“More work lies ahead to make Africa’s new free trade area succeed” by Dr Frank Mattheis in The Conversation

In their article for The Conversation, GovInn researcher Frank Mattheis and Ueli Staeger from the Graduate Institute argue that more work lies ahead to make Africa’s new free trade area work. Although the AfCFTA has gained more momentum than previous initiatives to liberalise trade in Africa, there is a rocky road ahead: the remaining diplomatic, technical and social challenges are significant.

However, the practical implications of the continental free trade area are not immediate. Significant work is required to deliver tangible results. Negotiations on tariffs, time lines and the seat of the AfCFTA Secretariat are still ongoing. And without effective public policies, liberalising trade risks having negative implications for many people on the continent.

You can read the full article here.

CE + EE 2019 Training, 20-24 May 2019

From 20 to 24 May 2019, the Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa (CEEPA) hosted a five day workshop on “Theory and econometrics of individual and collective choice analysis: choice and controlled experiments”. The course was designed and presented by CEEPA staff, including GovInn Research Fellow, Dr Damien Jourdain.

The course is designed to give students the theoretical and practical tools they require to analyse choices originating from stated preference (SP) surveys and controlled experiments.

More information on the course can be found at their website, here.

“What to expect from Malawi’s sixth poll since one-party rule ended” by Dr Chris Nshimbi, The Conversation

GovInn director Dr Chris Nshimbi outlined the expectations and the processes surrounding the upcoming Malawian election in a question and answer style piece for The Conversation, titled “What to expect from Malawi’s sixth poll since one-party rule ended”.

Answering a question on the elections contribution to consolidating Malawian democracy, Dr Nshimbi answered:

It’s an achievement in itself that Malawi is holding its sixth multi-party national elections since its transition from its era of dictatorship under former President Kamuzu Banda. Banda ruled the country with an iron fist for the first three decades after independence.

But beyond free and fair elections, democratic consolidation entails fulfilling electoral promises, especially those that relate to citizens’ rights to basic services like water and education. The country also needs to provide decent work for its citizens.

The eight candidates contesting for the presidency and the 13 political parties that are vying for Parliament clearly show that Malawi’s election is open. But, more could be done to promote the participation of women.

You can read the full article online at the The Conversation.

Book Review : Migration and regional integration in West Africa: A borderless ECOWAS.

GovInn Research Fellow Prudence Nkomo has published a book review in the journal African Insight, looking at Adebusuyi Isaac Adeniran’s book, Migration and regional integration in West Africa: A borderless ECOWAS. The review was published in the December 2018 edition of the journal.

Although the migration process examined is largely informal, the resulting integration proves that a regionally integrated ECOWAS is feasible – and that it should be people-centric and not state-centric. This is why this book significantly contributes to efforts to understand the role of informal migration in the realisation of a regionally integrated ECOWAS. Academics, policy makers and development workers will benefit greatly from the book and it will be an invaluable resource to policy makers in ECOWAS.

Prudence Nkomo

Prudence Nkomo

Prudence is currently completing her masters at the University of Pretoria, focusing on trans-frontier conservation areas, local communities, inequality and migration.

To read the full review, visit the Sabinet website.


In early 2019, GovInn Research Fellow Dr Magalie Bourblanc published her book “L’AGRICULTURE À L’ÉPREUVE DE L’ENVIRONNEMENT” through Harmattan Publishers. The book looks at the problems linked to intensive farming activities in Brittany, and the public programs implemented over the last 30 years to improve the water quality. The book invites us to look at the public policy and complexity of this system of water management within the agricultural policy space.

Trente ans après les premiers programmes publics de reconquête de la qualité des eaux en Bretagne, les problèmes liés aux activités d’élevage intensif figurent toujours à l’agenda public. Il semble que ces problèmes ne soient pas parvenus à modifier en profondeur les pratiques agricoles. Comment expliquer cette formidable capacité de résistance au changement au sein des arrangements institutionnels de politique agricole ? C’est à cette énigme qu’entend répondre cet ouvrage. Il nous invite à une plongée au coeur des dispositifs publics et de l’hyper-complexité qui semble en être la marque de fabrique et représenter l’une des clés d’explication de cette énigme.

More information on the book can be found in this attachment, or on the website of the publishers.

Event Report: ‘Broadening the debate on EU-Africa relations: Towards reciprocal approaches’- Launch of the South African Journal of International Affairs Special Issue

On 26 February, researchers and practitioners convened at the University of Pretoria to celebrate the launch of the South African Journal of International Affairs (SAJIA) Special Issue on “Broadening the debate on EU-Africa relations: Towards reciprocal approaches”, guest edited by GovInn research fellows Dr John Kotsopoulos and Dr Frank Mattheis.

GovInn Research Fellow, Dickson Ajisafe, speaking at 2019 UKZN International Relations Postgraduate Conference

A 2-day International Relations Postgraduate Conference was held on the 19th and 20th of March 2019 at Garden Court Marine Parade Hotel in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. The conference, with the caption, “The Evolving Global Order: What’s at Stake for Africa?” was hosted by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, South Africa in partnership with the International and Public Affairs Cluster, School of Social Sciences, University  of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Durban, South Africa. The Conference brought together scores of selected International Relations postgraduate students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Durban University of Technology and the University of Zululand. The objectives of the Conference, among others, included exposing students in the KwaZulu-Natal Province to influential actors of International Relations, building a community of practice for international relations in the KwaZulu-Natal Province as well as providing young South Africans with insight into topical trends and contemporary analysis on South African international relations.  The conference attracted academics, practitioners, stakeholders and civil society leaders, who served as panelists on diverse topics during the Conference.

Mr. Dickson Ajisafe, GovInn Research Fellow, shared a panel with other speakers, and addressed the audience on “Africa-EU relations: Current development and what Africa should do towards achieving SDGs and 2030 agenda”. In his remarks, Mr. Ajisafe, touched on current development in Africa-EU partnership, significance of goal setting towards development and sustainability, lessons from MDGs and emergence of SDGs. and wrapping-up his session, he hammered on salient attitudes Africa needs to develop as she relates with Europe and responsible actions required of Africa in her pursuit of achieving Sustainable Development Goals and 2030 agenda.

Dickson Ajisafe at UKZN

Moderators and speakers at the Conference included Dr. Candice Moore, a Senior Lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal; Ms. Tamara Naidoo, the Programme Manager for International Relations at the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), South Africa; Hameda Deedat, the acting Executive Director for NALEDI COSATU’s research arm and Sanusha Naidu, Political Analyst and Senior Research Fellow. Others included : Advocate Vasu Gounden, the Founder of the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), Zane Dangor, Special Adviser to the Hon. Minister Lindiwe Sisulu; Prof. Lisa Thompson, the Director of the African Centre for Citizenship and Democracy (ACCEDE), University of the Western Cape, South Africa and others.

Within the conference, a special public dialogue was held which brought together the dominant political parties in South Africa – the ANC, DA, IFP and EFF – to discuss with the public their analysis of key international relations issues affecting South Africa and provide a platform to share their positions. The conference ended with a brief address from Dr. Heinz Bongartz-the Director of FES, South Africa, a group photo and certificate of participation presented to all postgraduate students.

Dr Chris Nshimbi on Cape Talk: Climate Change – Coping with Natural Disasters in SADC

On 24 April 2019, GovInn Director Dr Chris Nshimbi was engaged in conversation on the John Maytham Show on Cape Talk Radio, discussing the topic of climate change and the impact that natural disasters have on Southern Africa.


If you go back to 2000 and come up to 2018, 2019, you see that mostly the response [to natural disasters] has been one country on a bilateral level collaborating with a country that is affected and not the region as a whole


You can listen to the full conversation here.

‘Pan-African Aspirations Drive a New Free Trade Pact’ by Chris Nshimbi in Current History.

GovInn’s Director Chris Nshimbi published the article ‘Pan-African Aspirations Drive a New Free Trade Pact‘ in Current History.

Transnational labor mobility will be integral to the continental free trade area. Some services that are going to
be traded across nation-state borders will require people to go along with them. Ideally, the free movement of goods and services should coexist with the free movement of people.

Read the whole article here: http://www.currenthistory.com.uplib.idm.oclc.org

‘Southern African countries won’t manage disasters unless they work together’, by Chris Nshimbi in The Conversation.

GovInn’s Director Chris Nshimbi recently published the article ‘Southern African countries won’t manage disasters unless they work together‘ in The Conversation.

But, natural disasters like Idai doesn’t respect national boundaries. Their very regional scope requires solutions that integrate domestic actions into a regional governance framework to address them effectively … Instead of acting individually, SADC countries need to work together to pool resources and mobilise disaster relief efforts and resources to be more effective. This could be done through the SADC Secretariat.


Read the whole article here: https://theconversation.com/southern-african-countries-wont-manage-disasters-unless-they-work-together-114541