Enthroning Responsible Governance: An Appeal from Adam Smith and Traditional African Morality

A. Agbude Godwyns, M. Itodo Sylvanus, Samuel Oni, Jide Ibietan


The African societies have been tagged ‘under developing’ or ‘not developing’; and this is obvious in the fact that the African postcolonial states have not been able to overcome their countless problems and challenges. The central problem has always been the problem of governance. Most of our postcolonial African political leaders have been enmeshed in the crisis of self-succession; a persistent desire and craving for political power at all cost. Different ‘measures’ and ‘means’ are therefore employed to fulfill their undying passion for power, fame and wealth. These ‘means’ include assassinations, blackmailing, election rigging, starring up of ethnic violence, thuggery, rituals, corrupt practices, irresponsive and irresponsible behaviours at the level of governance. Political and social behaviours in Africa have assumed this competitiveness without recourse to moral sentiment. This paper employs secondary data analyzed through textual analysis in presenting Adam Smith’s Moral Sentiment and the Traditional African concept of Sympathetic Impartiality as bail-outs attempt at evolving humane political and social systems. It concludes that political ethics is fundamental to effective service delivery in Africa. And that Adam Smith’s Moral Sentitment and the Traditional African Concept of Sympathetic Impartiality provide a good ground for effective and responsible governance in Africa if embraced.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2015.v6n2p453

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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