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Deficit in democratic governance threatens Africa’s future, says Annan

The former United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has stated that even though young Africans of today are better educated, a deficit in democratic governance threatens their future.
Kofi Annan

Kofi Annan

The former United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has stated that even though young Africans of today are better educated, a deficit in democratic governance threatens their future.

‘‘The youth of today are generally better educated and better informed than in my day. Yet in Africa and beyond, their future is being compromised by poor governance and a lack of democratic leadership,” he said.

‘‘We live in an era of democracy as evidenced by the large numbers of elections worldwide,” he added but bemoaned the questionable legitimacy of most elections and the poor governance that follows.

The questionable elections and the attendant poor governance, according to Annan, was the reason for what he called the ‘democratic deficit.’

‘‘Demonstrations by young people – in the global north and south – show that they are aware of these democratic deficiencies, which deny them opportunities for a fuller and freer future. Their frustration is understandable and as long as governments do not heed that frustration, they risk riots, rebellions and even revolutions,” the former UN chief noted.

Annan, who is also Chancellor of the University of Ghana, noted this while speaking on ‘‘Educating for Inclusive and Peaceful Societies,” at the Conference of the Executive Heads of the Association of Commonwealth Universities in Accra.

He underlined the importance of tertiary education in the development of global societies despite challenges of funding and the need for prioritisation.

The former UN boss lauded the gains made in terms of university education across Africa, noting that universities were playing a big role in the particular societies in which they operate.

‘‘The universities can play a powerful role in tackling the contemporary challenges to global peace and security, heightened as they are by growing economic and social inequality,” Annan stated.

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