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A mathematical exploration of fractal complexity among the axioms on the African state in the Journal of Third World Studies: from John Mukum Mbaku to Pade Badru.


In this section, I present the axioms on the African state in the relevant JTWS texts. The axioms are stated in realist (i.e. 'what is') and idealist (i.e. 'what ought to be') terms. The range between the numbers of axioms is quite significant--from two in Mbaku's essay (102) to 43 in George Klay Kieh Jr.'s, (103) which is a range of 41. The reason for this huge range is that Mbaku's essay is descriptive (i.e. it describes the nature of the African state) while that of Kieh, Jr. is both descriptive and prescriptive (i.e. describes the nature of the African state and suggests how to reconstitute it). There are eight essays in total. I discuss them sequentially in the chronological order they were published.

As stated earlier, the first essay on the African state in the JTWS is by Mbaku and published in 1987. It has the following two axioms: (104)

(1) The modern African state has not been able to properly define its role in the economy due partly to the fact that many African governments have been dictatorships used by a few well-placed families to enrich themselves.

(2) The African state can play a crucial role in economic growth by designing policies that would lead to efficient management of the factors of production.

The second essay is by Julius Omozuanubo Ihonvbere and published in 1993. He proffers four axioms: (105)

(1) On one side of the embattled African state is the bourgeoisie which are under great pressure from popular forces, the IMF. the World Bank and Western governments and conservative research institutions; on the other side are students, trade unions, civil liberty associations, non-governmental organizations, progressive associations, the Economic Commission for Africa, human rights organizations and other popular forces inside and outside the continent.

(2) The draconian decrees and legislation passed by African states and the various policy papers and documents released by the World Bank bear directly on the drastic restructuring of African education to reflect the grand goals of the IMF and the World Bank.

(3) The Nigerian state has always been a coercive and exploitative state, always using the masses as objects of manipulation and exploitation.

(4) The African state is a desperate one that makes no discrimination between its real and imaginary enemies in times of crisis.

The third essay is by Okere Steve Nwosu published in 1998. It entails the following six axioms: (106)

(1) State creation in Nigeria was construed to be a strong move to address the structural imbalances of the federal system.

(2) Economic resource competition explains how the national question in Nigeria is brought about by sequences of intergroup contacts.

(3) The inequality between states of the federation and between urban and rural areas gives the Nigerian state its distinctive texture, not just the differences in the income earned by various individuals, not the huge differentials existing between occupations, and not that between different sectors of the economy.

(4) The extent to which the state is able to ensure the social order for production and distribution depends on the extent of harmonious and acceptable boundaries.

(5) No attempt was made to reconstruct the neo-colonial state and provide governance and economic structures that served all Nigerians; instead, the political and economic established by the colonial government to exploit the rural agricultural sectors for the benefits of urbanites were retained after independence.

(6) State creation was a definite response to the effects of the politics of pluralism in the same manner as boundary adjustment attempted to redress the attendant administrative problems.

The fourth essay is by Mueni wa Muiu published in 2002. And as noted earlier, it is the only JTWS essay that proposes a full-fledged paradigm of the African state. It offers the following 29 axioms: (107)

(1) The African state has been shaped to meet Western interests, which have been consistent throughout history: access to cheap labor and control of the economy, markets and raw materials.

(2) If it is accepted that the Japanese state reflects Japanese values, the American state American values, or the French state French values, then the African state must reflect African values.

(3) In order to meet the specific priorities and needs of Africans, the state must be reconfigured by retaining its positive (and adequately functioning) elements and by incorporating the still functional remnants of indigenous African institutions.

(4) Some states, such as the Oyo kingdom, relied heavily on tribute from neighboring states; when the tributes ceased, as happened in the 1830s, the state collapsed.

(5) Nation-building and state-building in Africa involved first the transfer of political power to the state, followed by the devolution of power to the regions and from regions to the districts.

(6) Some indigenous states lacked detailed knowledge both of their surroundings and foreign counterparts.

(7) The state lost its autonomy because long-distance export trade replaced inter-African trade.

(8) Ignorance and witchcraft became the order of the day as African states were shut off from developments in other countries.

(9) The African state became the easy prey for European conquest in the 19th Century, as the structure of economic exchange between African states and European ones did not end with the abolition of slavery.

(10) As a result of slavery, new social structures developed which affected the state; slavery resulted in the emergence of new states; and since slavery was taking place in costal areas and urban centers, the rural sector stagnated falling into backwardness and moral decay.

(11) The colonial state was all powerful, and its power was not absolute, but also arbitrary.

(12) The colonial state's priority was economic production to service its needs, resulting in lopsided development.

(13) The colonial state relied on raw power and violence to achieve its objectives.

(14) The colonial state was generally based on centralized power and authority: thus, Africans did not develop an affinity for the new institutions, since these were used to oppress them.

(15) The colonial state lacked three essential attributes which are to be found in modern states, namely: sovereignty, national foundation, and autonomy.

(16) "Independence" basically comes down to a mere Africanization of colonial institutions, leaving intact the basic structure of the colonial state.

(17) The elite maintained centralized states in which powers are vested in the executive with no tradition of party government or opposition.

(18) The state's legitimacy was under attack as it faced economic crisis.

(19) The colonial state was violent and brutal, while the postcolonial state is equally brutal.

(20) Various reasons (notably an excessive population) were given as African states' failure to develop.

(21) In an effort to open the state further to foreign exploitation, and to "save" its economies, the World Bank/IMF introduced structural adjustment programs which were, inter alia, aimed at reducing the size and power of the state.

(22) Like its predecessor the colonial state, the post-colonial state was externally determined.

(23) The crisis facing the African state arises from both the economy as well as the institutions.

(24) The post-colonial state aggravated the adverse conditions facing Africans in various ways: rulers who attempted to transform their states were systematically and ruthlessly eliminated, leaders exposed African state to further Western exploitation through the Africanization of colonial institutions, and leaders supported by the West monopolize the state and extract resources from it as fast as possible.

(25) Fundi wa Afrika's basic premise is that Africans must reconstitute their states on the basis of their own values, priorities and needs.

(26) Every legitimate state's first priority must be to halt the progression of epidemics such as AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

(27) The African state should connect the rural areas (where the majority lives) with the urban areas on the basis of African values.

(28) There is a division various African states with different colonial experiences and traditions.

(29) Different African states must unite within a United States of Africa to create internal markets for African goods and, thus, employment.

The fifth essay is also by Muiu published in 2008. In this one, she proffers these 27 axioms. Some of these axioms are quite similar to those in the previous essay: (108)

(1) The state is a multilayered entity from grass-root organizations to the leadership.

(2) Once colonial companies began their operations, they set up trading posts, which later were protected by the state as its "interests."

(3) The state's economic base, which became export-oriented during slavery, remained so under colonialism.

(4) The colonial state was all-powerful, and its power was not only absolute, but also arbitrary.

(5) Raw power was the main goal, and democracy was alien to the colonial state.

(6) During colonialism, the African state's role in the society also changed; it no longer served its subjects' interests, instead it became a dominating force.

(7) The colonial state lacked three essential attributes, which are to be found in any modern state, namely sovereignty, nation, and external autonomy.

(8) The colonial states were not nations because their borders that brought diverse groups together without respecting their culture and history.

(9) The ethnic groups brought together were not loyal to the state; instead they thought along clan and ethnic lines.

(10) Liberation movements ignored indigenous African institutions as a basis for restructuring the African state.

(11) The African states' development was either Western capitalism-liberalism or Soviet-style socialism.

(12) The African colonial state was essentially a foreign construct which could not possibly take root on African soil.

(13) The colonial state was generally based on centralized authority, as strong governments were encouraged so as to attract and protect foreign investment.

(14) The state that developed during colonialism reflected neither Western values, not African ones.

(15) African states were not allowed to industrialize by their former colonizers because they would not only displace established exporters but also close markets for manufactured goods.

(16) The whole process of "independence" comes down to a mere Africanization of colonial institutions, leaving intact the basic structure of the colonial state.

(17) The African politico-bureaucratic elite, much like its colonial predecessor, maintained centralized states in which powers are vested in the executive without a tradition of multiparty opposition.

(18) Instead of uniting diverse ethnic and social groups in nation-building, the post-colonial state relied on national rhetoric to protect itself from the majority of the people.

(19) The state's legitimacy was under attack as it faced economic crisis.

(20) The colonial state was a brutal and violent state; the postcolonial state is equally brutal and violent, but in a more subtle and manipulative way.

(21) Various reasons, notably an excessive population, were given as the African states' failure to develop.

(22) In an effort to open the African state further to foreign exploitation, and to "save" its economies, the World Bank and IMF introduced structural adjustment programs.

(23) The debt crisis facing African economies provided the fast opportunity for international financial institutions to meddle into African states' affairs.

(24) Development as advocated by the World Bank/IMF means more foreign agencies meddling in African states' affairs and controlling their economies.

(25) Like its predecessor, the colonial state, the post-colonial state was externally determined.

(26) Since the West chose or supported most of the leaders, they did their best to appropriate the state and steal from it as fast as possible.

(27) Unless the state is reconstituted, African countries will continue to be both exploited and marginalized in a capitalist economy which continues to dehumanize Africans under the veil of "civilization."

The sixth essay is by George Klay Kieh, Jr. published in 2009. As mentioned earlier, he provides the largest number of axioms, 43: (109)

(1) The neo-colonial state in Africa has failed to address and meet the needs of the preponderant majority of the peoples of Africa.

(2) The members of the various ruling classes in Africa, their families, friends and supporters have all of the material comforts of life courtesy of the neo-colonial state.

(3) The neo-colonial state in Africa has generated multidimensional crises of underdevelopment--cultural. economic, political, security, religious, etc.--across the continent.

(4) Despite the failure of the neo-colonial state and its resultant irrelevance to the lives of the vast majority of the African peoples, the state remains epicentral to the establishment of holistic democracy, peace and stability in Africa.

(5) Africa needs a democratically reconstituted state that would be relevant to the lives of the vast majority of Africans.

(6) The sine qua non for making the state relevant is the deconstruction, rethinking and reconstruction of the neocolonial construct.

(7) The next step would be to conceptualize and design the core of a new state construct: nature, character and mission.

(8) The reconstruction process would entail the redesigning of the various spheres of the state: cultural, environmental, economic, political, religious, security, social and gender relations.

(9) The success of the state reconstitution process would depend on democratic leadership.

(10) Fundamentally, the post-colonial state in Africa is a colonial construct fashioned based on the interests and agendas of the European colonial and imperial powers.

(11) The mission of the neo-colonial state is twofold: the custodians create an enabling environment in which barons of international finance capital can privately accumulate wealth and repatriate it back to the metropole, and the neo-colonial state enables state managers and other members of the compradorial classes and their surrogates and relatives to accumulate capital by plundering and pillaging the public coffers.

(12) The neo-colonial state has a multidimensional character that has variously been identified as "prebendal," "rentier," "predatory," "criminalized," "privatized," "violent," "repressive," "absolutists," "negligent," "neo-patrimonial," and "vampirish."

(13) At the broad national level, the state and its custodians must seek to forge and promote the bonds of nationhood among disparate sectors of the society.

(14) To promote ethnic pluralism and multi-ethnic societies, the state must provide a conducive atmosphere in which the members of various ethnic groups can practice their respective sub-cultures while being respectful of those of other ethnic groups.

(15) To promote ethnic pluralism and peaceful coexistence, the state should develop various mechanisms for helping to ensure the inclusion of all groups and equal access to state resources and opportunities.

(16) At the base of making the state in Africa relevant must be the transformation of the peripheral capitalist economy and its attendant structures and dynamics.

(17) The reconstituted state should have a diversified economy: agriculture, industrial, manufacturing and service sectors.

(18) The reconstituted state must be a developmental one; operationally, it must play a major role in the formulation and implementation of economic policies and activities.

(19) The state should play a pivotal role in the development of a local patriotic and nationalistic business class that would be engaged in helping to create jobs and contribute to the national revenue base.

(20) The state must be a "protective state": i.e. one that protects its citizens by creating the conditions for domestic capital formation.

(21) The state must protect workers from violent exploitation such as starvation wages and horrendous working conditions.

(22) The state needs to develop and implement various poverty reduction programs such as economic empowerment through micro-loan programs; the loans could be used to establish farms or other kinds of businesses.

(23) The state does not only need to help create jobs, but it must ensure that there are good paying jobs.

(24) Central to making the state economically relevant is the important of combating corruption.

(25) Economic relevance also entails that the state must guide against the deleterious effects of neo-liberal orthodoxy such as the notorious "Structural Adjustment Programs" (SAPs) of the Bretton Woods Institutions--the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

(26) The relevant state can design its own management modalities, including the imposition of fiscal responsibility in the public sector.

(27) If the state has to contract external loans, these loans must be designed to invest in either revenue generating activities or projects such as schools that would benefit the state and its citizens.

(28) Without a healthy environment, the survival of the state itself will be in peril.

(29) The relevant state must respect and protect human rights of all its citizens both as individuals and groups: the freedoms of association, of the press, of speech, etc.

(30) The business of the state must be conducted in a transparent manner.

(31) The existence of a vibrant civil society is critical to the political relevance of the state.

(32) Depending on the particular circumstances of each state, an arrangement should be developed between the central and local governments for the devolution of power, irrespective of what system of state exists--federal or unitary.

(33) The state relevance process cannot ignore the importance of the role of the traditional political systems in the national governance structures of the state.

(34) The reconstituted African state has the responsibility to protect its citizens and their properties from violence and harm.

(35) The state's responsibility includes the protection of its citizen s from the excesses of state security functionaries--police, etc.

(36) The state has an obligation to provide a peaceful and stable environment in which its citizens can undertake and pursue their legitimate interests and agendas.

(37) In a relevant African state, there must be civilian supremacy over the military and security establishments; this must be enshrined in the constitution.

(38) A relevant African state must invest in public education at all levels--primary to tertiary.

(39) in a reconstituted African state, all of the citizens should have access to health care, irrespective of their various class positions.

(40) The state should invest in providing safe drinking water for all of its citizens whether they live in the urban or rural areas.

(41) The provision of decent public housing to especially the low-income and poor sections of the population is a major litmus test of the social relevance of a reconstituted African state.

(42) The reconstituted African state must be secular, albeit all religions should have the right to exist and to practice their faiths, as long as there is mutual respect and commitment to peaceful coexistence among all of the religious groups.

(43) The reconstituted African state must be gender relevant, by transcending the narrow confines of male chauvinism, which has dominated every facet of life in Africa.

The seventh essay is by Osarhieme Benson Osadolor published in spring 2010. It encompasses the following 21 axioms: (110)

(1) The lack of federalism in the Nigerian state has become a factor for the continuous political crisis.

(2) The military factor has led to the over-centralization and authoritarianism of the federal system.

(3) The unresolved national question has created the problem of citizenship contestations with identifiable lack of political will and commitment to the right sequencing of political and constitutional reforms.

(4) The practice of federalism in Nigeria from 1954 to January 1966 conformed to the theory and principle of federal states and societies.

(5) The wartime influences undermined the idea of the federal state, as the wartime quasi-federalism was preeminently the most decisive reason for the failure of the federal experiment to take roots in Nigeria.

(6) During the phase of decolonization and independence, a formal federal state was established with the adoption of a federal constitution in 1954.

(7) The military regime of Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon involved the public in discussing the federal issue as a means of furthering the preservation of the Nigerian nation-state.

(8) A unitary state was unsuited to the peculiar problems of the nation considering the diversity of cultural background, outlook, experience, and education of the Nigerian peoples.

(9) The massacres of June 1966 were tragic events that sought to undermine the nation-state project, but the Gowon administration ruled out a complete break-up of the country and suggested three possible constitutions that would enable Nigeria to remain as one nation: a federation with a strong central government, a federation with a weak central government, or a confederation with no central government.

(10) The position of the regions on the form and unit of association differed considerable and was more complicated than the issue of state creation.

(11) On the composition of the central authority, the regions also differed on the degree of participation of the member-states in the decision of the federal government.

(12) The question of creating more states was seen as a precondition for political stability, and freedom from fear of domination by any one region.

(13) The crucial factor of "serious national emergency" was given as the main reason for the creation of new states by decree.

(14) Because the states were created to counter the secessionist move by the Eastern region and to avoid the disintegration of the existing regions into conditions of chaos and civil war, the centralist ideas and strategies of the military rather than the universal standards of federalism played a crucial role in averting disintegration and state collapse.

(15) Since the act of creation of new states did not follow the due constitutional process, the states no longer existed as of their own rights in the federation and the appointment of military, governors for the states strengthened the center at the expense of the states.

(16) In the new federal structure, the pattern of intergovernmental relations that emerged was that of assumed separated authority between the federal government and the new states in the management of local government.

(17) In different parts of the country, the general trend of quick development as the basis of efficient administration became the preoccupation of some of the new states, except for the secessionist state of Biafra.

(18) The general trend among some of the six southern states was the replacement of local government by development administration.

(19) The takeover by the state governments of some of the functions that previously earned revenue for local governments raised questions of funding for local administration.

(20) Federalism in Nigeria in which constituent states do not have their own constitutions defining their visions and objectives makes a mockery of development goals and of their governments and the rule of law.

(21) Nigeria's failure to undergo a process of constitutional reforms, and the failed political and economic transformation of the society, are two fundamental issues of recently intensified debates of the Nigerian state.

The final essay is by Pade Badru. He suggests 20 axioms: (111)

(1) One indicator of the crisis of the failure of the state in most parts of Africa is that authoritarian rule became the norm.

(2) The history of state formation in Africa has been a very difficult history in comparison to other states in other developing countries of the Third World,

(3) Africa's neo-colonial states were conveniently put together to further European metropolitan economic interests.

(4) The fragmented nature of these states created the conditions for abuse by local elite and their metropolitan bosses.

(5) The failure of the majority of states in Africa represents a classic example of how European colonization fostered and exploited ethnicity in Africa with dire consequences for state formation.

(6) The issue of ethnicity has been the biggest impediment to state formation.

(7) British colonialism in Nigeria, and elsewhere in West Africa, produced similar consequences in terms of the destruction of local conditions that might have supported authentic state formation.

(8) The perception of ethnic domination by minority groups may help explain why the political landscape has been, and continues to be, susceptible to constant state instability.

(9) By 1914, in response to the constant violation of colonial boundaries by French bandits and outlaws, and also in response to increasing opposition to colonial exploitation by local chiefs, the British merged the three protectorates and declared a new nation that was to be known today as Nigeria.

(10) The creation of Nigeria was merely for administrative convenience of the British imperial state.

(11) For nearly 100 years of colonial role, no attempt was made by the British at creating a nation out of the several nationalities: instead, the British overlords used ethnicity as a weapon to sustain its own rule.

(12) The national elite who took over the running of the state after independence have very little idea of what the enormous task of nation-building was all about.

(13) By consolidating the power of the civil commissioners, General Gowon was able to temporarily displace the economic power of the merchant class and, in the process, strengthened the power of state bureaucrats and senior civil servants.

(14) During the duration of the war, the national bourgeoisie consolidated their grip over state power.

(15) By the end of the civil war, attempts at creating a democratic state were fraught with military interventions and the instability of the post-colonial state.

(16) In both Rwanda and Burundi, the problem of ethnicity has been the most destabilizing factor of state formation.

(17) By the end of World War II, the status of Rwanda-Burundi changed from being a mandated state of Belgium to a trust territory of the United Nations and, within a year, Belgium was requested to prepare the territory for self-rule.

(18) Unable to sidetrack the United Nations' authority, the Belgian imperial state was forced to grant limited independence with the hope that the Watusi monarchy would be a stabilizing force in post-independence Rwanda-Burundi.

(19) One crucial element of the African crisis is the role of former colonial powers and their American ally continue to play in destabilizing the new states in modern Africa.

(20) With widespread poverty, famine and disease embroiling the majority of African states, the talk of political modernization seems like an empty talk.

In light of the preponderance of the chaotic nature of the African state compared to an orderly one in the preceding axioms, one would expect a power law for the topic entries of the presuppositions of the two-dimensional relationship. This proposition is tested in the data analysis that follows.


Before engaging in the fractal analysis of the data generated from the JTWS texts trader study, I begin with a discussion of the descriptive/univariate statistics that were employed to analyze the data first. Before using the MATHLAB mathematical computer software to compute the relevant statistics. a two-dimensional ad hoc classificatory system was developed within which the data were categorized. The first of these categories entails the presuppositions of order: that is, presuppositions that suggest a condition of logical or comprehensible arrangement among the separate elements of a group. This type of presupposition is triggered by presuppositional discourse stretches such as "Prior to the arrival of European colonizers to Africa, it is now believed that there existed three forms of political organization on the continent," "Regional cooperation could allow West African countries, for example, to develop the type of local markets that would allow them to develop local manufacturing industries," and "many African societies regard large families as an asset in economic development." (112) The second category encompasses presuppositions of disorder: that is, presuppositions that suggest a condition or place of confusion, mess, disturbance, disarray, or muddle. This type of presupposition is triggered by presuppositional discourse stretches such as "The political structure in the colony so created was autocratic and lacked any resemblance to democratic pluralism," "Many colonialists made no effort to develop properly functioning democratic institutions in their African colonies," and "In some states, such as Chad, continuous civil strife has increased the problem of political legitimacy and has left the economy with no government apparatus per se." (113)

After the data were computed for the univariate statistics, they were then plotted for oscillations between disorderly and order at the scale of the texts studied. This technique made it possible to show visually the attractor reconstruction for the texts.

As shown in Table 1, a total of 1,621 topic entries were teased out of the JTWS texts. Of these, I categorized 502 or 31 percent as presuppositions of order and 1,119 or 69 percent as presuppositions of disorder. The mean for the order category is 62.75 presuppositions, with a standard deviation of 33.45 presuppositions; the mean for the disorder category is 139.88 presuppositions, with a standard deviation of 43.21. This means that there are significantly more topic entries for presuppositions of disorder than there are of those for order. Moreover, there are significant variations among the texts for each category in terms of topic entries.

As can be seen from Figure 1, the log-log plot (or log-log graph) was employed to represent the observed units described by the two-dimensional variable encompassing disorder (x) and order (y) as scatter plot/graph. The two axes display the logarithm of values of the two dimensions, not the values themselves. If the relationship between x and y is described by a power law,

y = [x.sup.a];

then the (x, y) points on the log-log plot form a line with the slope equal to a. Log-log plots are widely used to represent data that are expected to be scale-invariant or fractal because, as stated before, fractal data usually follow a power law.

A logarithm is an exponent. It is illustrated in the following definition:

For b > 0, b [not equal to] 1 and for x > 0,

y = [log.sub.b] x if and only if b' = x

Thus, since a logarithm is an exponent, it is easy to use exponent laws to establish mathematical generalizations.

Figure 1 illustrates the fractal dimension of the two-dimensionality of the variable. The disorder-order log-log plot never reached more than halfway across the spectrum; it typically moves between 1 and 1.5. The statistics also reveal that the relationship between the two dimensions is not statistically significant at the 0.05 level. In sum, the JTWS texts move halfway across the spectrum of disorder and order--they typically move from periodic fractal, rather than stretching all the way to pure disorder. In sum, the African state is not as chaotic as we may think.



The data gleaned from the relevant JTWS texts on the African state made it possible to explore fractal patterns embedded in two dimensions: (1) order and (2) disorder. The substantive findings, as stated earlier, reveal that the texts move halfway across the disorder-order spectrum--they typically move from periodic fractal, rather than stretching all the way to pure disorder. In essence, the African state is not as disorderly as we may perceive it to be.

These findings seem to confirm Ron Eglash's central thesis that African fractal geometry cannot be seen as comprising a singular body of knowledge, but rather a pattern of resemblance that can be seen when a variety of African mathematical ideas and practices is described. (114) Indeed it is not the only pattern possible. Thus, it makes sense to see African fractals as just another moment in a historical sequence.

Thus, Africa, which encompasses the largest number of developing countries, is an important force for global development and peace. Africans face fresh opportunities. I therefore recommend that Africans on the continent and in the Diaspora pursue objectives for building a vibrant and lasting Pan-African state based on African cultural values that are well spelled out by Muiu and a number of other scholars discussed in this essay.

Africa, the home of humans, has a long history, abundant natural resources and huge potential for development. After many years of struggle, Africans freed themselves from slavery and colonial rule, wiped out apartheid, won independence and emancipation, thereby making progress of humanity. Africans still face many challenges on their way towards development. With persistent efforts by Africans, they will surely overcome the difficulties and achieve rejuvenation in this new century.

Africans must realize that they exist in a world in which political and economic strength counts, where might is right, and not one which simply operates on morality. For Africans to be heard and make positive impact, they must seriously consider the conditions or structures that can sustain economic and political growth. This means that they must build a stable and secure community. The challenge to the various governments and peoples of Africa is to build a Pan-African state that is noticed for its strengths and not for its misery and weakness. This call for a Pan-African community that is economically integrated, financially stable, and politically united.


(1.) Abdul Karim Bangura. "The African State: An Ubuntu/Communal Paradigm." In Ishmael Munene (ed.). Primer on African Studies. (Lanham, MD: Lexington Press, 2011).

(2.) Mueni wa Muiu. "Fundi wa Afrika: Toward a New Paradigm of the African State," Journal of Third World Studies vol. xix, no. 2, 2002, pp. 23-42.

(3.) George Ayittey. Africa in Chaos. (New York, NY: St. Martin's Press, 1999); South Africa Department of Foreign Affairs. Conference on Security, Stability, Development and Cooperation In Africa (CSSDCA). (Pretoria, Republic of South Africa: SADFA publication, 2003). Accessed on March 05, 2011 from

(4.) John Mukum Mbaku. "The State and Economic Growth and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa." Journal of Third World Studies vol. iv, no. 1, 1987, pp. 49-68.

(5.) Pade Badru, Pade. "Ethnic Conflict and State Formation in Post-colonial Africa: A Comparative Study of Ethnic Genocide in the Congo, Liberia, Nigeria, and Rwanda-Burundi." Journal of Third World Studies vol. xxvii, no. 2, 2010, pp. 149-169.

(6.) Costa Hofisi. "The African State and Development in Perspective." The African Accessed on December 3, 2008 from 914

(7.) Douglas Harper. "State." Online Etymology Dictionary. February 26, 2007. Accessed on January 18, 2008 from http://dictionary.reference .com/broiwse/state

(8.) Quentin Skinner. "The State." In T. Ball et al. (eds.). Political Innovation and Conceptual Change. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1989), pp. 90-131.

(9.) Najam Mushtaq. "Kenya Parliament May Soon Consider New Abortion Rights Law." Inter Press Service. September 17, 2008. Accessed on December 8, 2008 from 43896

(10.) Robert H. Jackson and Carl G. Rosberg. "Why Africa's Weak States Persist: The Empirical and the Juridical in Statehood." World Politics vol. 35, no. 1, 1982, pp. 1-24.

(11.) Norberto Bobbio. Democracy and Dictatorship: The Nature and Limits of State Power. (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1989).

(12.) David Easton. The Analysis of Political Structure. (New York, NY: Routledge, 1990).

(13.) Colin Flint and Peter Taylor. Political Geography: World Economy, Nation-State, and Locality, 5th ed. (Harlow, England: Pearson/Prentice-Hall, 2007).

(14.) Leslie Skalire. "Globalization and Class." In Timothy Sinclair (ed.). Global Governance: Critical Concepts in Political Science. (New York, NY: Taylor & Francis, 2004).

(15.) Leslie Rubin and Brian Weinstein. 1974. Introduction to African Politics: A Continental Approach 2nd ed. (New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1974), pp. 50-51.

(16.) Ibid., 51.

(17.) Ibid.

(18.) Max Weber. "The Profession and Vocation of Politics." In Political Writings (edited by Peter Lassman). (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1994).

(19.) Thomas M. Callaghy. The State-Society Struggle: Zaire in Comparative Perspective. (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1984).

(20.) Oladimeji Aborisade and Robert J. Mundt. Politics in Nigeria. (Boston, MA: Pearson Education, 2001; initially published in 1998 by Longman, an imprint of Addison Wesley Longman).

(21.) Ralph Miliband. Class Power and State Power. (London, UK: Verso, 1983).

(22.) Kwame Nkrumah. Class Struggle in Africa. (New York, NY: International Publishers Co. Inc, 1970), pp. 11-12.

(23.) Ibid, p. 26.

(24.) Ibid., p. 12.

(25.) Nicos Poulantzas. State. Power, Socialism. (London, UK: New Left Review, 1978).

(26.) Bernard Magubane. "The Evolution of the Class Structure in Africa, In P. W. C. Gutkind and I Wallerstein, eds. (The Political Economy of Contemporary Africa. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications, 1976).

(27.) Ibid., p. 27.

(28.) Michael (Mikhail) Bakunin. Bakunin: Statism and Anarchy (edited by Marshall Shatz). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1991); Pyotr (Peter) Kropotkin. 1896. "Anarchism: Its Philosophical Ideal" (pamphlet, 1896). Accessed on December 12, 2008 from; Pyotr (Peter) Kropotkin. 1897. "The State and Its Historic Role" (pamphlet, 1987). Accessed on December 12, 2008 from kropotkin/186.eng.htm/Murray Newton Rothbard. "Society without the State." Libertarian Forum 7, 1, 1975.

(29.) Alex Tabarrok. "Somalia and the Theory of Anarchy." Marginal Revolution, April 4, 2004. Accessed on December 15, 2008 from

(30.) Ibid.

(31.) Robert Dahl. Modern Political Analysis. (Upper Saddle River, N J: Prentice Hall, 1973).

(32.) Leo Kuper and M. G. Smith, eds. Pluralism in Africa. (Los Angeles. CA: University of California Press, 1969).

(33.) Ibid.

(34.) Theda Skocpol et al. (eds.) Bringing the State Back In. (Cambridge. UK: Cambridge University Press, 1985).

(35.) Ali Alamin Mazrui. 1995. "The African State as a Political Refugee." In D. R. Smock and C. A. Crocker, eds.) African Conflict Resolution: The U.S. Role in Peacemaking. (Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press, 1995), p. 9.

(36.) Ibid.

(37.) Ibid., pp. 9-10.

(38.) Ibid., p. 11.

(39.) Thandika Mkandawire. "Thinking about Developmental States in Africa." Cambridge Journal of Economics vol. 25, 2001, pp. 289-314.

(40.) Ibid. pp. 289-290.

(41.) Ibid., p. 290.

(42.) Ibid., p. 291.

(43.) Willy Mutunga. "Memo to the International Human Rights Movement on the Murder of Father John Kaiser on the Night of August 24, 2000." Africa Policy E-Jaournal, 2000. Accessed on December 15, 2008 from; Willy Mutunga. 1999. Constitution-Making from the Middle: Civil Society and Transition Politics in Kenya, 1992-1997. (Nairobi, Kenya: Sareat & Mwengo, 1999).

(44.) Ibid.

(45.) Ibid.

(46.) Ibid.

(47.) Ibid.

(48.) (Mwalimu) Julius K. Nyerere. "African Socialism: Ujamaa in Practice." In R. Chrisman and N. Hare, eds. Contemporary Black Thought. (Indianapolis, IN and New York, NY: The Bobbs-Merrill Co, Inc./MacMillan Press, 1989).

(49.) Ibid., p. 212.

(50.) Ibid., p. 213.

(51.) Ibid., pp. 213-214.

(52.) Ibid., p. 214.

(53.) Ibid., p. 217.

(54.) Ibid., pp. 217-218.

(55.) Adebayo Olukoshi. "Towards the Restoration of a Social State in Africa." Keynote Address given at the Globalization and Sub-Saharan Africa: International Experts' Meeting, European Parliament, Brussels, April 15-16, 2004, p. 1.

(56.) Ibid., pp. 1-2.

(57.) Ibid., p, 3.

(58.) Ibid., pp. 5-6.

(59.) Mueni wa Muiu. "Fundi wa Afrika: Toward a New Paradigm of the African State," p. 23.

(60.) Ibid., p. 23.

(61.) Ibid.

(62.) Ibid., p. 38.

(63.) Abdul Karim Bangura and Erin McCandless. Peace Research for Africa: Critical Essays on Methodology. (Geneva, Switzerland: UN University for Peace Press, 2007), p. 136.

(64.) Clyde Ahmad Winters. "The Afrocentric Historical and Linguistic Methods." The Western Journal of Black Studies vol. 22, 1998.

(65.) G. Mokhtar. Ancient Civilizations of Africa. (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1990).

(66.) Ibid., p. 55.

(67.) Clyde Ahmad Winters. "The Afrocentric Historical and Linguistic Methods."

(68.) Ibid.

(69.) Ibid.

(70.) Ibid.

(71.) Ibid.

(72.) Ibid.

(73.) Ibid.

(74.) Dani W. Nabudere. "Towards the Establishment of a Pan-African University: A Strategic Concept Paper." African Journal of Political Science vol. 8, no. 1, 2003, pp. 1-30.

(75.) Ibid.

(76.) Ibid., p. 13.

(77.) Isaac Mazonde and Pradip Thomas, eds. Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Intellectual Property in the Twenty-First Century: Perspectives from Southern Africa. (Dakar, Senegal: Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa [CODESRIA] Publications, 2007).

(78.) Dani W. Nabudere. "Towards the Establishment of a Pan-African University: A Strategic Concept Paper," passim; Clyde Ahmad Winters. "The Afrocentric Historical and Linguistic Methods;" Abdul Karim Bangura. African Peace Paradigms. (Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, 2009); Abdul Karim Bangura. "Ubuntugogy: An African Educational Paradigm that Transcends Pedagogy, Andragogy, Ergonagy, and Heutagogy." Journal of Third World Studies vol. xxii, no. 2, 2005, pp. 13-53.

(79.) Nabudere, "Towards the Establishment of a Pan-African University: A Strategic Concept Paper," p. 8.

(80.) Ibid.

(81.) Gillian Brown and George Yule. Discourse Analysis. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1983), p. 6.

(82.) Gottlob Frege. "On Sense and Reference." In P. T. Geach and M. Black. Translations from the Philosophic Writings of Gottlob Frege. (Oxford, England: Blackwell, 1892/1952); Peter F. Strawson. Introduction to Logical Theory. (London, England: Methuen, 1952).

(83.) Stephen Levinson. Pragmatics. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1983), p. 185.

(84.) Herbert Paul Grice. "Logic and Conversation." In P. Cole, ed. Syntax and Semantics: vol. 3: Speech Acts. (New York, NY: Academic Press, 1975).

(85.) Roger W. Shuy. "Topic as the Unit of Analysis in a Criminal Law Case." In D. Tannen, ed. Analyzing Discourse: Text and Talk. (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 1982).

(86.) Wallace L. Chafe. "Discourse Structure and Human Knowledge." In R. O. Freedle and J. B. Carroll, eds. Language Comprehension and the Acquisition of Knowledge. (Washington, DC: V. H. Winston, 1972).

(87.) Carol A. Kates. Pragmatics and Semantics: An Empiricist Theory. (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1980).

(88.) Abdul Karim Bangura. Chaos Theory and African Fractals. (Washington, DC: The African Institution, 2000), p. 6.

(89.) Philip J. Davis. Spirals: From Thoedorus to Chaos. (Wellesley, MA: A. K. Peters, 1993), p. 22.

(90.) Lynn A. Steen, ed. Introduction to Contemporary Mathematics. (New York, NY: W. H. Freeman and Company, 1988), p. 409.

(91.) Ibid., p. 420.

(92.) Keith Weeks quoted in Istvan Hargittai and Cliff A. Pickover, eds. Spiral Symmetry. (Singapore, Malaysia: World Scientific Publishing Company, 1992), p. 107.

(93.) Abdul Karim Bangura. Chaos Theory and African Fractals, p. 7.

(94.) Clifford Brown and Larry Liebovitch. Fractal Analysis. (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2010), p. ix.

(95.) Ibid.

(96.) Ibid., p. 1.

(97.) Ibid., pp. 2-3.

(98.) Ibid., p. 3.

(99.) Ibid., p. 5.

(100.) Ibid.

(101.) Ibid, p. 15.

(102.) John Mukum Mbaku. "The State and Economic Growth and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa."

(103.) George Klay Kieh, Jr., "Reconstituting the Neo-colonial State in Africa." Journal of Third World Studies vol. xxvi, no. 1,2009, pp. 41-55.

(104.) John Mukum Mbaku. "The State and Economic Growth and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa."

(105.) Julius Omozuanubo Ihonvbere. "The State and Academic Freedom in Africa: How African Academics Subvert Academic Freedom." Journal of Third World Studies vol. x, no. 2, 1993, pp. 36-73.

(106.) Okere Steve Nwosu. "The National Question: Issues and Lessons of Boundary Adjustment--The Ndoki Case." Journal of Third World Studies vol. xv, no. 2, 1998, pp. 79-101.

(107.) Mueni wa Muiu. "Fundi wa Afrika: Toward a New Paradigm of the African State."

(108.) Mueni wa Muiu. ""Civilization" on Trial: The Colonial and Postcolonial State in Africa." Journal of Third World Studies vol. xxv. no. 1, 2008, pp. 73-93.

(109.) George Klay Kieh, Jr., "Reconstituting the Neo-colonial State in Africa."

(110.) Osarhieme Benson Osadolor. "Origins of the Central Dilemma in Nigeria's Federal System: The Wartime Quasi-federalism, 1967-1970." Journal of Third World Studies vol. xxvii, no. 1, 2010, pp. 193-213.

(111.) Pade Badru, Pade. "Ethnic Conflict and State Formation in Postcolonial Africa: A Comparative Study of Ethnic Genocide in the Congo, Liberia, Nigeria, and Rwanda-Burundi."

(112.) John Mukum Mbaku. "The State and Economic Growth and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa."

(113.) Ibid.

(114.) Ron Eglash, Ron. African Fractals: Modern Computing and Indigenous Design. (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1999).

By Abdul Karim Bangura *

* Abdul Karim Bangura is Professor of Research Methodology and Political Science at Howard University, Washington, DC.
Table 1: Univariate Statistics by Type of Presupposition

Author                 Number of Topic Entries     Number of Topic
                                 for                 Entries for
                       Presuppositions of Order   Presuppositions of

Mbaku 1987                       134                     181
Ihonvbere 1993                    41                     146
Nwosu 1998                        70                     133
Muiu 2002                         50                     121
Muiu 2008                         22                     164
Kieh Jr., 2009                    52                      55
Osadolor, 2010                    55                     125
Badru 2010                        78                     194
Total: 1,621 or 100%         502 or 31%             1,119 or 69%
Mean                            62.75                   139.88
Standard Deviation              33.45                   43.21
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Title Annotation:p. 42-64
Author:Bangura, Abdul Karim
Publication:Journal of Third World Studies
Article Type:Critical essay
Geographic Code:60AFR
Date:Sep 22, 2012
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