Thus there is the inherent need for each and everyone within any given society to actively contribute towards the growth of that society and not just leave it for politicians who are in power. The architects of the democratic society intended for opposition to contribute towards the growth of that society however their main mechanism for this must be to create avenues of accountability.
In the political arena there should be very competitive politicians with superior concepts and strategies, politicians who can strive to produce the preeminent for their nation. Producing the best outcomes for the nation can be termed "giving back to the society". This should be a major driving intention because people help out politicians to attain their political positions by supporting them during rallies, voting for them in elections to give them the responsibility to plan and make decisions on their behalf. Indeed this should not be taken for granted by the political elite who dominate the political game, because without those followers who vote, surely one cannot be recognized as a leader. As some suggests that "he who thinks he leads but has no followers is only taking a walk".
Therefore for the good leaders to gain momentum and maintain their existence in the political cycles they should learn to listen to the people, they have time for the people, they value the people, and they would like to see people progressing and working for their nation. With good leadership it's possible to create well-established, transparent political structures and government institutions. Thus good governance can be achieved leading to economic growth and development. Generally the standards of living will improve. Good governance has the following features participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and follows the rule of law. It assures that corruption is minimized, the views of minorities are taken into account and that the voices of the most vulnerable in society are heard in decision-making. It is also responsive to the present and future needs of society. Unfortunately due to self-interest centered political players in the African politics, it can be strongly argued that good governance doesn't exist in many part of the continent.
It is against this background that this paper argues that there should be a paradigm shift in the African politics for the attainment of better standards of living, well-established and transparent political structures and government institutions. It is undeniable that most the political players in the African Politics still has room to put their house in order, correct their political mistakes, desist from selfish acts and start engaging in constructive politics which rewards the citizenry with goods services. It's not too late for the African politicians to value their people and aspire for their better well-being.
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