Book Launch: “African Accountability: What Works and What Doesn’t?”


The Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) and the University of Pretoria’s Department of Political Sciences, in association with the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), are pleased to announce the launch of “African Accountability: What Works and What Doesn’t”, a book edited by Steven Gruzd and Yarik Turianskyi (Programme Head and Programme Manager of the Governance and APRM Programme at SAIIA).


‘African Accountability: What Works and What Doesn’t?’ focuses on political and social aspects to assess the current state of governance and accountability in Africa. While important strides have been made, governance reforms have been rather slow, complex, inefficient and difficult to implement.

This book seeks to explore and unpack some of these issues, building on the work of SAIIA’s three-year programme on Governance and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). Chapters by both governance experts and governance practitioners discuss continental efforts to set Africa on a steady and sustainable path, such as the African Union’s (AU) 50 year development plan, Agenda 2063, the emerging African Governance Architecture (AGA) and examine the interplay between the AU’s African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG) and the APRM.

At domestic level, this book looks at a mixture of traditional and innovative accountability processes. To what extent do African parliaments hold executives to account, and fulfil their oversight mandates? How effective are African ombudsmen in promoting and protecting the rights of citizens? And new methods of holding those in power to account are emerging. Increasingly, technologies – in particular smart phones – are being used to monitor election results, survey citizen opinions and provide oversight.

For Africa to develop, it seems clear that it needs good governance. Without it, corruption thrives, maladministration is pervasive and citizens are denied essential services. This book examines where Africa is headed in the governance realm, and what lessons have been learned on its journey.

Date: Thursday, 2 June 2016

Time: 14:00 – 16:00
Venue: GovInn Headquarters, Old College House, University of Pretoria Main Campus (Hatfield)
RSVP essential: by 30 May 2016.

More information on the book can be found on the SAIIA website.

“South Africa’s World: Perspectives on Diplomacy and International Political Economy” roundtable discussion in honour of Prof. Gerrit Olivier

The Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) in partnership with the SARChI Chair: African Diplomacy and Foreign Policy hosted a roundtable discussion titled “South Africa’s World: Perspectives on Diplomacy and International Political Economy” in honour renowned diplomat and academic Proffessor Gerrit Olivier. The event was held at the Senate Hall at UP Hatfield campus and featured  a faculty of some South Africa’s leading thinkers to explore the countries foreign policy. Elizabeth Sidiropoulos (South African Institute of International Affairs) and  Prof. Deon Geldenhuys (University of Johannesburg) provided opening remarks and featured in the discussion along with GovInn director Prof. Lorenzo Fioramonti, Chris Landsberg (SARChI) and Costa Georghiou (University of Johannesburg). The final word belonged to the man of the hour as guests and his family, Skyping in from Hull were treated to a final address from Prof Olivier.





“Electorates are losing faith in representative democracy” Business Day, 26.04.16

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In his latest op ed for Business Day Live GovInn director Lorenzo Fioramonti considers representative democracy in light of the current global political environment. Is representative democracy really a good ‘fit’ for governance of a state? Does representative democracy allow for real representation? Moreover does it assist economic development and can it allow for fruitful participation by voters in their own governance beyond merely exercising their “civic duty”? Read more here.

Book: ‘South Africa’s Agrarian Question’ by Hubert Cochet, Ward Anseeuw and Sandrine Fréguin-Gresh

South Africa’s Agrarian Question

South Africa’s Agrarian Question, by Hubert Cochet, Ward Anseeuw and Sandrine Fréguin-Gresh, to be published by HSRC Press this month:

Based on an in-depth analysis of several contrasting agricultural regions, this book aims to assess South Africa’s ongoing agrarian reform and the country’s agrarian dynamics.

The conclusion is without doubt: 20 years after the first democratic elections, the country’s land pattern remains almost unchanged, and primary agriculture and its broader value-chains are more concentrated than ever. Without fundamentally questioning the highly specialised, fossil energy and synthetic input dependent, oligopolistic entrepreneurial agricultural production model, which is presently structuring the sector and is guiding the reforms, a more equitable redistribution of resources and value-addition will by no means be possible.

The answers provided in this book will be of interest not only to all those interested in the South African experiment, but also to those who, in all regions, are questioning the mainstream agrifood regime and asking how it can be transformed – Olivier De Schutter

This book examines and contributes to the structural questions that underpin the current stagnation of South Africa’s agrarian reform. Presenting fresh approaches in analysing agrarian issues and tools to assess farming systems and agricultural development, this incisive study will be an important resource to policy makers, academics and those with an interest in agrarian reform.

More information on the book can be found here.

“The Lily Mine sinkhole is a metaphor for entire country”, Business Day, 26 February 2016


“The Lily Mine sinkhole is a metaphor for entire country”

“PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address did not leave room for much optimism. The president recognised the structural problems affecting the South African economy, as well as the global instabilities that are compounding the domestic malaise…”


Lorenzo's article in the Business Day, 26 January 2016

“SA must rethink economics and build a new social contact”,, Business Day, 26 January 2016

Lorenzo's article in the Business Day, 26 January 2016

Lorenzo’s article in the Business Day, 26 January 2016

By GovInn Director Professor Lorenzo Fioramonti


In his new Business Day article, Professor Lorenzo Fioramonti discusses the social ills that are facing South Africa, which have been exacerbated in the past few months by environmental and economic challenges, and the need to change the way we approach these problems together as South Africans.

As some university negotiations have demonstrated, different parties can come to a satisfactory agreement involving resizing of salaries, benefits and other contributions when it becomes clear that the future of a public good — education — is at stake. There is no reason to believe that the same cannot happen for the economy at large.

We need new rules of engagement and a new social contract to move forward. If done properly and with a clear vision, this will make everybody more confident about the future of this country, reassuring its citizens (of all races and colours), as well as those foreign investors interested in the long-term wellbeing of the economy (not the speculators who have always been so keen to make money at the expense of our society).


To read the whole article, go the Business Day website.

‘Colonial legacy of mining pioneers poses a dilemma for South Africans’, The Conversation, 25.01.2016

In an article for The Conversation, GovInn Senior Researcher Prince Mashele discusses the linkages of the colonial exploitation of mineral resources and the changes it brought to South Africa, both for infrastructure and divided race relations.

The Randlords left behind them a big dilemma: contemporary South Africa is not sure whether to thank them for bringing civilisation, or to curse them for complicating future race relations.

Read more at The Conversation

“The state of Ubuntu in South Africa: driver of change or buzzword?” 23 Nov 2015

On Monday 23 November, The Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation, in conjunction with the Department of Political Science at the University of Pretoria, hosted a one day public discussion to position the state of Ubuntu in South Africa. The meeting was attending my many well known academic and independent thinkers on the subject of Ubuntu, and below we have short gallery.

To see the full programme click here.



EU-Africa Workshop

EU-Africa Workshop, June 6, 2015, GovInn, University of Pretoria

EU-Africa Workshop, June 6, 2015, GovInn, University of Pretoria

The EU-Africa workshop was the first event held under the auspices of the new European Studies Association of Sub-Saharan Africa (ESA-SSA). It took place in front of a standing room only audience on June 5, 2015 at the University of Pretoria during Governance Innovation Week. A diverse range of African, European and North American scholars and practitioners assembled for an exchange of views about the evolving relationship between Africa and the European Union. The overall theme was about innovation, with particular focus was on updating the debate, challenging some of the old donor and client characterisations, and better reflecting the changing conditions in Africa and Europe. Honorary Director at the European Commission, Philippe Darmuzey, kicked off the discussions with an opening speech on new directions in EU-Africa security and development cooperation. Panels followed with focus on innovation, trade and resources, and South Africa’s place in EU-Africa relations. Renown scholars such as Gilbert Khadiagala (Witswatersrand) explored the African Union’s approach to multilateral relations with the EU, while Daniel Bach (Bordeaux) examined innovative policies in emerging economies. Practitioners such as EU Ambassador Roeland Van De Geer touched on the EU-South Africa relationship while Andrew Sherriff (ECDPM) explored the EU’s changing institutions and their consequences for relations with Africa. The workshop was universally deemed a success and a strong beginning for new collaboration and research in EU-Africa relations.

Lorenzo Fioramonti Business Day Column

Charity must begin at home for graft-riddled Department of Home Affairs, Business Day 28.08.2015

South AfricaGovInn Director Lorenzo Fioramonti discusses the shortcomings of the South African Department of Home Affairs, looking at the negative effects of recent travel restrictions for foreign migrants and those travelling with minors.


THE Department of Home Affairs has never been particularly efficient. Recent events have confirmed that its traditional weaknesses have not been addressed, while showing that new problems have developed, particularly in relation to how foreigners and, above all, migrants are being treated.
With a view to resolving the impasse, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is now leading an interministerial committee, comprising Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, his tourism counterpart, Derek Hanekom, and their colleagues from the security cluster. Their responsibility is to “examine and solve the potential and unintended consequences of the new immigration regulations on various sectors, including tourism and investment”.


Read the full article on Business Day, 28.08.2015