A Critique of Civil Society: The African Experience
The recent emphasis on civil society in Africa is a result of the many years of autocratic and dictatorial rule which have resulted in the oppression and neglect of the people’s participation in politics. Therefore, the presence of viral civil society is a pre-condition and a necessity in the whole democratization process. These groups have been major actors in the fight against abuse of human rights, corruption, and misrule. They are veritable instruments for the development and promotion of dialogue among communities for collective action. They also provide platforms to articulate demands and voice concerns at local, national, regional, and international levels. Consequently, no progress in governance will be made without a viral civil society because civil society continues to be engines of democracy. They play myriads of roles in the enthronement of genuine democratic principles and structures which can bring about stable political governance in the scheme of things. Therefore, with particular reference to the Nigerian experience, this paper examines the status of civil society in Africa today and its prospects for the future.
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