Why are many countries in Africa described as weak states

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table political institutions. ensuring security for their populations from violent conflict and maintaining their territory. and meeting the basic human needs of their populations. State effectiveness in delivering on these four critical dimensions, is the main criterion for measurement. A state’s strength or weakness is a function of its effectivenes, responsiveness, and legitimacy across a range of government activities. Many countries in Africa are described as weak states. Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the world’s highest concentration of weak and failed states.Weak states are defined as having a prevalence of structural inequality, which consist of economic differentiation, cultural or social inequality and political inequality (Atiku-Abubakar amp. Shaw-Taylor, 2003: 168). Weak states are unable or unwilling to provide essential public services which include supporting equitable and sustainable economic growth, legitimate governance, ensuring physical security and provision of basic services. To evaluate state capacity in each core area of state responsibility, policy makers and scholars resort to a host of adjectives: weak, fragile, failing, failed and even collapsed, to distinguish between countries suffering from a wide variety of capacity gaps (Rice amp. Patrick, 2008: 5).The degree of effectiveness of the delivery of the most crucial political goods distinguish strong states from weak ones, and weak ones from failed or collapsed ones. The hierarchy of political goods have security, especially human security at the apex, followed by the provision of law and order, free and open political participation, medical care, educational facilities, physical and social infrastructure, in that order (Rotberg, 2004: 4).State failure is a long-term and multidimensional process whereby state collapse is the distinctive endpoint of this process. The two dimensions to state failure are: the loss of legitimacy which is the gradual decline of the authority of