My argument will follow two main tracks: the structure of institutions, and the character dispositions of citizens that make possible good government. I must hasten to say that precolonial Africa displays a variety of ways of organizing human relations, maintaining order, and ensuring human flourishing. Some people had no centralized state, while others did. I will concentrate on those that had centralized authority exercised via the machinery of government. Examples of the latter are the Baganda of Uganda, the Akan of Ghana, the Zulu of South Africa, and the Fondom (or kingdoms) of the North West and Western Provinces of Cameroon. In most cases I will concentrate on the Nso Fondom in the North West Province of Cameroon for illustration, but similar structures and ethos can be found throughout Africa. 1
Cultivating character disposition-virtues and the underlying morality that enabled people to lead their lives peaceably within the polity-in precolonial Africa was an integral aspect of the society and state. So connected was the social to the political life that hitherto anthropologists and historians of precolonial Africa have found it difficult specifically to identify and disentangle any separate sense of political education within precolonial African states.