The horrific footage on television (Al-Jazeera English) of people being burnt alive in Côte d’Ivoire demonstrated the the formidable difference between healthy democracies and those that are run like personal fiefdoms. Many African states seem to be lawless. If they are not lawless then they are autocracies – kleptocratic states where the wealth of the nation is in the hands of the leader and his arrogant coterie. If they are not dictatorships then they are hopelessly corrupt and ridden with sectarian violence and grinding poverty. The people of these countries are deeply religious: I presume they believe in something fanciful to escape the awful reality that surrounds them.