Explain the influence of money in African politics

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

It is important to remember that the African continent is not uniform in its politics. Not all governments have the same relationship with money. However, we can look at some of the broader themes that connect politics and money in Africa in general.

In many African countries, politics and wealth go hand in hand. Many leaders see a political career as a method for amassing wealth. There is little transparency in political funding throughout the continent and most political parties are funded by private donors. Financial disclosure laws are rare in most nations. Where they do exists, they are commonly too weak or simply ignored. This means that it is often impossible to see who is controlling a politician's purse strings and buying influence. As a result, several African states are likely controlled by criminal or private business elements operating from behind the scenes. With politicians beholden to them for finances they can influence anything from the passage of laws to the appointment of government officials. A relevant example of this is taking place in South Africa where President Jacob Zuma has been accused of being under the control of the wealthy Gupta family. In other cases, little differentiation is made between public and private funds. As a result, leaders can use the public coffers to fund pet projects or simply to enrich themselves or buy influence.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial