The impact of the colonial legacy on African institutions: A case study of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP)
After Independence in Africa, vast institutions were established in order to deal with the legacy of colonialism and to encourage development in the continent. Decades later, some of these institutions are said to be ineffective due to a number of constraints – one of which is the colonial legacy which has rendered them almost dysfunctional. This study assesses the impacts of colonialism on these African institutions and uses the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) as a case study. Guided by Post-colonial theory and Institutional theory, and using Content Analysis (CA) as a tool for data analysis, this study has found that African institutions are operating under the influence of ex-colonial countries. This is evidenced by how these institutions are using European languages as their medium of communication and receive more than half of their funds from international bodies which then control their operations. This contributes to their inability to make decisions due to conflicting interests within the representatives and member states. Based on these findings, this study concludes that the colonial legacy plays a major role in delaying the development of African institutions. Therefore, this study provides recommendations or a way forward by arguing that these institutions which include the AU should tie/tighten the knots on their programmes such as the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) so as to strengthen democracy within member states. They should revive or reconsider constitutions that focus on the penalties for member states that do not pay their membership contribution as agreed and on those member states that fail to obey agreed to protocols. Lastly, this study recommends that fund-raising programmes should be established in selected member states so as to prevent financial dependency on international bodies that weaken African institutions.