Seminar: “One Basin, One Governance?”, 6 November 2018, 15:00-17:00.

Seminar IFAS-GovInn 6 November Invitation
Seminar IFAS-GovInn 6 November

‘Women in the Context of Justice: Continuities and Discontinuities in Southern Africa’, a CSA&G Edited Collection

GovInn’s Senior Researcher Cori Wielenga recently edited and contributed to the handbook, ‘Women in the Context of Justice: Continuities and Discontinuities in Southern Africa’. The handbook is aimed at civil society organisations on the roles and positions of women in ‘justice on the ground’ in Southern Africa. In this volume, they attempt to critically engage with the idea that community justice and leadership institutions are necessarily ‘patriarchal’ and explore what this means, and what the lived realities of people on the ground are.

Contributors to this volume include Ruth Murambadoro , Chenai Matshaka,  Zefanias Matsimbe, Bosco Bae and Erika Dahlmanns.
Read the full handbook below :

‘Between Neoliberal Orthodoxy and Securitisation: Prospects and Challenges for a Borderless Southern African Community’, by Chris Nshimbi, 26.07.2017

GovInn’s Co-Director Chris Nshimbi published together with Innocent Moyo and Trynos Gumbo the chapter ‘Between Neoliberal Orthodoxy and Securitisation: Prospects and Challenges for a Borderless Southern African Community’ in the Springer book Crisis, Identity and Migration in Post-Colonial Southern Africa.

This contribution considers the possibility of a borderless Southern Africa—under the auspices of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). This is done against the realities and understandings of migration and contested notions of citizenship and development in Southern Africa. A thorough review of legislative and policy frameworks of different types of migration at the regional and national levels in Southern Africa was conducted. Primary data were obtained through personal interviews with policy-makers, migrants and other non-state actors whilst participant observations were also conducted at border posts, government immigration offices and refugee application centres. The chapter proffers that Southern Africa is characterised by open borders, with substantial formal and informal cross-border movements that have political and socio-economic costs. However, the most preferred destinations by migrants in the region have systematically opposed the establishment of a formal free-movement-of-people regime across the region for over 20 years. Still, regional legislation and the realities of formal and informal movement across national borders in the SADC region show the necessity for member states to establish a migration management regime devoid of borders. This, however, will have to be carefully crafted, fully considering the region’s history and the challenges associated with migration.

Read the chapter or full book here:{4b05898ae60f9b5e2d93b69cb2027f6f0d06dfa7d8f8611bbe8472c2532adfa6}2F978-3-319-59235-0

Participants of the conference "ONE World No Hunger" hand over the "Berlin Charter" to Minister Muller.

The Berlin Charter on “Creating opportunities for the young generation in the rural world”

Bruno Losch, GovInn’s co-director, participated in the International Conference on The Future of the Rural World (Berlin, April 27-28) organized within the framework of the German G20 Presidency.

Bruno Losch was part of the International Advisory Committee in charge of drafting the Berlin Charter: “Creating opportunities for the young generation in the rural world“. The Charter was discussed through an open web based dialogue, amended, and then submitted to the Conference. Participants worked in six parallel thematic Charter Fora which provided final revisions. Bruno Losch was the advocate of the Charter Fora session on Entrepreneurship, jobs and skills. His testimony was shared along with the other advocates – including University of Pretoria’s Sheryl Hendricks – in a video presented to the audience.

The Charter was then approved by the Conference (the final version is here) and handed over to Dr. Gerd Müller, German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The Charter calls on all stakeholders – national governments, development partners and finance institutions, the private sector, civil society and youth  – for transformative change and to commit to significant, quantified and time-bound targets in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It particularly addresses the situation of people suffering hunger and undernutrition and the need for concerted political and humanitarian actions to immediately end the current food crises situations in Africa.

The Charter focuses on the critical importance of access to innovative education and training as well as information and communication technologies (ICTs) for youth and young entrepreneurs. It reminds the role of infrastructure and services in rural areas and the necessary change of perspective about the potential of rural areas in school, politics and the media. As highlighted by Losch, an important result of the Berlin Charter is that “it puts upfront the need to reinvest and invest in development strategies. We need to understand the processes underway in order to engage in better policy making”.

Bruno Losch also particpated in a parallel panel session titled “Decent Jobs for Youth in the Rural Economy” organized by FAO and ILO. More information can be found on the International Labour Organisation website.

For more information of the initiative, visit the website for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the website of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security.


ILO Employment Research Brief

“+789 Million and Counting: the sub-Saharan African Equation”: ILO Employment Research Brief by Dr Bruno Losch

ILO (the International Labour Office) just released an Employment Research Brief titled: “+789 Million and Counting: the sub-Saharan African Equation” prepared with Bruno Losch, GovInn’s co-director.
This 8-pager is based on an ILO working paper published last November by Bruno Losch (Structural transformation to boost labour demand in sub-Saharan Africa: the role of agriculture, rural areas, and territorial development”). This brief focuses on SSA’s equation of providing quality jobs for a rapidly expanding and young labour force, in a context of limited economic diversification, critically challenged education systems, and under the constraints of increasing competition and climate change. 789 million is the expected increase of SSA’s labour force by 2050 and represents 62{4b05898ae60f9b5e2d93b69cb2027f6f0d06dfa7d8f8611bbe8472c2532adfa6} of the labour force growth worldwide.

The employment challenge in Africa is persistent and unique. It is not solely a challenge of unemployment, but one of providing quality jobs for a rapidly expanding, and markedly young, labour force. This research brief explores the opportunities that economic diversification offer to foster structural transformation in sub-Saharan Africa. It highlights three interconnected actions needed to achieve this goal: (i) supporting evidence-based multi-sectoral development strategies; (ii) supporting family farmers and diversification of rural incomes; and (iii) strengthening rural-urban linkages and promoting territorial policies.


To read the full document, see below: ILO_Research BRIEF Losch

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Dr Bruno Losch on China Global Television Network

Bruno Losch, lead political economist at CIRAD and co-director of GovInn, based in Govinn’s Cape Town office at the University of the Western Cape, was host of Africa Live broadcasted by the China Global Television Network (CGTN).

In the video he discusses the recent NEPAD atlas on the emerging new rural Africa he coordinated last year and which was presented at the last AU Summit of the Heads of State in Addis Ababa. In this interview he insists on the importance of reshaping over-segmented public policies towards territorial approaches and local development.


You can watch the full video below.

‘Structural transformation to boost youth labour demand in sub-Saharan Africa: The role of agriculture, rural areas and territorial development’ 01.11.2016

In a recent working paper for the International Labor Organization (ILO) GovInn Co-director Bruno Losch explores  structural transformation and the identification of possible building blocks for boosting youth employment in sub-Saharan Africa. The paper begins by detailing past processes of structural transformation and new challenges facing Africa in the twenty-first century. It then turns to addressing the unique structural situation of sub-Saharan Africa, its employment challenges and the enduring importance of the rural labour force. It then reviews the existing policy options for speeding up the regions structural transformation, the limitations of  segmented sector-based policies and the importance of reinvesting in multi-sectoral and place-based development strategies. It also considers the rural economy and the need for renewed public policies adapted to the current realities of the region – notably the fading rural–urban divide. This new context requires a better understanding of the underlying processes of change – in particular, the growing pressure on land and natural resources and the consequences for viable agricultural systems, concluding with policy recommendations for an inclusive growth process for youth employment. The paper can be read and downloaded here.

‘The rubber will hit the road for developing countries at COP22 in Marrakech’ 04.10.16


In her latest op-ed for The Conversation, GovInn senior research fellow Dr. Camilla Adelle considers the implications of African states swift adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement ahead of the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) taking place in Morocco. The discrepancy between the US$ 100 billion promised to developing countries to assist with climate change and the actual number mobilized is problematized against the accepted OECD report claiming a figure of around US$ 57 billion which is accepted as credible. Read the full article here.

Networks of Cross-border Non-State Actors: The Role of Social Capital in Regional Integration

Chris Changwe Nshimbi, co-director of the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation, published a new article named ‘Networks of Cross-border Non-State Actors: The Role of Social Capital in Regional Integration’ in the Journal of Borderlands Studies.

borderlands coverThis paper examines the contribution of networks of cross-border grassroots non-State actors to regional integration. It uses three assumptions to determine whether sub-regional schemes augment regional integration: (a) networks of grassroots non-State actors connect communities that share common backgrounds, histories and cultures; (b) interactions in the networks generate a trust that stabilizes them and contributes to network efficiency; and (c) where these networks straddle State boundaries, they integrate the economies that host the communities of actors in the networks and thus enhance integration. The paper achieves its objective by illustrating these assumptions in the context of sub-regional integration in Southeast Asia and Southern Africa. A thorough review of the literature on regional and sub-regional integration, borderland studies, etc. is conducted along with the use of social capital and historical, socioeconomic and political accounts to illustrate the role of informal networks in integration. Because networks, norms and trust dominate conceptual discussion of social capital (Schuller, T., S. Baron, and J. Field. 2000. Social capital: A review and critique. In Social capital: Critical perspectives, eds. S. Baron, J. Field, and T. Schuller, 1–38. Oxford: Oxford University Press.), the paper conceptualizes the terms in the context of social capital. Participant observations, face-to-face interviews and focus group discussions conducted during extensive fieldwork between September 2013 and November 2014 at selected border posts, in the major border towns of the adjacent provinces of the ZMM-GT, in markets and villages in the contiguous border areas of the growth triangle also provide the primary data employed in the analysis. Sub-regional initiatives contribute to development, as does macro-regionalism. Unlike Southeast Asians, people in southern Africa are primarily driven by the need for survival and operate less on ethnic lines. However, a clear demonstration of social capital and cohesion is evident here. Leaders in Africa should encourage cross-border ethnic and kinship ties rather than abuse ethnicity for political gain.

The article can be found here.

Regions without borders

Extended deadline for abstracts: “Autochthony, Allochthony and Belonging”

Regions without borders


“Autochthony, Allochthony and Belonging: Migration, Xenophobia and Social Cohesion in the Southern African Region”

Migration is not new in the Southern African region. Its long history dates back to the late 19th century into the colonial, post-independence and post-Cold War eras, and into the late 1980s and early 1990s when most economies in Southern Africa underwent neoliberal economic reforms and structural adjustments. The economic reforms coincided with the end of apartheid in South Africa. South Africa’s emergence as the economic hub of Southern Africa coupled with the long history of migration across Southern Africa makes South Africa a destination of choice for various categories of migrants including labour, informal traders, medical, education and training, cultural and kinship relations, etc. The post-reform and post-apartheid period has thus witnessed increased immigration into South Africa from Southern and other parts of Africa. The increase in numbers of immigrants in South Africa has created tensions and hostilities directed towards immigrants. The African immigrants in South Africa have thus been constructed as the problematic new comers who take away jobs from South Africans and strain the national socioeconomic infrastructure, pressuring government and limiting its ability to provide essential socioeconomic services and employment to its citizens. This social topography, which has elevated South African citizens and led to the relegation of immigrants to the subaltern, with calls for their evisceration and interpellation, partly explains the so-called xenophobia and discourse around xenophobic attacks currently prevalent in South Africa since the early 2000s. While foreigners and agencies such as the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) brand targeted attacks on foreigners and their businesses by South African citizens as xenophobia, South African authorities rather brand such attacks as acts of criminality, or even ‘Afrophobia’, and not xenophobic. Against this background, this session proposes to (a) gain a proper understanding and conceptualisation of the notion xenophobia and (b) deliberate ways in which social cohesion can be promoted to encourage harmony between foreigners and South African citizens. The dearth of scholarly engagement in academia and policy attention in government circles around regional migration, xenophobia, local integration and social cohesion in Southern Africa makes engaging in this discourse imperative.



Please follow Congress website link below to register and submit your abstract (200-250 words). On the Abstract Submission page your “Intended Session” will be listed under Political Geography. Check the “Autochthony, Allochthony and Belonging: Migration, Xenophobia and Social Cohesion in the Southern African Region” box to proceed with your submission.



Conference Date: 21-25 August 2016, Beijing China

Deadline for Abstract Submission: 31 March 2016

Notification of Acceptance: 30 April 2016

Deadline for Early bird Registration: 15 May 2016


Further information:

Dr. Inocent Moyo

Research Fellow: Department of Geography

UNISA, Florida Campus

Tel: +27 72 106 2632





Dr. Christopher C. Nshimbi

Research Fellow & Deputy Director: Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn)

Department of Political Sciences, University of Pretoria

Tel: +27 12 420 4152

Email: chris.nshimbi@governanceinnov