ADVANTAGES

In Nigeria, for example, it was pointed out that the Center for Democratic Studies has been operating since 1987, conducting research on democracy out of the belief that "it should not be assumed that people know what democracy is. Even the legislators should be taught tolerance, to give and take, and that it is not a crime to be in the opposition." Several Nigerian participants advocated that similar "centers for research in political science or the social sciences be created across the continent, so that certain democratic processes can be anticipated on the basis of research carried out." Another participant cited how, in Niger, a number of commissions had been set up to "control the activities of government," including the High Council for Communication, which "enables the leaders of various groups in the country to express themselves freely on the radio and in the press, to denounce abuses, and to engage in democratic discussions." One participant from Benin, however, in noting the plethora of new institutions in his country, lamented that they ''have been dragging their feet lately.''

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