Senegalese historian denounces "autocratic trends in Africa"

Historians in the News

Senegalese historian Prof. Mamadou Diouf on Tuesday denounced the "autocratic trend" that is increasingly characterising governments formed after democratic elections in Africa.

"Democratic elections are giving birth to autocratic regimes in some African countries," Prof. Diouf, Director of the Institute of African Studies (IAS) of the University of Colombia, said in Dakar at the four-day African Forum of the Open Society Initiative (OSI) Foundation of the US billionaire, Georges Soros which opened on Monday,

He said governments that came to power through the ballot box had the tendency to say, "I am democratically elected, so I can do as I please."

"Unfortunately, we Africans have accepted to be lazy, we do not raise questions that irritate," the Senegalese historian, who was critical of his country's media, civil society and the ruling government, said.

"We Senegalese have learnt to tell ourselves lies from top to bottom. The Senegalese society is sick," Prof. Diouf said.

"…There are as many advisers to the president as there are ministers which virtually means we have two governments," he said.

About the Senegalese media, Prof. Diouf said they had through "the cult of rumour, built President Abdoulaye Wade's son through an all-out logic of boosting their sales".
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