In lots of countries, African politics is like a football match between two or three teams with millions of fans. We must know the mechanism to understand it.
In Africa, tribes, better called micro – nations – as the Nobel laureated Wangari Maathai defines them in his book “The Challenge of Africa” – are the heritage of pre-colonial Africa, which has never died. This phenomenon of the tribes has not developed in all 54 continent’s countries, but in those countries which underwent European colonization and imperialism and had their borders drawn by default, micro – nations are real and keep on affecting the political and social ecosystem.
Micro – nations are made of people of the same ethnicity, who are geographically near and speak the same language, but who live in different countries. The fact of belonging to a definite ethnic is the thing that defines political preferences. In today’s political competition, goals and programmes don’t win, candidates are not different in their ideas about nation, values or reforms, but in the tribes they belong to.
However, there is a hope: the youngest, which are 70% of voters, a force which is becoming more aware of itself and of its power to change things. This is maybe the only real chance of defeating tribalism and moving towards a more practical politics.
It seems like they are not talking of ethnicity anymore, but of sociality and employment. It seems so. A feeble light at the end of the tunnel?