Just like a two-faced coin, politics can be said to have two sides of influences on a nation. The African continent is fast developing in all aspects (both economically and politically). However, politics have impacted Africa both negatively and positively. Politics has brought about some changes regarding how countries are run which thus leads to different kinds of national developments. As such, one cannot deny the overwhelming effects it has with that of negative outweighing the positive.
The lack of continuity or stagnant development in our political systems poses as an impediment to the development of our beloved continent. There is this habit of abandoning good policies or developmental projects issued by previous political parties. Example; if party A happens to issue a project when in power, it is likely that such a project might be halted if not completed before party A hands over power to party B. This, on the other hand, causes financial loss to the nation and Africa’s empowerment as a whole. All resources invested in such projects become futile or wasted.
Secondly, the loyalty we pay to a particular political party sometimes makes us blind to the flaws or shortcomings of that party. An instance will be where I belong to a certain political party therefore whatever this party does is good or correct. We choose loyalty to a political party over loyalty to the well-being of our respective countries. One’s unblemished loyalty to a particular political party often makes them close-minded when it comes to appreciating achievements a political party other than theirs is able to attain.
Also, it is true that politics promotes one of the most basic rights of a human i.e. the freedom of association. A wise person once said, “to every right, comes a certain responsibility”. The right is however hailed but the responsibility has been abused. It has gotten to the extent of priests and religious ministers deciding who their flocks should vote for instead of guiding them to see how pellucid things are so that the chaff can be separated from the factual or genuine.
Cronyism is another negative effect the nation and continent at large is a victim of based on the nature of our political idealism. This is the act of being partial or nepotistic in awarding jobs or other advantages to friends, family, or trusted colleagues. We sometimes end up voting for the wrong people because we have some sort of ties with them even when they are not the right people. Our cordiality with people make us blind to choosing the right people in the government of the day and this is very alarming. This habit or act also brings about favoritism; an act which should be condemned. “The right tool should be used for the right job”.
To sum up, the change we wish to see should start with us the individuals. The impact we create in our societies could count a lot. You do not need a large platform in order to set the ball of change in motion. Instead, it’s the little positive things that we do that’d count and in some sense, ginger someone to follow the pace one is setting. It starts with YOU.
Nadia Aisha Derme
University of Education, Winneba.
N. Adom Akrasi
Nizhny Novogorod State Medical Academy.