The defeat of the Soviet Union had a positive effect on Africa, but it has not been Western liberalism that has succeeded in Africa so much as pragmatism, according to two prominent analysts.
For it is the institution of the ruling party that affirms political continuity across much of the East Africa region, even as countries in East Africa have achieved consistent and strong economic growth, according to Stratfor’s Robert D. Kaplan and Mark Schroeder:
After all, Ethiopia’s government is by no means a democratic regime; neither is Rwanda’s. Yet Ethiopia has averaged a 10 percent annual growth in GDP and Rwanda 8 percent over the past decade or so. Thus, to say that Western-style democracy has succeeded in Africa is a narrow version of the truth. More truthful is the fact that what is transpiring constitutes Asian-like pragmatism with African characteristics. Further encouraging this is the large-scale presence of the Chinese nearly everywhere in Africa, scouring for minerals, metals and hydrocarbons, and building transportation infrastructure as a consequence. For the Africans, the Chinese are, in part, symbols of economic dynamism without the stern moral lectures about democracy that they get from the West.
“Examples of Asian-like pragmatism are in evidence throughout the continent. Banished are political leaders in countries such as Mozambique and Tanzania, willing to oppose the development of vast reaches of their countries — and the economic potential therein — for the sake of internal political control,” Kaplan and Schroeder contend. “Others, such as the political leadership of Uganda and Rwanda, will embrace economic liberalism, as long as political freedoms do not challenge the ruler’s interests..”