Issues dealt with in this study of democracy in Africa, include
underdevelopment and economic marginality, ethnic consciousness and
the nature of political power in Africa. A true African democracy,
Ake argues, is both a second independence and a deep need for self-
realisation. The late distinguished scholar outlines, in a sweeping
continental survey, how the democratic commitment has transformed
Africa's legacy of dictatorship, military regimes and single-party
rule. He also demonstrates how cleverly conservative autocrats have
spoken the democratic message and subverted its promise. The danger
of trivialising democracy into successive multi-party elections is
now very real, and the books spells out the hazards facing nascent
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