Tolerance for presidential misrule and indefinite presidential tenure may have worn thin in Africa’s democratizing polities, but with voters still caring most about beating the twin scourges of underdevelopment and economic marginalization, belief in the beneficent uses of preponderant executive power continues to run strong. African polities must move beyond the fixation with “strong” leadership and focus instead on building credible and effective institutions at both the national and local levels. If anything, an imperial presidency magnifies the costs of having an incompetent or bad leader at the helm.
Progress and Retreat in Africa: Presidents Untamed
Issue Date April 2008
Page Numbers 109-123