International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Beyond Intractability: Ethnic Identity and Political Conflicts in Africa
Kehinde Olayode, Ph.D

The seemingly intractability of ethnicity, identity and the national question in Africa has provoked series of questions, which the paper seeks to explore, such as: Does ethnicity in itself represent an obstacle to building a viable and stable political system? How do we manage the seemingly intractable conflicts generated by ethnic identity? How can we build a unified nation for peaceful coexistence in a multi-ethnic society? The paper argues that while it is possible for ethnicity to truncate socio-political and economic development in a multi-ethnic state, the recognition of every ethnic group that they belong to a nationality and not a particular ethnic group may reduce the negative impacts of ethnicity. From evidences around Africa, the study concludes that a political project that place emphasis on national integration as well as inclusion in governance is a significant political tool to curtailing the negative impact of ethnicity in a multi-ethnic state.

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