African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 403

Full Length Research Paper

One-party domination, a flaw in Africa’s democracy: Comparative cases from Cameroon and South Africa

Valery Ferim    
Department of Political Science, University of Fort Hare, Private Bag X1314, Alice 5700, South Africa. 
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 08 December 2010
  •  Published: 31 October 2013


One-party domination has been firmly established as the mainstay of the political landscapes of most African countries. With a combination of both empirical and secondary data, this research set out to selectively examine the factors that contribute in entrenching the dominance of the ruling parties of Cameroon and South Africa. It also analyzed the extent to which one-party domination has contributed in thwarting good governance in these African states. This research revealed that, the dominant party in Cameroon has employed tactics spanning across corruption, nepotism, constitutional manipulations and annihilation of opposition, so as to consolidate its grip of power. In South Africa, the ruling party has largely benefited from the black majority of the population and has capitalized on racial politics, so as to secure its dominance. Amongst some recommendations made to ensure that democracy in Cameroon and South Africa works are: a separation of party from the state; the formation of inclusive governments; anti-corruption mechanisms; and respect for constitutional provisions.


Key words: One-party domination, democracy, African national congress, Cameroon people’s democratic movement.