The Cultural Betrayal

  • George B. N. Ayittey


As noted in the previous chapter, African nationalist leaders believed they could not rely on Africa’s “backward” indigenous institutions for the rapid development they envisaged after independence. As such, they searched for some foreign systems to adopt for Africa. But then, they possessed only a perfunctory understanding of these foreign systems. One could not expect African nationalists to be completely conversant with the intricacies and the internal mechanics of the British, French, Russian, or Chinese political systems. Each of these systems had evolved through time and reflected the unique cultural and political experiences of their peoples. In every political constitution there is a cultural imprint. The political events experienced by Africans are decisively different from those of Americans and other people. Obviously, it would be absurd to implant an American or Soviet constitution in an African country and expect it to work.


Colonial Government Traditional Leader Traditional Ruler Rural Market African Leader 
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Copyright information

© George B. N. Ayittey 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • George B. N. Ayittey
    • 1
  1. 1.USA

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