Whether democracy is the best system of governance that expedites development is increasingly gaining traction in academic debates as the answer to settle the question remains elusive. This study uses parametric data to compare 2004–2019 trends of development progress between Malawi as a democratic country and Rwanda as a nondemocratic country to contribute to the ongoing debates. Findings do not support democracy as a development catalyst. As much as the findings cannot be generalized to all democracies and nondemocracies, they point to further examination of democracy and call for innovative thinking to figure out new alternative systems of governance.
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