On September 21, 2023, Guinea’s military leader, Mamady Doumbouya, stated at the UN General Assembly that a recent wave of coups demonstrated that the Western model of democracy does not work for Africa and is racist and condescending.
During the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York with other world leaders, Doumbouya said that Africa is suffering from the democracy that has been imposed on it, yet it is not sustainable for African countries, and that Africans were mature enough to design their own models of governance.
“Africa is suffering from a governance model that has been imposed on it. A model that is good and effective for the West but is difficult to adapt to our realities, our customs, and our environment. It is time to stop lecturing us and stop treating us with condescension like children,” Doumbouya stressed.
Doumbouya took over power in a coup in September 2021 from President Alpha Condè in the capital, Conakry, where the special forces commander released a broadcast on state television announcing the dissolution of the constitution and government.
Western countries such as France have been particularly concerned by the coups in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, where the military governments have moved to cut ties with their former colonial ruler and strengthen relations with Russia.
Doumbouya said that African countries were being unfairly placed into boxes and forced to take sides in an ideological battle from the Cold War era, which was not relevant to current relations.
He added that placing Africa under the influence of the Western way of doing things is an insult, contempt, and racism towards a continent of more than 1.3 billion people.
Doumbouya took power by overthrowing Alpha Conde, Guinea’s then-84-year-old president, who had changed the constitution to run for a third term, sparking widespread protests.
Doumbouya’s government proposed a two-year transition to elections in 2022 after negotiating with the regional bloc ECOWAS, but has since shown little sign of moving to organise an election.
There have been eight coups in West and Central Africa in the countries of Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, and Gabon in the last three years, all led by military officers.
These coups have been strongly condemned by the United Nations and Western powers such as the United States (US) and France, which have urged democracy to be restored as soon as possible.