Political challenges that have faced African countries since independence
- The political systems that were inherited from the colonial governments seemed to be unworkable in many independent African states.
- Sharp ideological difference arose among the pioneer leaders of African states. Such differences internally exploded into civil strife in countries like Mozambique, Angola and DRC.
- The cold war had devastating effects on Africa. it left many African nations divided and locked in border conflicts that continue up to date.
- Political instability was quite common in African states. Coups d’tat and military takeover was witnessed in Somalia, Zaire, Nigeria, Chad etc Human rights were violated with the rise of dictatorship.
- There were strained relations between African leaders caused by personal and ideological differences. Some ended in border closure, which greatly undermined international cooperation.
- Many national interests in Africa countries have been in conflict with global and continental interests. Nigeria and Zimbabwe, for example had to be expelled from the Commonwealth of Nations for alleged disregard of human rights and personal property.
- Neo-colonialism. Most countries retain the colonial structures of parliament although they have difficulties in sustaining them. Multinational peacekeeping forces are still common in Africa, many African leaders inherited the divide and rule colonial strategy that precipitates anarchy.
- The existence of different ethnic groups has contributed to ethnic wars as witnessed in Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, Nigeria and Kenya.
- Most African government seemed ill prepared and in experienced in administration.
- This resulted in rise of rebel movements, as was the case of Mozambique and Angola.
Economic challenges facing independent African states today.
- Unemployment and socio-economic inequalities both among individuals and between regions are common in may African nations.
- Overdependence on primary exports. The African economy is an extractive one rather than a manufacturing economy. Many countries depend on agriculture and foreign nations for manufactured goods.
- World trade terms are not fair for African nations. Africa countries find themselves trading with former colonial powers that give low prices fort raw material from Africa and charge high process for the manufactured goods.
- There has been the problem of unfavourable climatic conditions. This has curtailed food production, particularly among agricultural communities.
- Population pressure has led to overstretching of social services. There is a high dependency ratio since the population is largely youthful and unemployed.
- Poor economic planning. Some economic policies have destabilized the economies. For the Ujamaa policy in Tanzania, the expelling of foreign investors in Uganda and the massive printing of money in Zaire.
- The tough conditions given by donor agencies have sometimes led to deterioration of social welfare. Retrenchment for example was a key prescription of the Structural Adjustment Programme.
- Corruption and embezzlement of public funds is common in African countries. There is also general lack of transparency among many leaders.
Social challenges that have faced African states since independence
- Inaccessibility to clean water by majority of the people. Most African peoples rely on water fetched from sometimes contaminated streams across long distances.
- The challenge of HIV/AIDS pandemic. This has had a toll on productive members of the society.
- Poor housing facilities.. in urban areas, majority of the population live in slums without sanitation facilities.
- The challenge of high population growth rate. This affects the quality of the services provided by governments.
- Language problem. Language development and use has been a challenge in Africa. In many countries, conflict tends to arise over the language to adopt- local or the inherited one.
- Religious differences. This challenge has been the main cause of the splitting of the once largest country in Africa-Sudan in 2011. The predominantly Christian southern Sudan has become the youngest African state thanks to religious differences.
- Absence of practical systems of education. Many countries rely on theoretical education with little emphasis in technical skills.