The aim of this essay is to compare the two countries in terms of the political structure and structure of social life. Two African countries, Botswana and Djibouti, were selected for consideration. Despite the difference in economic development and political structure, many aspects of the life of these countries are quite similar to each other. In particular, it makes sense to focus on the negative aspects of the political and social structure of these countries. This is necessary in order to characterize the problem areas inherent in the arrangement of life in many developing countries and to establish the possible reasons for their emergence and maintenance. Botswana and Djibouti are African countries with similar characteristics in terms of social and political violence, the elimination of which is an unresolved issue on the future agenda.
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On the whole, undertaking to compare the political life and social customs of the two African countries for comparison, it makes sense to characterize the geopolitical situation that has developed on the continent over the past hundred years. Social conflicts in Africa are a rather complex topic for discussion, which is often obscured by the obscene notions of Western civilization, which tends to use prejudice in its judgments. Western colonization largely shaped the image of modern Africa, in particular, dividing the continent into specific countries and regions.
It should be noted that after the decolonization process, there was much less bloodshed on African lands. Each country has its own specific percentage of ethnic minorities whose rights are generally not suppressed by violence. This reduces the risk of civil war, and clashes between armed government officials and insurgents in general have become less and less over the 21st century (Driscoll, 2021). At the moment, African countries for the most part live on the principle of mutual non-invasion (Aucoin, 2017). The Organization of African Unity has provided relative peace on the borders of African states, and at the moment there are virtually no conflicts between African countries.
However, this does not mean that there are no social conflicts and political tension within individual African countries. Moreover, the escalation of this tension could be associated with the relative development of each African country and, accordingly, the growing demand for human freedoms, including democratic freedom of choice (Raleigh and Kishi, 2020). Considering countries such as Botswana and Djibouti, one can draw fairly full-fledged conclusions about the political structure of the countries of modern Africa and the internal conflicts that accompany their gradual development.
Political Situation in Botswana
While political instability is almost synonymous with state building in African countries, Botswana compares favorably with most other states. The country is said to represent a full-fledged intercultural inclusive community that calls for international and intercontinental unity. Botswana calls itself a democracy where opposition parties are given the opportunity to form coalitions. However, despite the fact that the situation appears sufficiently in a democratic light, the opposition parties still cannot compete sufficiently with the leading one (Holm 135). This is primarily due to the lack of historical precedent. Paradoxically, being not banned and having the right to free activity, these parties do not receive sufficient incentive to form into a significant opposition capable of changing the alignment of political forces.
A separate case worth considering in this context is the situation with the 2019 elections. The Democratic Party of Botswana has once again won the election despite conflicting middle-class responses to the current president. An obstacle to the victory of the opposition party was its unification with the forces of the former president of the country, who was trying to regain positions. This coalition was perceived by opposition supporters as weakness and concession, and they did not want to vote for the previous president (Seabo and Masilo 65). Post-election protest scores were quite low compared to, for example, South Africa (AfricaNews, 2021). Thus, political violence in the country is very low, which is due to historical and economic characteristics, since Botswana is a diamond-mining country, which has a positive effect on its economy.
The real problem within the country is gender-based violence. The persecution, humiliation and abuse of women in the country is extremely high. In 2020, an initiative group was created calling on the government to pay attention to the problem in the context of a lockdown, when women risk being locked away alone with their torturers (Thobega, 2020). The problem of gender-based violence in Botswana captures the vast majority of women in the country, reaching the most sophisticated ways of implementation.
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Political Situation in Djibouti
Another African country called Djibouti shows an average level of danger. The main crime in the country concentrates on cases of theft and petty theft. However, the country’s relatively low level of violent crime does not mean that Djibouti does not suffer from similar problems often found in African political systems. In particular, the incidence of political violence in Djibouti is quite high. There is one dominant party in the country, while the president has remained the same since 1999. This situation is supported by the crackdown on political protests and opposition rallies. Opponents of the dominant party accuse the president of dishonest, fraudulent elections and lack of freedom of speech. International election observers in Djibouti, however, said they had not observed any violations, despite the fact that the figures collected by the country’s leader are absolutely unprecedented. All of this describes the political situation in the country as complex and contradictory.
In general, Djibouti’s credibility as a country with free speech is low. Djibouti was named “not free country” according to one of the authoritative American ratings (Freedom House, 2020). Among the discriminated segments of the population there are also women who are at regular risk of abuse, physical, psychological and sexual violence on a daily basis (Bureau of Democracy, 2021). In addition, in Djibouti, there have been cases of extermination of opposition forces, state pressure on ethnic groups, as well as disappearances of people that have not been investigated by the state (Douala, 2021). This characterizes Djibouti as a country with a high level of political lack of freedom and repeated cases of violent oppression.
It should be noted that the available information field is still not dense enough to assess the real situation in the African countries. Information warfare takes place in both cases in the essay, as the leading political party seeks to silence opponents and play down violent political conflicts. At the same time, the level of lack of freedom of speech and crime in both countries is quite high. Discrimination against minorities and persecution of women, which are stigma for African society, deserve special mention. Thus, despite the significant difference in development and economic well-being, both countries show similar and comparable socio-political problems.
Aucoin, Ciara. “Less armed conflict but more political violence in Africa.” Institute for Security Studies, 2017. Web.
“Botswana pulls off all-round incident free general election.” AfricaNews, 2019, Web.
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. “2020 country reports on human rights practices: Djibouti.” US Department of State, 2021, Web.
“Djibouti.” Freedom House, 2020, Web.
Douala, Cameroon. “Several dead, houses razed amid ethnic fighting in Djibouti.” Anadolu Agency, Web.
Driscoll, Jesse. “Social conflict and political violence in Africa.” Stanford SPICE, Web.
Holm, John D. “Elections in Botswana: Instituonalization of a new system of legitimacy.” Elections in Independent Africa, edited by Fred M. Hayward, Routledge, 2019, pp. 130-158.
Raleigh, Clionadh, and Roudabeh Kishi. “Africa: The only continent where political violence increased in 2020.” Mail & Guardian, Web.
Seabo, Batlang, and Bontle Masilo. “Social cleavages and party alignment in Botswana: Dominant party system debate revisited.” Botswana Notes and Records, vol. 50, 2018, pp. 59-71.
Thobega, Keletso. “Botswana sets up gender violence courts to tackle pandemic backlog.” Reuters, Web.