Since August, of last year there have been more coups in sub-Saharan Africa than at any time for the past two decades – Mali in August 2020, Chad in April 2020, Mali again in May 2021, Guinea in September, and Sudan just last month. In this episode we discuss the recent trends of turmoil and democratic instability in Africa as seen in these successful and attempted coups. We seek to understand how these power grabs threaten a reversal of the democratization progress Africa has undergone. What are the root causes of these disruptions? Is the current moment a turning point? And what is in store for the future of the African continent?
John Mukum Mbaku is an Attorney and Counselor at Law (licensed in the State of Utah) and Brady Presidential Distinguished Professor of Economics & John S. Hinckley Research Fellow at Weber State University (Ogden, Utah, USA). He is also a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C. He received the J.D. degree and Graduate Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from the S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah, where he was Managing Editor of the Utah Environmental Law Review, and the Ph.D. (economics) from the University of Georgia. His most recent books are Protecting Minority Rights in African Countries: A Constitutional Political Economy Approach (Edward Elgar, 2018) and (with Mwangi S. Kimenyi), Governing the Nile River Basin: The Search for a New Legal Regime (The Brookings Institution Press, 2015).