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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 3: The critical domains in the post-independence period

A Constitutional Political Economy Approach

John M. Mbaku

Extract

Independence promised Africans the opportunity to fully reconstruct the institutional structures inherited from the colonialists and provide themselves with institutional arrangements undergirded by the rule of law. Unfortunately, postindependence African political elites failed to engage their fellow citizens in inclusive and participatory approaches to constitution making and, as a consequence, they ended up with constitutional orders that were incapable of serving as foundations for effective governing systems. Specifically, these postindependence laws and institutions were not capable of protecting the rights of each country’s citizens, including especially those of minority groups.

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