Why Does Africa Continue to Have Bad Leaders?


Since the decolonization process started in Africa, the continent has been plagued with an enormous amount of bad leaders.From laughable examples such as Idi Amin of Uganda, Charles Taylor of Liberia to more serious cases like Sani Abacha of Nigeria and Mammour Gaddafi of Libya, the list is endless when you think of how many bad leaders Africa has had. And today, the trend still goes on as many countries are still in search of a capable leader. What do you think accounts for the bad leaders in Africa? How do we arrest this ugly trend?


The postcolonial Africa, 50 years after the so-called independence struggles, is an Africa where greed and self-enrichment politics rule. The ousted colonial elite seems to have simply been replaced by a similarly narrow elite class, of the independence and liberation movements, the dominant independence leader and dominant ‘struggle’ families, or the dominant ethnic group or political faction. A centralized political culture very much similar to the colonial administration remains, and it is this refusal to serve the people that is destroying Africa from within.

As evidenced in the examples mentioned above and other countries across Africa, it is now almost inevitable that former leaders will, as soon as they settle into the reigns of power get entrenched in a pattern of corruption aimed primarily at extending their hold of power into perpetuity.

Thus the legacy that most African leaders have left on the continent is one of greed, selfishness and impunity, and a lack of any desire to develop Africa or help the people they profess to serve. This is despicable enough, and by itself, it is a sure hindrance to the economic growth and development of the continent.

It is a betrayal of all Africa and a real disappointment for institutions dedicated to promote and encourage good governance on the continent. The twenty-first century should be an era when the capacities of the existing corruption-fighting institutions are strengthened, not used for witch-hunts and silencing political opponents.


The political setup of African systems are infused by too much obeisance to individuals.
Over here we don’t vote individuals. We vote institutions. You don’t go about offering money , foodstuffs or articles
of clothing to the voters. It is crime of bribery!!! But they do it in Africa and politicians are allowed to do it!!!
African politics is individual-based while American politics is institution-based.
That is a factor.