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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: http://goo.gl/forms/WLzW1M6GKu by 30 May 2016.
Queriesinfo@governanceinnovation.org

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

“Sport, Security and Language in African and European perspectives”

A Soft Student Seminar under the umbrella of the European Studies Association of Sub-Saharan Africa (ESA-SSA) was held on the 16th of May, 2016, at Old College House, University of Pretoria. It was presided over by officials of the EU-Delegation to the Republic of South Africa, led by the Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to South Africa, Ms Sofia Moreira de Sousa. Members of the EU Delegation who also participated in the seminar included, Arno Schaefer, Mano Queiro and Carmelo Cocuzza (European Investment Bank regional representative for Southern Africa).

The seminar was held to mark the European Union Anniversary and its focuses included EU and Africa relations, as well as sport, security and language in African and European Perspectives. Ms Sofia reacting to questions on Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreements (TDCA) in Africa said that part of the objectives of the EU and Africa relations, making reference to South Africa in particular is to build a stable country that is economically developed, that would be able to invest in Europe and create a safe place for European investments in the country.

Among the academics of the seminar panels were: Dr. Chris Nshimbi, GovInn Deputy Director, who gave the opening remarks, representing Prof. Lorenzo Fioramonti, Dr John Kotsopoulos, a postdoctoral and Senior Research Fellow at GovInn, Dr. George Dosumu, who represented Dr. Samuel Adeyemo, a Senior Lecturer at Educational Management and Policy Studies’ department. The seminar was also attended by a good number of UP students from various departments and moderated by ESA-SSA student members.

 

 

EU-Africa dinner at the EUIA conference in Brussels

Members of the European Studies Association of Sub-Saharan Africa (ESA-SSA) met in Brussels on 12 May for a special EU -Africa dinner. This event took place during the European Union in International Affairs Conference, 11-13 May 2016 and was attended by GovInn senior researchers Camilla Adelle, John Kotsopoulos and Frank Mattheis

GovInn in Groundbreaking seminar on Policy Coherence for Development

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GovInn, as part of the Consortium for Comparative Research on Regional Integration and Social Cohesion (RISC), participated in a groundbreaking seminar at the West Africa Institute (WAI) in Praia, Cape Verde, organized by the RISC Working group on Development, Equity and Policy Coherence; to analyze Normative Coherence for Development and Inter-regionalism. Deputy Director, Chris Nshimbi, represented GovInn at the seminar, which was coordinated by Prof. Lauri Siitonen (University of Helsinki) and Prof. Harlan Koff (University of Luxembourg), and held on April 27 and 28, 2016. Participants focused on normative development frameworks in different world regions including ECOWAS, SADC, ASEAN and the Andean Community of Nations and examined whether or not the EU respects them in inter-regional relations.

 

GovInn deputy director Chris Nshimbi delivers keynote address at 2016 Potsdam Spring Dialogues

 

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GovInn Deputy Director, Chris Nshimbi, participated in this year’s Potsdam Spring Dialogues in Germany held on 7-8 April 2016 under the theme “Pathways towards Coordinated African Migration Governance: The African Regional Organisations’ Role.” Chris gave a Keynote Address on Africa’s position and policies on migration. For more information of the conference, see the conference report…

 

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“Sport, Security and Language in African and European perspectives”

Student members of the European Studies Association of Sub-Saharan Africa (ESA-SSA) are pleased to announce their soft seminar to mark the European Union’s anniversary. Entitled “Sport, Security and Language in African and European perspectives” the seminar will explore sports migration from Africa to Europe, the multi-linguistic model of the European Union and its applicability to African regional and sub regional organisations as well as the challenges posed to Europe by radicalism and terrorism. The event will take place on Monday the 16 May 2016 in the seminar room at Old College House. GovInn director Lorenzo Fioramonti will provide opening remarks and guest speakers include GovInn senior research fellow John Kotsopoulos, Sofia Moeira de Sousa (Deputy head of the EU delegation to South Africa) Angelo Fick (ENCA current affairs and news analyst) and Dr. Samuel Adeyemo (senior lecturer at the Department of Education & management policy studies, UP).

 

ESASSA Flyers (2)

 

Date: Monday 16 May 2016

Time: 14:00-16:00

Venue: Seminar room, Old College House, Hatfield Campus, University of Pretoria

 

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.

Call for participants to join the WE-Africa action research network

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WE-Africa is an alliance of likeminded scholars and practitioners who share a common concern about the current socio-economic conditions in which we live and are willing to work together to promote a transition to a wellbeing-based economy for Africa. It is an action-research network, which aims to consolidate evidence for change while focusing on building a new economy and promoting alternative development policies. The nexus between research and action is a crucial component of WE-Africa’s work. The network also endorses the principle of transdisciplinarity, which underlines the importance of combining knowledge from different scientific streams (natural and social sciences, as well as the humanities) as well as from different sources of experience in society at large (outside academia) with a view to tackling the complex problems affecting our civilization.

WE-Africa is looking for up to 25 thought leaders and change agents from Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, Uganda, Tanzania and South Africa in multiple disciplines from academia, business, media, government or the public sector to support in the realisation of their change initiatives. For more information see the info sheet below or visit the WE-Africa webpage here.

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Further information for prospective collaborators can be found below in the call for applications.

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The eventswas co-hosted by SIWI, GovInn and the WRC

Watch GovInn associate fellow Quraysha Ismail Sooliman’s interview with Dr Rajendra Singh

Rajenda Singh and Lorenzo Fioramonti

Rajenda Singh and Lorenzo Fioramonti

Famed water conservationist and activist Dr Rajendra Singh, known as the “water man of India”, sat down with GovInn associate fellow Quraysha Ismail Sooliman proir to his presentation at the GovInn rethinking development seminar, “The power of Community: Water security in times of scarcity”. They discuss the conservation methods employed in his native Rajasthan, sustainable solutions to water management and the policies that should accompany such initiatives. To watch follow the link here

GovInn and the Department of Political Sciences, University of Pretoria honored to co-host the 2016 Southern Voices Network Conference

On March 21-24, 2016, GovInn, the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria, in partnership with the Wilson Center Africa Program, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), the Human Science Research Council (HSCR), and the Institute for Global Dialogue (IGD) hosted the annual Southern Voices Network conference in Pretoria, South Africa.

The theme of the conference was “Building Peace through Inclusivity: Strengthening Economic, Social, and Political Inclusion in Africa.”

The Southern Voices Network (SVN) is a continent-wide network of African policy and research organizations that works with the Africa Program of the Wilson Center to bring African analyses and perspectives to key issues in U.S.-Africa relations.
– See photos from the conference in the photo packet here.