SAIIA Policy Briefing No 172, May 2018
Fifty-five years ago today, the Organisation of Africa Unity was born. Founded by 32 states, its quest was to bring about freedom and unity on the continent. The body was renamed the African Union in 2004 but its goal remains the same in 2018: a peaceful, prosperous and integrated Africa for all.
Pan-Africanism – the liberation of Africans through regional cohesion and solidarity – has played a crucial role in shaping the continent’s development.
The African Union’s 2018 theme: “Winning the Fight Against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation”, offers a strategic opportunity to encourage citizens to play their part in good governance.
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 170, March 2018
In the Americas, when a young Latina girl turns 15, she celebrates her fiesta de quinceañera, a coming of age ceremony. Across the Atlantic Ocean, Africa’s most important governance self-evaluation and promotion instrument – the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) – will also officially turn 15 on 9 March 2018. These milestone birthdays are important occasions to reflect, but more importantly to look forward. As the APRM gets ready to smash open the piñata, SAIIA looks at what happened at the recent APRM meetings on the side-lines of the AU Summit in dusty, bustling Addis Ababa, and asks what lies ahead for the mechanism?
The revitalisation of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is evidence of African governments’ renewed commitment to strengthening good governance, development and democracy in Africa. The APRM will be celebrating its 15th Anniversary on 9 March 2018, after a vibrant revival in 2016-2017, marked by Country Review missions in Chad, Djibouti, Kenya, Senegal, Sudan, Liberia, and the recent Uganda Review Mission in 2017.
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 162, July 2017
A prominent thread in the conversation about Africa’s development since the end of the Cold War has been the need for good governance. The continent’s resource and economic constraints have posed serious problems but a consensus has emerged that Africa’s success would hinge on getting its policies, institutions and public administration in order. This need for good governance was underscored by the tide of democratisation in the 1990s.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 251, February 2017
This year's African Union (AU) January summit, appropriately themed around the potential of the continent’s youth, sought to position the continental body to meet the challenges of the coming decades – an era during which the continent, having fallen behind its global peers, is pursuing a decisive developmental breakthrough.
The African Peer Review Mechanism – the continent’s home-grown governance assessment and promotion tool – seems to be slowly turning its fortunes around. On 6-7 September, it will hold a workshop in Sandton discussing how to implement its first ever five year strategy for 2016-2020.
Governance is notoriously difficult to measure – yet numerous global indices attempt to do so. SAIIA’s new paper tracks the governance progress of 52 African countries through various indices, 17 of which have undergone a holistic governance peer-review.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 234, June 2016
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 232, May 2016
SAIIA Policy Briefing 149, May 2016
African countries seem to be forever undergoing assessments and evaluations. Many stem from the governments of international development partners who have poured money into a plethora of projects, programmes and plans, and want to know what has worked and why. Others are commissioned by international organisations such as the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund that have likewise invested in development or infrastructure initiatives. Credit rating agencies also put African state’s political economies under their microscopes to pronounce on the investment climate.
On 17-18 May, SAIIA and the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) together held a regional civil society conference, ‘#ReviveAPRM: Where to Next for Civil Society?’ in Nairobi, Kenya.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 229, April 2016
SAIIA Research Report No 22, February 2016
Governance and APRM Programme
Africa’s turn to electoral democracy over the past three decades has rightly been hailed as a significant achievement, but it has not rid the continent of restrictive and authoritarian governance impulses. This report attempts to interrogate the concept of ‘freedom’ and how it is faring in Africa. To do so, it conceptualises freedom in terms of ‘constitutional liberalism’, and discusses this conceptualisation in relation to two broad themes: constitutionalism and civil liberties.