At independence leaders of the nationalist movements in Africa, or of the victorious political parties in the elections of the decolonisation period, came to power and became ministers, MPs and, in some cases, regional and district governors/commissioners. However, they had mostly not been adequately trained by the colonial government and had limited experience of operating a governmental system on a national scale. A vitally important question was whether these new rulers would be able to adapt to their own purposes the structures of power established within the former colonial state. Their inheritance normally included the essential machinery of government (notably a legislature, executive and judiciary at the centre and — in Anglophone Africa above all — the rudiments of a representative local government system at the base). As noted in the Introduction, adaptation generally proved easier in Francophone African states (which followed the Gaullist constitutional model with its stress on firm executive leadership) than in Anglophone countries which initially adopted Westminster-type constitutions. However, within ten years at most of independence, the latter had been discarded almost everywhere in favour of executive presidencies and one-party state systems.
KeywordsPolitical Behaviour African State Urban Worker Class Consciousness Cultural Pluralism
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