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A smarter approach to governance in Africa

Time (GMT +01) 15:00 17:00


Heather Marquette, University of Birmingham


David Booth, APPP Director, ODI
Frederick Golooba-Mutebi, APPP Affiliate


Alison Evans, Director, ODI
James Putzel, London School of Economics


Governance challenges are not fundamentally about one set of people getting another set of people to behave better – the common assumption of the stock-in-trade ‘supply side’ and ‘demand side’ approaches to governance improvement in Africa.

 The fundamental challenges are about both sets of people finding ways of being able to act together in their own best interests. They are about collective problem-solving in fragmented societies hampered by exceptionally low levels of trust. A smarter approach to reform and international cooperation for development would take this as its starting point.

 This is the headline finding of Africa Power and Politics (APPP) a five-year programme led by ODI with research teams in Benin, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Mali, Cameroon, Ghana, Malawi, Niger, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

The programme’s final synthesis report takes the policy debate forward in several new ways. It goes beyond such generic formulas as ‘good fit’ and ‘working with the grain’ to identify specific practical steps and ways of working that could make a difference to some of the most critical issues in African development. 

This seminar provides a first opportunity for readers of the synthesis to get to grips the APPP proposals and consider their implications. Attendance will be by invitation, but the event will be streamed on-line. Participants will include leading Africa specialists and governance experts from universities, NGOs, official development agencies, the diplomatic corps and journalists.

Large conference space with round-table layout