POLITICAL ISLAM AND STATE RECONSTRUCTION IN AFRICA

Authors

  • DELE ASHIRU, PHD University of Lagos

Keywords:

Cleavage, Ethno-religious, Poverty, Reconstruction

Abstract

Ever since the 1884/85 balkanization of Africa into Europeans spheres of influence at the now infamous Berlin conference, the state that was super imposed on Africa under colonialism, was merely inherited by the political elites rather than ensuring its transformation after flag independence. The state ever since has not and cannot work for the development of the African people. The state in Africa is often enmeshed in the crisis of legitimation. Not only does it alienate the people; it breeds violent conflicts, identity crisis, ethno-religious cleavages, social dislocation, political exclusion, wanton corruption, poverty, disease and squalor on the continent. This paper in a historical and analytical manner, examines the nature and character of the state in Africa. It observes that the state enjoys relative autonomy which makes it susceptible to imperialistic manipulations within a neo-colonial political economy. The paper argues that contrary to Western propaganda against Islam, political Islam has within its doctrine, socio-political and economic state reconstruction mechanisms that can alter the present socio-political formations in Africa for the benefit of the African people. The paper concludes that while not attempting to Islamize Africa, states on the continent can be reconstructed if the continent avails itself of alternative development paradigm within the Islamic tradition. These alternative paradigms include a more consensus orientated recruitment of state officials rather than the periodic acrimonious competitive election process, the interest-free banking system which guarantees the redistribution of social wealth in a more equitable manner and the poverty alleviation strategy which the Zakat institution offers amongst others.

Author Biography

DELE ASHIRU, PHD, University of Lagos

DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS

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Published

2023-12-29