Monday 28 January 2019


Above: Cover of book titled 'Democracy Works: Rewiring Politics to Africa's Advantage' by Greg Mills, Olusegun Obasanjo, Jeffrey Herbst & Tendai Biti

The book: 'Democracy Works: Rewiring Politics to Africa's Advantage' was launched in Abuja on the 23rd of January, 2019. Unlike many other similar events that are 'money-making' exercises, where attendees are cajoled to 'donate generously' to augment the cost of the production of the book and even provide for the publisher and authors' needs/wants, nobody was asked to donate anything. Instead, everyone, including myself got a free copy of the book and an accompanying CD! 

I wish subsequent 'launchers' could emulate was transpired at this event and follow suite. 'Democracy Works' explores how we can learn to nurture and deepen democracy in Africa to ensure economic growth and political stability. It identifies a democratic playbook to meet the threats to free and fair elections. But substantive democracy demands more than regular polls. 

Democracy is fundamentally about the inner workings of institutions, the rule of law, separation of powers, checks and balances, leadership in government and civil society, as much as it is about values and welfare/well-being of its citizens. It  also demands that local leadership has a plan for the country beyond simply winning the popular vote' (Quote is from the back cover of the book).

This book launch could not have come at a better time because all the signposts to a viable democratic system seem to be derailing in Nigeria on the eve of the 2019 Presidential elections...Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, and one of the authors of the book chaired the occasion. The foreword was written by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia. Happy reading!

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*How tenure elongation and lack of term limits weaken the integrity of elections in Africa

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