The system of African Dictators and our role in it

Our Western narrative on African dictators is incomplete. By focusing on the well-documented atrocities of Africa’s ‘Big Man’ Leadership, we neglect the system which created and enabled them – a system that, in part, we continue to play a role in. We need to examine the origins of this system – not merely to apportion blame –  to help us begin the work of uprooting it and making way for better systems of African governance to take form.

Disclaimer: The problem of African dictators needs an African perspective and voice more than any other. However, this is also a problem created and enabled by outsiders, I write from this angle and many of the sources that have informed it are also from foreigners. The ‘we’ is therefore for Westerners. This brings limitations to my understanding and nuance. For this and for any inaccuracies, emblematic of my amateurism, I apologise. I hope, however, the larger point still stands and I greatly welcome thoughts to the contrary in the comments below.

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