Photo by Anaya Katlego on Unsplash

‍The contribution of redistributive land reform to employment creation, a research for the CBPEP and the National Treasury

GovInn co-director Dr. Bruno Losch contributed to a collective research on Employment-intensive rural land reform in South Africa, commissioned by the Capacity Building Programme for Employment Promotion (CBPEP), an EU-funded initiative hosted by Government Technical Advisory Centre (GTAC), an agency of the National Treasury.

The study was implemented by a team of researchers and experts, coordinated by Professor Ben Cousins, founder of the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of the Western Cape.

The team investigated the following questions: Can land redistribution be undertaken in a manner that also creates jobs? And if so, through which types of land use and farming systems? Operating at what scales? What is the potential of small-scale farming, in particular?

“Land reform can assist in creating more employment-intensive farming systems by: reducing the size of farming units, while increasing their total numbers; changing the mix and scale of farm commodities produced; and changing farming systems so that they become more employment-intensive” Ben Cousins wrote in a summary article in The Conversation Africa.

Based on case studies in four local municipalities in Eastern Cape, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, and Western Cape, and looking at the impacts of redistributing 50% of available agricultural land with support to small-scale farmers, the research estimated that more than 23,000 jobs
could be created in these four municipalities alone.

The results consist in a set of thematic, value chains and municipality reports, with summaries, policy briefs and a final report.

Bruno Losch is one of the co-authors of the final report and the main author of a thematic study entitled International experiences of support policies for smallholders: A review and an exploration of underlying rationale and narrative. He also contributed in one of the local
municipality studies.

Read the full report and the policy brief with the policy recommendations.

All the documentation can be found on the CBPEP website (here).

Webinar: Civil Society Organisations & Food Aid: Lessons for an ongoing crisis?, 23 June 2020, 10:00-12:00


  • Andrew Boraine (CEO – WCEDP and coordinator of the NGO-Government Food Relief Coordination Forum);
  • Mymoena Scholtz (Where Rainbows Meet Training and Development Foundation);
  • Henriette Abrahams (Bonteheuwel Street Committee);
  • TBC (Black Sash);
  • Andy Du Plessis (Food Forward);
  • Egbert Wessels (PEDI);
  • Nandi Msezane (C19 Peoples’ Coalition – Food Working Group). 

Panelists will discuss the recent mobilisation of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) around the food security problem under lockdown and explore how these organisations have worked together, and with government, in a valiant attempt to provide a shared solution to an acute problem in a time of crisis. The meeting will also explore what the legacy of this mass CSO/ NGO mobilisation might be for local food governance in South Africa.

Under lock down food insecurity has sky rocketed into an acute and visceral problem that can no longer be ignored.  In Cape Town alone it is estimated that 1.6 million people and approximately 500 000 households are likely to require some form of food aid. The demand for emergency food aid has stretched the infrastructure and networks of both government and CSOs. In addition to a few large and more medium sized NGOs, an army of hundreds, possibly thousands, of small and community based CSO/ NGOs have assisted, including CANs (Community Action Networks) and community food kitchens. New networks and governance platforms have sprung up to provide coordination. For example, weekly CSO-government food relief coordination meetings in the Western Cape have been facilitated by the Economic Development Partnership (EDP).

This is not only a tremendous human response to a desperate crisis but also a potentially significant moment in food governance in the country. Prior to the lockdown, one of the factors thought to be preventing greater momentum behind achieving the right to food in South Africa was the lack of CSO mobilisation on the issue. Although food insecurity was recognised as a problem by some academics, government officials and CSOs, it was previously a hidden problem that did not garner widespread public attention or demands for change. But has this now changed? What are the challenges facing these organisations? How can they play a sustainable role in food governance beyond the Covid crisis? What do they need to do this? How can they be supported?

This important webinar is an initiative of the Food Governance Community of Practice, a collaborative partnership of the Centre of Excellence in Food Security (CoE-FS) and the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation.

For more information about the webinar, visit the CoE-FS website.

“Hustle: A case for informal enterprise in the African Continental Free Trade Area”, Afronomics Law, 2 May 2020

GovInn director Dr Chris Nshimbi contributed a blog to Afronomics Law on the informal economy and its relation to the African Continental  Free Trade Agreement, titled Hustle: A case for informal enterprise in the African Continental Free Trade Area.


Highlighting some of the challenges of and related to the informal economy should provide the basis for continued discussion of informality on this blog and the relevance of the informal economy to the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), transformation and development. The African Union (AU) and, specifically, member states and governments of the AU will have to face up to the problems that relate to and affect the informal economy as the 21st century unfolds and they implement the AfCFTA. Member states of the AU commendably make provisions, albeit very briefly, for informal enterprises and actors in Article 27.2.(d) of the AfCFTA Agreement.


You can read the full article here.

“SA needs a place-based approach to restarting the economy”, Business Day, 22 April 2020

GovInn co-Director Dr Bruno Losch in collaboration with Professor Julian May, director at the University of the Western Cape’s DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security, contributed an article to the Business Day on “using local and community contexts may offer a way forward both to restarting the economy and building resilient urban areas”.

A place-based approach, which considers local and community contexts, may offer a way forward both to restarting the economy and building resilient urban areas. This approach would involve targeting geographical areas and sectors.


The article was published on 22 April 2020 and can be found here.

“Rural migration in sub-Saharan Africa: patterns, drivers and relation to structural transformation”, FAO Rural employment working paper

GovInn is pleased to share the new FAO working paper “Rural migration in sub-Saharan Africa: patterns, drivers and relation to structural transformation” which was published at the end of 2019 but only posted recently on the FAO website. GovInners were deeply involved in its preparation with Sara Mercandalli and Bruno Losch as editors, as well as Chris Nshimbi and Robin Bourgeois.

The paper provides an up-to-date review of the literature on the patterns and drivers of rural migration in sub-Saharan Africa and explores their relation to rural and structural transformation. It aims at feeding the current policy debate on migration.

This working paper is a companion of the FAO-CIRAD Atlas “Rural Africa in motion – Dynamics and drivers of migration South of the Sahara”, published in English at the end of 2017 and in French mid-2018. GovInn had been deeply involved in its preparation. The atlas was launched in South Africa during the GovInn Week 2017.

Based on a mixed approach that combines a critical literature review of past, current and future drivers of migration and analyses of available data, the paper first elaborates a pluri-disciplinary and comprehensive conceptual framework for the understanding of the drivers and patterns of rural migration. It then examines the evolving patterns of African rural migration and presents renewed migration characteristics, which have emerged over the last decades. It reveals that migration is performing a range of socio-economic functions far beyond the only transfer of labour from agriculture to other sectors and from rural-to-urban areas. As such, migration processes highlight possible new structural transformation paths, responding to existing challenges faced by the region in terms of demographic and economic transition. The paper finally discusses the characteristics and dynamics of the drivers using existing datasets and case studies. It highlights the diverse and multifaceted nature of the drivers of rural migration and the way they act in combination to shape African rural migration dynamics today and their links to contemporary regional and sectoral processes of change.


You can access the full working paper here.

“Migration Evangelism to French Commuters: Political transnationalism of France-based African migrants on board of trains”, Leon Mwamba

GovInn postdoctral fellow, Dr Leon Mwamba, contributed a blog post on the political transnationalism of African migrants as part of the Diversity, Inclusion and Multidisciplinarity in European Studies (DIMES) Jean Monet Project.

Drawing from political transnationalism of African migrants in France, Dr Tshimpaka argues that France-based African migrant combatants from Francophone countries, transnationally network within the ‘Rassemblement des Africains et Afro-descendants pour la Souverneite’ de Afrique’ (RAASA) to contest the European narrative on African migration, that they deem to be misleading. By doing so, they actively engage each other and ordinary host citizens on metro trains to raise transnational awareness. European countries should not undermine political transnationalism of RAASA, which may contribute to democracy promotion in Africa but, also be a recipe for future conflict opposing political elites to their citizens in Europe, if overlooked.
The full article can be found here.

Call for Papers: Conceptual and Empirical Perspectives on the Performance of Regionalisms in the Global South: From State Fragility to Africa-EU relations, and beyond.

International Workshop

Conceptual and Empirical Perspectives on the Performance of Regionalisms in the Global South: From State Fragility to Africa-EU relations, and beyond.

2.-3. July 2020, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany

Call for Papers


Friedrich Plank – Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz

Johannes Muntschick – Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz


Research has increasingly acknowledged the rise and growing importance of regionalism and regional integration dynamics in the Global South. This reflects in a broad array of literature and a prolific research agenda focusing on comparative regionalism, overlapping regionalism, interregionalism including Africa-EU relations, or specific regional integration organisations (RIOs) and policy fields.

So far, the scientific debate on how to analyse and explain regionalism, specific regional integration processes and outcomes is yet significantly influenced by research on the European Union (EU). Theory-driven and systematic empirical studies on similar phenomena and observations beyond Europe are yet rare to find. This implies that research on regionalism in the Global South is often inherently Euro-centric.

Many shortcomings are specifically evident with reference to the performance of regionalism beyond the EU. While efforts have been made in analysing regionalism in the Global South across various policy fields ranging from mediation, to state fragility, to trade, and applying various different concepts, additional research is necessary with regard to the performance of RIOs and regional integration processes. Scholars have barely embarked on conceptualisations and theoretical frameworks to systematically analyse and explain the outcomes of regionalisms across various policy fields and regions, including hypotheses on the potential causal mechanisms at play and precise operationalisations of key concepts. Moreover, systematic empirical examinations and assessments on specific factors and conditions shaping the output and outcomes of regional integration projects are virtually non-existent. In addition, the performance of regionalisms in response to specific challenges such as state fragility and with reference to donor-recipient cooperation such as Africa-EU relations have so far barely been studied. In terms of theory, conceptualisations on the performance of regional organisations in the Global South are scarce, particularly because existing ones have been inspired primarily by looking at regional integration in Europe. Accordingly, many scholars have analysed the performance and effectiveness of the EU and provided for rich empirical findings and nuanced operationalisations, for instance in EU foreign policy. However, instead of simply applying these frameworks to regionalisms in the Global South, conceptualisations beyond European interpretations of performance are necessary since regional integration projects in structurally different environments might e.g. develop unique notions of performance, might be less focused on goals and their achievement, or confronted with diffuse challenges. These might evolve external dimensions of problem-solving, capacities and capabilities, alteration of behaviour, or social practices.

Possibly, the performance of regionalism is influenced by a variety of conditions. While intra-regional (f)actors such as regional hegemons, member states, non-governmental actors, or specific regional characteristics are widely recognised to play a pivotal role for the outcomes of regional organisations, there has been few systematic research on necessary and sufficient conditions affecting the performance of regional organisations. Such conditions might further involve e.g. cultural links within the regional organisation, institutional decision-making, donor recipient cooperation such as with the EU and African ROIs, the difficulty of the cooperation problem, or state fragility and institutional capacity.


This international workshop seeks to bring together scholars and researchers who work on the topic of regionalism and aims to encourage and advance scientific research on the performance of RIOs and regional integration processes in the Global South. In this context, it aims to bring together research focusing on mediation, state fragility, donor-recipient relations in the context of regionalism, and other topics.

It seeks to provide for discussion and debates on the outcomes of regionalism in the Global South that move beyond European notions and European actors, and are inclusive with regard to actors or policy fields. In particular, the workshop seeks to embark on conceptualising RIO performance and its conditions by including existing frameworks to some extent but concurrently debating and developing new and innovative approaches. It aims at analysing and explaining the outcomes of regionalisms in comparative perspective – with a focus on the Global South. This shall lead to achieving systematic and profound empirical knowledge on the similarities and differences among regional organisations as well as understanding how specific conditions and (f)actors unfold influence. Methodologically, the workshop seeks to combine varying approaches to the study of regionalism including – but not limited to – quantitative analyses, single case studies, comparative endeavours, or other empirical approaches.

Successful papers address topics and questions such as:

  • How can we systematically evaluate/assess the performance of regional organisations in the Global South?
  • What conditions and factors affect the performance of regional organisations in the Global South?
  • In what ways do intra- and/or extra-regional (f)actors shape the performance of regional organisations in the Global South?
  • How do intra- and/or extra-regional non-governmental (f)actors such as member states, the EU,or international partners/donors shape the performance of regional organisations in the Global South?
  • How do factors specific to the region such as state fragility shape the performance of regional organisations in the Global South?
  • How do regional organisations perform in mediation efforts, also in cooperation with external actors such as the EU?
  • How does the architecture of regional organisations shape their performance?
  • What are the similarities and/or differences of regional organisations’ performance in the Global South and what explains them?
  • How do regional organisations in the Global South perform across various policy fields?
  • The combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods with the goal of better analysing, explaining, and understanding regionalism in comparative perspective.

Papers should provide for a (theory-informed) conceptualisation of performance and embark on an empirical approach. Analyses on regionalisms in Africa, Asia, and South America are most welcome. The conference is planned to lead to a joint publication (edited volume with an international publishing house) in which high-quality papers may become part of. In preparation of the workshop, the organisers will provide for an introductory paper that outlines conceptual and methodological approaches to the study of performance of regional organisations in the Global South.

  • Please send an abstract of your paper proposal (max. 300 words; please include title, name and affiliation) by 29th March 2020 (deadline) to:
  • Limited funding will be available to finance (part) of the travel and accommodation costs. Please, state whether your participation will depend on funding made available by the organisers. If desired, the organisers will take efforts to provide for childcare.


Official Call Document.

Presentation on GovInn work on SDG16 at the South African-French Science and Innovation Days, 2-3 December 2019

GovInn Senior Researcher Dr. Robin Bourgeois presented GovInn’s work on SDG 16 “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions”, at the 1st  South African-French Science and Innovations Days  conference organized by The French Embassy in South Africa, in collaboration with the DST and the NRF during 2-3 December 2019. The event took place at the CSIR Convention Centre, Pretoria. Dr Bourgeois highlighted i) some of the results  of the study of local justice systems in Namibia (, ii) the anticipatory approach used for the preparation of the SDG16 section of the goal report GovInn produced as a contribution to the country report by StatSA on the achievement of the SDGs in South Africa, and a holistic approach to the SDGs as a network of interconnected elements. The full presentation and related notes can be found here.

Dr Leon Mwamba Tshimpaka at International Conference on EU-Africa Migration Conundrum in the Global Changing Order, November 2019

GovInn Research Fellow Dr. Leon Mwamba Tshimpaka presented a paper titled: “Solidarite´ en mouvement” against homeland authoritarianism: Political transnationalism of Europe-based African migrants” at the International Conference on EU-Africa Migration Conundrum in the Global Changing Order held at the University of Eastern Finland in Joensuu from 21-23 November 2019.

For further details on the indicated paper please read below abstract: “

“Solidarite´ en mouvement” against homeland authoritarianism: Political transnationalism of Europe-based African migrants

This study focuses on intercontinental citizenship networks exercised by Europe-based African migrants in solidarity against their homeland authoritarianism. Most studies on migrants’ political transnationalism do not emphasize how African migrants entered into solidarity during their mobility and how they create social networks, from their receiving site, to demand for homeland democratic change. Building on notion of social networks and political transnationalism of migrants, this study draws lessons and experiences from 1990 to 2018, the period marking the democratic transition and at the same time democratic deficit in the African continent. It reviews the quality of democracy in part of Central African countries such, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Congo-Brazzaville, and Burundi in order to demonstrate why solidarity among these indicated African migrants was of importance to trigger intercontinental citizenship networks in Europe. Against this backdrop, the paper argues that apart from their individual exercised transnational political activities, Europe-based African migrants strengthen their citizenship by entering into solidarity to fight against homeland authoritarian ruling regimes that unite them abroad. It has been found that these Europe-based African migrants collaborate while exiting their countries of origin and, once in Europe, they strategize within horizontal networks during their political activities such as public protests and demonstrations, mutakalisation of homeland government elites, the prohibition of homeland artists to perform in Europe. Thus, “solidarite´ en movement” has triggered the Europe-based African migrant intercontinental citizenship networks.

SEMINAR: Roundtable Discussion on Kazakhstan and South Africa – Lessons of Building Constructive Public Dialogue as the basis of stability and prosperity

The Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in South Africa
in conjunction with
The Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn)
Cordially invites you to a Round Table


Date: Wednesday, 27 November 2019
Time: 14:00 – 16:00
Venue: Old College House Room 1-09, University of Pretoria (building 26 on attached map)