Democratic Progress and Regress: How can Elections in Africa Nurture Human Security and Better Livelihoods?

"Three separate topics in this paper are addressed together. Conflict and peace are omnipresent conditions of human existence. The link between elections, security and development is therefore an important domain. It is customary to consider stability as typical, and instability as an atypical condition, because most societies experience failing statehood as abnormal and disruptive of structural and social relationships. It is therefore not inappropriate to treat the subjects of democracy and human security together in considering sustainable development. It is a fact that strengthening state institutions and improving their capacity to provide security and development, based on principles of good governance and the rule of law, are essential to entrench lasting peace and improve living standards of citizens. Basically, fragile states can be defined as countries that lack essential capacity and/or will to fulfil four critical government responsibilities,(i)fostering an environment conducive to sustainable and equitable economic growth; (ii) establishing and maintaining legitimate, transparent, and accountable political institutions; (iii) securing their populations from violent conflict and controlling their territory; and (iv) meeting the basic human needs of their population."