The State of Democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa

Malians vote in 2013 election [UN Photo/Marco Dormino]

It is well established that democracies exhibit improved economic growth, but debate sometimes continues as to precisely how. Bates et al. suggest that, in Africa, competitive elections result in leaders more responsive to rural populations and their agricultural concerns, whereas nondemocratic leaders tend to favor manufacturing in urban areas. The policies of democratically elected leaders then allow Africa’s large agricultural sector to flourish, raising incomes more equitably.

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Security Topics: Democratization