In a banana republic, one might slip on a banana peel but things do work - now and then for the people, albeit inefficiently and unreliably.
Unlike their Western counterparts, Africans take elections very seriously - rising up early to queue patiently in line for hours under the hot sun and cast their ballots. Any misguided attempt to nullify or steal their votes will evoke a strong reaction from them.
Dictators cause the world's worst problems: all the collapsed states, and all the devastated economies. All the vapid cases of corruption, grand theft, and naked plunder of the treasury are caused by dictators, leaving in their wake trails of wanton destruction, horrendous carnage and human debris.
Virtually all of Africa's civil wars were started by politically marginalized or excluded groups.
If NATO goes in and solves the crisis in Darfur, when the next one comes along Africa's leaders will just sit back.
Mugabe's become a disgrace to Africa. And I must say this because I am an African and a lot of us looked up to him back in the 1980s when he was the liberation hero. But he's now turned himself into a murderous despot.
African history is filled with experiences of people shooting their way to power and then splintering into factions, like in Somalia and Liberia.
The richest persons in Africa are heads of state, governors and ministers. So every 'educated' African who wants to be rich - and there is nothing wrong with wanting to be rich - heads straight into government or politics.
When Uganda got debt relief in 1999, the first item President Museveni bought was a presidential jacket for himself.
Hippos kill more people in Africa annually than any other wild animal.