An African Redefinition of Popular Democracy and Development Nomenclature
To achieve a more in-depth intellectual debate on major contemporary issues, including the issues of governance and sustainable development, we need to start from nomenclature, the real meaning, from an African perspective, of key words and terminologies that are bandied around in the global development and governance milieu, and which are determinative of how Africans are viewed, the choices they make, and the choices they are compelled to make. Without this, a radical, nuanced, and progressive awareness of the deep transformations, challenges and opportunities currently taking place on the African Continent will elude us, and with it the final opportunity to end the paradox of the richest Continent living in dire poverty.
This Paper takes a first stab at this by exploring key terminologies such as Governance, Government, Democratic Governance, Good Governance, People Oriented Governance, Constitution, Constitutionality, Constitutionalism, Administration, Institutions, and Globalization. The Paper proposes that a particular Africanist understanding and perspective of these words is the beginning of a deeper understanding of what they mean and what they should mean. That understanding crowds out the frills and illuminates the core essence of the words, so that Africa’s Development Challenge may be addressed on a sounder and more intelligent foundation.
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