The challenges facing African parliaments and parliamentarians, as elsewhere, are considerable. Under single-party regimes, parliaments were, in effect, extensions of the executive and their role, in many cases, was reduced to rubber-stamping policy developed by the government and the ruling party. Even when not taken to such extremes, African parliaments enjoyed little independence and exercised limited authority. Even in Africa’s emerging democracies, parliaments faced legacies of patronage politics and the personalization of power – both lingering features of single-party systems which undermine the institutionalization of democratic processes. Where power is personalized, the adherence to informal rules and the reliance on contacts and connections are the norm. The already diffi cult task of parliamentarians, whether from the ruling or opposition parties, was complicated by the expectations of constituents, who seek personal benefi ts in the form of jobs, money or scholarships, in return for support.