Comparative Analysis Of South Africa And Nigeria

1373 words - 6 pages


Africa is the second largest continent with vast resources and inhabits more than 12 percent of the world’s population. Although we know that the continent has plenty of resources, Africa remains the world’s poorest and most undeveloped continent. [1]Poverty is widespread, there is a great threat of communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.
Politically, I would say that the country is unstable as there were civil and liberation wars.
The lack of development in africa is closely linked to the phenomenon of state weakness which underlines the need for improvement governance as prerequisite for development in Africa. ...view middle of the document...

This arrangement resulted in violent conflict when the various ethnic groups were forced to compete for scarce resources.

In both countries, the process of modernization is adding tension to already divided societies. As in most of the third world countries, major rifts in society such as these present formidable problems for governments attempting to maintain or establish ethnic harmony and foster economic development.

Both Nigeria and South Africa are among the richest in the continent in terms of natural resources. Nigeria can boast of its oil, coal, tin and gold. South Africa is rich in gold, diamonds and other strategic minerals. Unfortunately, the majority of South Africans did not benefit from these riches because of racism and apartheid. That however does not rule out the presence of a strong and diversified private business sector and a substantial middle class that does include some blacks. Though South Africa's economy is not very healthy, they still have a highly developed financial system, a fairly efficient telecommunication infrastructure, power, a reliable water supply, roads, and a system of public administration, which is afflicted by patronage and corruption, but still delivering to the citizens.

[4]Both Nigeria and South Africa, having concluded a difficult transition to democratic rule are at a crossroads. Both countries bear the responsibility to steer the continent away from the repression of authoritarian governments towards a path of social and economic development and good governance. Interestingly, the two countries are also driven by a similar political strategies to manage conflict through national reconciliation and economic development. The dual processes of transition and transformation need nothing less than a vibrant economy in which the basic needs of citizens are taken care of. They also require a state and society with a sense of shared destiny where racial and ethnic identities are harnessed positively as a uniting force rather than divisive factor or an impediment to nation building. In South Africa, the potential for disaster may have been averted by the wisdom of Nelson Mandela.

In South Africa's transition process, Mandela's charisma helped the African national Congress to pursue the path of negotiation, accommodation and confidence building for managing the ethnic diversity problem. However, in Nigeria the ruling Peoples Democratic Party's shortcomings are evident in Nigeria's democratic transition process. The South African people defied the pattern of their past and broke all the rules of social theory to forge a powerful spirit of unity from a shattered nation. But in Nigeria, the politicians are still putting out the growing flames of ethnic conflicts and religious violence. This is partly due to the government's lack of will and partly due to the military, which has been a stumbling block in the transition to democracy for some time. Nigeria's dictators often dressed in ethnic costumes...

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