President Akufo-Addo’s Warning: Don’t Be Autocratic And Fix The Economy To Avoid Coups

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Africa Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies (ACSIS), Paul Coonley Boateng, has questioned the recent statement made by Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo that a coup is not a solution to Africa’s problems. Boateng explained that the President should have been bold enough to address this issue to his fellow African leaders rather than making a statement to the international community.

Boateng’s remarks were made during an interview on NEAT FM’s morning show, “Ghana Montie.” He asked what the President, who is also the ECOWAS Chairman, had done to address this issue in West Africa. He emphasized that it is not about sending a strong warning, but about making the people happy by practicing democracy and not making things too rigid and autocratic.


President Akufo-Addo had urged the international community to send a clear message to coup plotters that coups have never been, and will never be, durable solutions to Africa’s political, economic, and security challenges. He added that statements condemning coups alone without corresponding action will achieve little or nothing, as witnessed in recent times.

During a keynote address at a side event organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, in Munich, Germany, on Friday (17 February 2023), the President stated that “there are those who still hanker after authoritarian, personal rule, because they claim Africa is underdeveloped and democracy is cumbersome, and we need to get things done in a hurry.”

Quoting from the 2019 Annual Risk of Coup Report, he indicated that Africa has experienced more coup d’états than any other continent, which, he said, is “an unsavoury statistic.” Citing the case of Ghana, the President noted that political instability described much of the early decades of the nation’s life as an independent nation, and Ghana became notorious for sampling every and any type of political experiment.


However, Boateng suggests that President Akufo-Addo’s father’s overthrow was a result of bad leadership. He noted that with every coup, the military has their reason for any government overthrow. If citizens are fed up with bad governance and call on the military to save the situation, they will have no option but to listen to the masses. Thus, if one does not want a coup, it is essential to practice democracy and not make things too rigid and autocratic.

In conclusion, the stance of President Akufo-Addo that a coup is not a solution to Africa’s problems raises important questions. While statements condemning coups may be necessary, effective action, such as practicing democracy and good governance, is equally crucial to address the underlying issues.

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