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Working Paper 65 - Governance in Africa: The Role for Information and Communication Technologies
Amid jubilation and hope for the future, many African countries gained their political independence in the late 1950s and 1960s. They all embarked on ambitious programs of nation building. In the early years, remarkable progress was made by African countries: per capita GDP in sub-Saharan Africa grew at 2.6 per cent a year between 1965 and 1974 ; and marked improvements were recorded in social indicators such as life expectancy, mortality rates, and school enrolments. The euphoria was short lived, however, as the dreams soon faded. Multiparty states quickly became one-party states. Within a short period of time several nation states began to fall successively as leaders became despots and military coups ushered in dictators. By the 1980s, some African countries had waged or were waging bitter civil wars and civil strife was rampant.