Between 25th and 28th May 2022, African leaders gathered at Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, to attend the two extraordinary summits hosted by the African Union (AU), which include; the Extraordinary humanitarian summit, Pledging conference and the Extraordinary summit on Terrorism and Unconstitutional Changes of Government (UCG) in Africa, which were held at the Conference Centre of Sipopo. The meetings focused on humanitarian challenges currently faced in the continent and bringing the end of usurpation to democratic governments and the menace of terrorism in Africa, respectively.

However, the article focused on accessing the spate of interruption of democratic government trend in Sub-Saharan Africa, its adverse impacts on growth and development in the continent and indeed what needs to be done in the practical sense.

Prevalence of Unconstitutional Changes in Government In Africa (UCG)

UCG is any attempt in the form of a coup or a deliberate action towards amending or revising the constitution against democratic principles. Recently, Africa has experienced eight military coups (successful and unsuccessful) in eight different countries. These experiences could be why AU was compelled to make UCG one of its heavenly subjects of deliberation at its recent Summits, to proffer solutions to the adverse effects of a military coup in Africa, which include: political instability, erosion of fundamental human rights, and economic downturn, these are capable of foiling some of AU’s visions embedded in its 2063 Agenda.

Hindsight: Back In History

Since 1960, Africa has experienced more than 200 military coups starting with Congo, Togo, Nigeria, Uganda, Burundi, Ghana, and other series of military coup experiences which spread across Africa for over three decades.

Coup in Africa was perceived to have seized until last year; we heard its resurrection in Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Guinea, and Sudan, where military leaders have succeeded in capturing power, while Niger and Guinea-Bissau have had failed coups.

Insight: Reshaping Africa’s Status

African Union Extraordinary Summits is a timely effort to rescue the future of Africa. However, curtailing coups in Africa requires more attention to governance deficits in the form of non-fulfilment of citizens’ entitlement, socio-economic frustration, and increasing insecurity. Democratisation is the only way to bring fair, credible, and transparent elections, respect for fundamental human rights, and a corrupt-free society.

Military coups have always been justified by political instability. Therefore, the most sustainable response to coups is to remove every adverse condition militating against political stability for democratic principles to thrive.

Foresight: The Future

Indeed, Africa has adequate resources to develop itself in many ramifications if well managed and committed to its 2063 schedule. AU must be firm in making a radical attempt to end all forms of UCG on the continent. Similarly, the inclination of individual African leaders in their respective countries will help shape the continent’s future.


Tolulope Adeyefa


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