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Protecting Minority Rights in African Countries

A Constitutional Political Economy Approach

John M. Mbaku

In this enlightening book, John Mukum Mbaku analyses the main challenges of constitutional design and the construction of governance institutions in Africa today. He argues that the central issues are: providing each country with a constitutional order that is capable of successfully managing sectarian conflict and enhancing peaceful coexistence; protecting the rights of citizens – including those of minorities; minimizing the monopolization of political space by the majority (to the detriment of minorities); and, effectively preventing government impunity.
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Chapter 2: The historical foundations of the problem

A Constitutional Political Economy Approach

John M. Mbaku

Extract

Europeans came to Africa to maximize their own interests and not to help Africans govern themselves and deal with problems of peaceful coexistence and development. Colonialism was not a mutually-beneficial arrangement between African groups and the Europeans. Instead, the scramble for Africa represented the forced imposition of the will of the European colonizers on African societies. As a consequence, it was inevitable that the institutions that the Europeans brought along with them were instruments of violence, all of which were used to conquer, subjugate, infantilize, and exploit Africans.

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