International Journal of Arts and Humanities

ISSN 2360-7998

Reinventing Moral and Political Hygiene in Africa’s Governance Culture: Explorations into Aristotle’s Virtue Theory

Abstract This paper examines the crisis of governance in post-colonial Africa by tracing the problem to the deficiency in requisite moral and political formation of state actors. In this paper, I argue that to fill the gap in Africa’s governance culture, there is need for proper education of political state actors in ways that comprises ethical rebirth, attitudinal change, civic resonance and value reorientation. There is need for the return to moral building and character training required for reestablishing the right attitude or grit towards governance. In the light of this overarching need, I propose Aristotle’s virtue theory as a philosophically defensible model for reinventing moral and political hygiene in Africa’s governance culture. I argue that, given the fundamental role of virtue in the regulation of conduct of the entire citizenry and in the act of socio-political (re)engineering, Aristotle’s virtue theory can facilitate the development of good character traits and habits which corresponds to the higher ideals and virtues that political state actors ought to cultivate in order to respond appropriately to issues of governance. I conclude that elements of Aristotle’s virtue theory can provide defensible grounds for intelligible moral and political choices necessary for good governance structures in post-colonial Africa.


Keywords: Politics, Governance, Culture, Post-colonial Africa, Moral Education, Political Education, Virtue Theory