AGI has been called upon to debate and propose the most appropriate solutions to major challenges of governance with which the continent is confronted.
The space ‘thematic reports’ presents some of these major challenges and orientations which structure AGI thinking on the subject.
February 11-12, 2011
AGI organizes a round table ’The Link Between Governance Promotion Instruments and Processes’ within the framework of the AGI’s Fridays.
List of attendees
March 10, 2011
The Africa Governance Institute held its second “quality control” intern seminar on Thursday, March 10, 2011 at its headquarter in Dakar.
Organized in the framework of a special AGI’s Friday session, this meeting focused on the’ results-based logic’, and extends the excellence aimed by AGI, through regular assessment of its internal functioning and quality of its services. This meeting also participates in the certification purpose of the Institute in the medium term.
Under the supervision of Prof. Olukoshi, AGI Executive Acting Director, the participants had the opportunity to discuss on management tools based on results and pay particular attention on the Results-Based Logical Framework.
Report of the intern workshop on the “quality control” of November 26, 2010
April 22-23, 2011
AGI organizes a round table on « The Assessment of the European Tool for the Support and Promotion of Governance» within the framework of the AGI’s Fridays.
Strategic note (pdf, 464.99 kB)
May 16, 2011
AGI organizes a round table ’What link (s) between Developmental State and Capable State? Attempts response from public policy: Example of Health policies ’ within the framework of the AGI’s Fridays.
Strategic Note (pdf, 167.86 kB)
September 30, 2011, Dakar, Senegal
Hotel Fleur de Lys 9:30-12:30
AGI organizes a round table ‘Reform of the Security Sector and Reform of the African State’ within the framework of the AGI’s Fridays.
List of attendees
Strategic Note (PDF, 203.20 kB)
December 6, 2010
Hotel Savana, Dakar, Senegal
Biography of her Excellency the Honorable Mrs. Reine Alapini-Gansou
Speech of welcome by Prof Adebayo Olukoshi
Opening speech by her Excellency Mme Coumba Gaye
Présentation of Mme Reine Alapini-Gansou, Avocat, Présidente of ACDPH
Verbatim du discutant, Pr. Alioune Tine, Secrétaire Exécutif du RADDHO,
Closing speech by Prof Adebayo Olukoshi
The book of the annual lecture will available soon (french version)
Allocution de M. Cire ALY BA, Directeur de cabinet de M. le Premier Ministre de la République du Sénégal
Présentation de M. Mohamed H’MIDOUCHE, Représentant Régional Résidant au Sénégal
Annexe de la présentation
The book of the annual lecture will available soon (french version)
October 17, 2011
Conseil Économique et Social, Dakar, Senegal
November 8, 2011
Hotel Fleur de Lys, Dakar, Senegal
AGI organizes a round table ’The Consequences of the Global Financial Crisis on African Economies’ within the framework of the AGI’s Fridays.
Agenda (PDF, 26.15 kB)
Tors of event (PDF, 112.66 kB)
Annual Conference Publication (PDF, 1.78 MB)
March 10-12, 2010
June 7-8, 2011
Hotel Fleur de Lys, Dakar, Senegal
Agenda and conceptual note (pdf, 408.45 kB)
Session 1 : Background rationale and methodology - Emerging strategic questions
Session 2 : Presentation initial findings GI study and emerging straegic questions - Retrospective analysis
Session 3 : Prospective analysis
In collaboration with ECDPM and IDEP and within the framework of its 2011 advanced policy research programme, the Africa Governance Institute (AGI) will organize, on 7 and 8 June 2011, at the Hotel Fleur de Lys in Dakar, a Focus Group on the Support Study on the European Commission’s Governance Initiative and its related Governance Incentive Tranche (2006-2011)’.
July 29-30, 2011
Fleur de Lys, Dakar, Senegal
Tors of event (pdf, 58 kB)
Agenda (pdf, 57.95 kB)
Report (PDF, 383 kB)
November 3-4, 2009
Concept note (pdf, 126.08 kB )
Agenda (pdf, 37.09 kB )
The second day enabled the Interim Director to present the AGI 2010-2012 Work Plan, and partners to state their expectations of the institute in reference to their own governance agenda. Final report (pdf, 97.75 kB )
The AGI held its inaugural workshop on 3 - 4 November 2009, at the Méridien Président Hotel in Dakar on the theme “Rethinking Governance in Africa”.
Around 300 people took part:
Government members and officials from the Republic of Senegal;
A representative from the Republic of Cape Verde;
Members from the diplomatic corps and representatives from African and international organisations in Dakar;
Representatives from United Nations organisations at Dakar;
National and international experts;
National and international academics;
Representatives from civil society organisations;
Representatives from the national and international press.
In addition, about twenty institutions involved in governance in Africa were formally represented:
the Union African Commission;
Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union (ECOSOCC);
UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa;
L’Alliance pour la Refondation de la Gouvernance en Afrique (ARGA) (Alliance for restructuring governance in Africa);
Le Centre pour la Gouvernance Durable (CSG/Addis Ababa – Centre for Sustainable Governance);
European Union Commission (EUC);
The French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MAEE);
L’Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF)
The ‘Governance Democratic and Human Rights’ partnership of the joint Africa-EU strategy Vice-Presidency was represented and took part in the sessions too. On the occasion of the workshop, the book ‘The challenges of governance in Africa’ published by the UNDP, and introduced by his Excellence, Maître Abdoulaye Wade, president of the Republic of Senegal was presented at the conference.
From its independence to the events of March 1991, Mali has experienced three decades of political, administrative and economic centralism.
On 22 September 1960, Modibo Keita and his comrades from US-RDA (Sudanese Union-African Democratic Rally) opted for an interventionist regime that draw its inspiration from African values of solidarity and sharing to build a socialist state that would take into account the aspirations of the pluralistic nation that is Mali. However, in practice the fulfilment of this ambition was based on a de facto one-party system which fought all expressions of diversity perceived as an obstacle to achieving the envisaged plan. On 19 November 1968, under the pretext of freeing the people from the constraints imposed by the socialist regime of US-RDA, a group of officers united within the CMLN (Military National Liberation Committee) led by Lieutenant Moussa Traoré, brought a violent end to the 1st Republic by a coup d’état. This military committee, after having observed an extended state of emergency that lasted until 1976, proceeded to establish the 2nd Republic, also characterized by a single-party State by the name of UDPM (Democratic Union of the Malian People). This party which took itself for the only crucible of expression of the pluralistic nation of Mali resulted in disastrous public management and a predatory State that crumbled under the barrage of attacks by demonstrators in December, January, February and March 1991.
The National Conference, which took place from 29 July to 12 August 1991, brought together all elements of the Malian Nation, after a report on the state of the nation presented by the transition power, the CTAP (Transitory Committee of Public Salvation, March 1991- June 1992), led by Lieutenant-Colonel Amadou Toumani Touré. Among other laws, it adopted the draft Constitution and Charter of political parties, affording each Malian citizen the right to create or join the political group of his choice. Through this Constitution which was validated by the 12 January 1992 Referendum, Mali adopted a rule of law rooted in a pluralistic institutional architecture built on the expression and recognition of the diversity of opinion and choice of Malian men and women.
Mali, like the majority of African countries has an enormous potential of natural resources of all kinds (agricultural, aquifer, and mining) and a population in majority young. These people, bound together by several centuries of organized cohabitation , have a solid institutional heritage which has forged their way of being, and living together and with others. The envisaged policies of each of the first two Republics, that were about forming a uniform Nation under the strict control of a centralized State, denied the obvious diversity of the Malian nation that is perceptible in every part of this vast country of transition between white and black Africa.
This mismatch between political plans and the daily life and institutional references of the people is at the root of the fragility of the legitimacy of institutions and state decision-makers thus all forms of crisis and ineffectiveness of public management.
The 3rd Republic by laying the foundations for a pluralist democracy committed the country to building a legally constituted state which not only takes into account diversity, but also recognizes it. This choice to promote pluralism in the political sphere should extend to the cultural, economic and social spheres.
The decentralization of public management begun in 1999/2000; the establishment of local government and their governing bodies; and the creation of the HCC (Upper Council of Local Government) – acknowledgement at central State level of our nation’s diversity – are the first steps on the long road to the reconciliation needed between the State inherited from colonization, and society which has remained rooted in its heritage. State institutions should inevitably reach out to society to embed their legitimacy if they wish for sustainability, credibility and effectiveness.
This question opens up the debate on the democracy project and all the challenges that it engenders. What are the appropriate models (representative and/or participative)? How can choice be expressed (vote and/or consensus)? And what are the approaches to public management (lose/win and/or power sharing).
To the democracy challenge, I have added two other challenges: creating internal wealth in the country, and jobs for the youth who constitute the majority of the population. Mali, like most countries on the continent is in a paradoxical situation: huge natural potential and one of the poorest populations in the world. In my opinion, the veneer of the postcolonial Nation-State, created abroad, on Malian communities remains one of the major obstacles to the country’s development ambitions today. This Nation came into existence in 1960 with two major handicaps:
first, that of having been thought up and constructed on needs and objectives that were totally alien to the people; consequently, it still remains too remote from these people today; and,
Secondly, the intangibility of borders inherited from colonization built on dogma .
Fifty years after independence, we are still suffering from the difficulty of questioning the rationale that ruled at the time of establishing the colonial State. Thus, the political power established after independence, often in spite of itself, pursued the colonial endeavour of constructing a specific national identity, limited and exclusive to a territory originally conceived and designed to serve the needs of the colonizer. In Mali, as everywhere in Africa, the major-turned-obsessive policy envisaged in the first fifty years of independence was the construction of a single and homogenous nationality in a territory occupied by communities characterized first by their great human and linguistic diversity.
In building institutions – starting with the Constitution – communities and their diversity are ignored, for the benefit of exclusively emphasizing the identity of the individual and his/her nationality. The diversity in the realities of local and regional territories is obscured for the benefit of the cult of a national territory defined by borders that break up the dynamics of enduring communities.
Centralist Jacobinism has been established as a method of government even if political proclamations and laws say the opposite. Although the Constitution of 22 September 1960 declared that local government should be administered freely by elected councils and that the government representative is in charge of the State’s interests, administrative control and respect of laws, this measure remained in abeyance until the start of the 3rd Republic , which established this basic principle of decentralization.
Nowadays, and despite the establishment of decentralized local governments the people, especially in rural areas, are still considered and treated as ‘administered subjects’ who only have duties, and not as citizens who also have rights and responsibilities. This explains to a large extent, the scant concern that institutions and public decision-makers have for their legitimacy and that of their decisions. Despite ongoing attempts to build democracy for nearly two decades, the political groups and state powers that have resulted still put more into nepotism and corruption than into seeking the support of the people in their projects in so far as they have one for that matter. The worst is that practices such as the use of force and imposing forced labour as a method of social mobilisation instead of looking for the support of the people – practices developed by the colonizer and ‘recycled’ by post-colonial political and administrative powers – have ended up being presented as intrinsic to our society.
Consequently, rural and urban communities have developed two types of attitude toward the national centralized State. On the one hand, its assistance is requested because one must extract the maximum of profit for oneself and for one’s community. On the other, the central State and its dismemberments in the country remain the bête noire which grass-root communities still mistrust nowadays.
I am with those who think that the road to change will not happen by replicating political, economic and institutional models, or by rescue plans devised behind the desks of large international co-operation agencies. It is widely acknowledged nowadays that structural adjustment programmes have only produced human tragedy, and that strategic frameworks to reduce or fight poverty only give rise to a ‘wait-and-see’ attitude and despair. Individual and collective begging has been set up as a management model for society and state affairs.
To resolve the infernal equation of the growing pauperization of the people and of incessant conflicts that lead only to instability, Mali must look to come out of the dead end in which its current bad governance trends are locked. In my opinion, this is achieved by persevering in implementing two major structural reforms:
1- the decentralization of public management to involve the majority of the population in the effort to build development;
2- the promotion of regional integration to strengthen the capacity of the country to exist in a globalised world.
The decentralization of public management and integration of the country involve another way of tackling the management of state affairs. Building a democratic society for the well being of all, cannot be achieved away from values and norms known, understood and accepted by the people. These are the minimum conditions necessary for public management to be legitimate. There cannot be good management of state affairs in a country where urban and rural communities and all other social groups are totally indifferent towards public institutions. An answer to this indifference will only be found if the majority of the people can identify with the State and legitimize its institutions. Strict democracy such the one being built is not an adequate response. Each society should, at each step of its development, devise specific responses to its public management problems based on its culture and challenges, needs and demands of the time.
I shall conclude by saying that Mali, at the start of the 2nd fifty years of its independence, should rely on its age-old rich heritage to devise ways of public management that are rooted and shared by its people. Thus, governance becomes legitimate because Malian men and women of all ages and categories are in agreement, and can identify with the way in which their affairs are run, which is very far from being the case today with the type of State in place. In the area of State-building, as the popular saying goes: ‘must look for shoes that fit our feet instead of struggling to fit our feet in shoes that are obviously not the right size’.
Author: Ousmane Sy, Chair of the AGI Board and ARGA Coordinator
5O years after independence:
Political, economic and social change in Gabon
On August 17, 2010, the independent Gabonese Republic is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. 50 years after independence, accepted without any particular enthusiasm, Gabon whilst retaining its main founding characteristics has nevertheless, experienced real change (political as much as economic and social), of which this contribution will endeavor to outline the main points.
1. In political terms
It was on August 16, 1960 at 11.55pm that Léon Mba (Prime Minister) read the proclamation of independence. France’s official representative was the Minister, André Malraux. . The first months of the independent state were marked by an institutional debate (between partisans of a presidential system and those in favor of a parliamentary system). The intensity of this debate will be a precursor to future crises. Following this, a Constitution (triumph of the ‘parliamentarist’) was adopted on November 4, 1960, giving birth to the more than fleeting 2nd Republic.
Two days after its promulgation (November 14), the first political crisis occurred. It was the result of general elections in February 1961. From these elections came an Assembly that voted the Constitution of the 3rd Republic (presidential). This Constitution, obviously and with constant revision, governed the country until the unrest in the 1990s.
On February 20, 1963, Léon Mba undertook a reorganization of the government that resulted in ministers leaving the UDSG, marking the end of the de facto ‘National Union’ of 1961.
The Assembly once again turned into a hub of resistance and, a few months later, the Deputies refused to examine the country’s budget.
The unrest gradually spread to the general population justified by Leon Mba’s paternalistic and brutal governance.
On January 21, 1964, Leon Mba dissolved the National Assembly and announced elections on February 23.
On the night of February 17-18, 1964, a group of young Gabonese officers seized power from Léon Mba and forced him to resign. It was the ‘1964 coup d’etat’, whereby the military handed over power to Jean-Hilaire Aubame – who would keep it for only two days - the time for Léon Mba (sent off to the sticks) to return to Libreville thanks to the intervention of French paratroopers on February 20.
Following this, with Léon Mba’s health deteriorating, the Constitution was revised on February 17, 1967 with the creation of a post of vice-president, automatic successor to the president of the Republic in case of a final unexpected obstacle.
In March 1967, Léon Mba ran for the presidential elections with Albert Bongo as Fellow candidate. When, on November 28, 1967, Léon MBA died, succession took place in accordance with the Constitution. The new head of state, Albert Bongo was sworn in on December 2, 1967.
From this date a new page of Gabonese political history began: the “3rd ‘reformed’ Republic” marked by the creation and gradual rise to power of the PDG (Gabonese Democratic Party) from the ashes of the BDG. It is the PDG, the only party, who had the sole control of the country until 1990.
On March 26, 1991, a new Constitution was adopted. It was the result of factors as much endogenous as exogenous, whose trigger was a crisis at the University in January 1990 before unrest spread throughout society and led to the National Conference (March 27, 1990) and elections in September 1990, which gave a narrow majority to the PDG (63 elected representatives) against 57 for a disunited opposition.
Gabon saw an acceleration of its history on June 8, 2009 with the disappearance of the one who had supreme public office for 42 years: H.E. President Omar Bongo Ondimba
On June 9, the constitutional Court, deferred to by the Government, verified the vacant post of the president of the Republic.
On June 10, Mrs. Rose Francine Rogombé, president of the Senate, was sworn in as president of the Republic for a constitutional duration of 45 days, which would be extended by 45.
On August 30 the voters went to the polls. As soon as the results were announced (Ali Bongo Ondimba, son of the deceased president: 41.73 %; André Mba Obame: 25.88% and Pierre Mamboundou: 25.22 %.), the losers contested Ali Bongo’s victory. Disturbances occurred in some outlying neighbourhoods in the capital. However, it was at Port-Gentil that the riots took the turn of insurgency for more than one week.
At the end of the electoral dispute, the Constitutional Court confirmed the election of Ali Bongo Ondimba with 41.79% of votes before he was sworn in on September 16 and on the same day, nominated a Prime Minister who would form his government on 17th. Since then, Gabon has begun a new phase in its history at the same time as rupture and continuity.
2. In economic and social terms
Among the least developed colonies in Africa, at the end of the 1960s, Gabon began a particular social economic change thanks to the exploitation of its natural wealth (wood, manganese, uranium and, above all, petrol).
The Investor State from the 1970s launched into numerous infrastructure projects (deep-water ports, airports, railways etc.) which until then did not exist.
An ambitious training policy based on the State bearing the cost of studies by paying student grants, created from scratch an almost non-existent élite at the moment of independence (the first Gabonese doctor graduated from university in 1962).
After the first university created in 1971 in Libreville, two others were established, and the number of schools and health establishments experienced remarkable progress.
All this investment led to Gabon being called a ‘tropical Emirate’. Following the oil crisis, however, and the unrigorous management of State resources, marked by private appropriation of public interests, the ‘model’ disintegrated from the 1980s onwards, throwing the country into a multifaceted crisis from which it is trying to escape today.
Professor at the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences, University of Libreville-UOB
To retrace the economic, social and political development of Burkina Faso since 1960 is a real challenge. It was understood that the option of an approach based on long chronological sequences would in no way satisfy the demand for an in-depth historical analysis.
The Republic of Upper-Volta, renamed in 1984 Burkina Faso which means ‘The Land of Men of Honor’ was declared on 11 December 1958. First a member of the Franco-African Community initiated by General De Gaulle, in order to discourage the vague stirrings of independence movements in new African states coming from colonization, Burkina Faso achieved independence on 5 August 1960.
Under the presidency of Maurice Yaméogo, the ‘Father of Independence’ the claim to sovereignty would make up one of the main features of the First Republic’s foreign policy (1958-1966). Despite the Cooperation Agreements with France binding the former colonies to the ex- Metropole, the new Volta State would refuse French military bases to remain on national territory. However, on the domestic front the building of the Nation was somewhat marked by the continuation of debate between the new élite from the struggle for independence. The RDA (African Democratic Assembly), the main political party on the eve of independence was divided into rival factions organised around dignitaries of the Party. Amongst the other political groups, Professor Joseph Ki-Zerbo’s MLN (the National Liberation Movement) would constitute one of the main poles of opposition, through its strong links with the trade-union milieu. Indeed, the main characteristic of this political configuration on the eve of independence was that of the strong position occupied by trade-union groups of workers and students. In this context of learning about the political autonomy process, where the large majority of the population was on the margins of political discussion, and excluded de facto by the political elite, trade-union groups were to be a real opposing force. Whilst the political and economic management of the country, under the direction of an elite more concerned with conspicuous spending and personal enrichment, would lead to a deep social and economic crisis, the trade unionists would be the main architects of a popular rebellion movement against the government, resulting in the president, Maurice Yaméogo being forced to leave on 3 January 1966.
Resignation by the President of the Republic, or a coup d’état by Lieutenant Colonel Sangoulé Lamizana? The date, 3 January 1966 continues to fuel the polemic on the real nature of this political upheaval. Whatever the interpretation, this event marked the subsequent course of the country’s long-term political history. On the one hand it appeared as the first large-scale demonstration by the people to reject the political elite in power since independence, and on the other, it would mark the start of a political rupture in Upper-Volta in a new era of management of state power, dominated by military regimes. During the period covering 1966 to 1991, notwithstanding the interludes of the 2nd and 3rd Republics, the management of power bore the military seal with of course, considerable variants in the concept, management and political direction of the State. Swept to the power as the head of State following the popular movement of mistrust against President Maurice Yaméogo, Lieutenant Colonel, then General Sangoulé Lamiza got down to putting into place an economic austerity policy to deal with the economic crisis. In this effort, emergency and constitutional regimes alternated one after another. After a military regime from 1966 to 1970, a new Constitution was declared on 29 June 1970 establishing the 2nd Republic. This was suspended on 8 February1974 following a political crisis within the RDA. A second period of emergency regime began which would last until 13 December 1977, date of the promulgation of the a 3rd Republic’s Constitution that was suspended 3 years after, following a coup d’état by Colonel Saye Zerbo on 25 November 1980.
Like an enormous tidal wave with long-lasting whirlpools, the first military regime marked a decisive turning point in the country’s political history with the official arrival of the military on the political scene. Colonel Saye Zerbo’s CMRPN (Military Committee for Reform and National Progress) would be succeeded by Medical Commander Jean-Baptiste Ouédraogo’s CSP (the People’s Salvation Council) 2 years later on 7 November 1982. During this period marked by coups d’état, the struggle between the military for control of power relegated the concerns of development to second place. These were on the agenda after another coup d’état putting an end to the CSP; that of 4 August 1983, led by a group of captains, including Thomas Sankara and Blaise Compaoré, who proclaimed the Democratic and Popular Revolution (RDP). Under Captain Thomas Sankara’s leadership, a charismatic leader and fervent patriot, the CNR (Revolution National Council) would be recognized as one of the emergency regimes whose results as part of economic development proved to be largely positive with numerous achievements that transformed notably the country of hommes intègres. Although enjoying large popular support, the main criticism always cast against the CNR was that of attacks on political freedom and human rights. In assessing the gains and failures of the revolutionary regimes (1983-1987), however, there are also diverging concepts of liberty and rights which are at odds with each other.
These opposing concepts would be what remained of the origin of the halt to the revolutionary process on 15 October 1987, initiated by revolutionaries on the fringe with Captain Blaise Compaoré at its head. The official justification of the coup d’état was the necessary ‘rectification’ of a Revolution that had deviated from its prime objectives. Thus, the Popular Front who succeeded the CNR would look for a new political orientation, initiating a series of rapprochement between yesterday’s revolutionaries and political forces quite recently excluded from the political arena. This ‘broad assembly’ would lead to the adoption of a new Constitution whose promulgation on 11 June 1991 would open the era of the 4th Republic in the wake of what was known as African ‘democratic renewal’.
If the democratic opening-up begun since the adoption of the 4th Republic’s Constitution in 1991 aroused much hope, the actual application of this new political contract was the subject of numerous criticism. It was about what certain observers called the ‘closed opening-up’ to describe the progressive entrenchment after the moment of euphoria, of power around an initial cadre. The fiercest criticism was of the unparalleled development of racketeering, corruption and embezzlement of public funds by high-ranking politicians, and finally the return at times of the demons of periods of emergency, and political violence. As an example, up until now the major event of the 4th Republic would indisputably be the assassination on 13 December 1998 of the journalist director of the weekly newspaper ‘L’Indépendant’, Norbert Zongo who had denounced the abuse of power, economic crime and blood crimes the basis of his leader articles. The massive and violent popular protest against this assassination would testify that he who so much love for this ‘immortal homeland’ had succeeded in sowing in the heart of the Burkinabe people, the seeds of a demand for more freedom, dignity and justice for the people in the heart of the Burkinabe people.
Prof. Basile L. Guissou (CNRST)
Habibou Fofana (Ouaga II University)
30 April 1959.
Félix Houphouët-Boigny. Investiture speech before the legislative Assembly of Côte d’Ivoire: «I stand before you driven by the sole desire to make our young republic a modern state supported by a reformed farming system, a liberal economy and sound finances, offering all its workers the opportunity for social advancement that they deserve, and their children an education, essential to their development.» On 7 August 1960, the day of independence, he was to say: «The long awaited time has come for you, my beloved country…let us arm ourselves against misery and misunderstanding, but pray that we do not bear arms against our fellow man for he is our brother.»
Twenty years later, we would speak of the ‘Ivoirian miracle’. A fourfold increase in the Gross Domestic with an annual growth of around 7%! A doubling of the production of coffee and cocoa, an average annual growth of 20% in infrastructure, a five-fold increase in the standard of living with a GDP per person of 200.000 FCFA compared to 40.000 in 1960, etc. This period of improvement have seen the influx of foreign nationals from the sub-region, making the Côte d’Ivoire a melting–pot of nationalities with an unparalleled immigration rate of 26%. The significant development made was under the PDCI-RDA single party, which had enabled political stability to be guaranteed -Houphouët liked to remind people that even the United States had started their development with a single party- but which had, nevertheless repressed, sometimes violently, vague attempts at destabilisation. So it was with the Plot of 1963, and the rebellions of Sanwi in 1962 and Guébié in 1967.
In 1990, the Côte d’Ivoire opened up to the multi-party system with the first pluralist presidential elections. The appearance of opposition parties including Laurent Gbagbo’s Front Populaire Ivoirien and the opposition press brought a breath of fresh air to democracy. However, the ‘Ivoirian miracle’ faded, pointing to flaws in a system from then on confronted with a strong demand for social objectives, unsatisfied due to the fall in agricultural earnings, malfunctioning in State management and restrictions included in the adjustment programmes.
The death of Houphouët on 7 December 1993 marked the end of political stability in Côte d’Ivoire. Its undisputed long tradition of dialogue should have succeeded in preserving its country from violent constitutional change. From 1995, the miracle turned into a mirage with the active boycott of the presidential election by the opposition and later on, the corruption of the concept of Ivoirité which according to its creators, was originally supposed to unite all the inhabitants of the country.
In 1999, the coup d’état against President Henri Konan Bédié put an end to the programme known as the Eléphant d’Afrique aiming to make Côte d’Ivoire an emerging country! On the political scene, Henri Konan Bédié, Alassane Ouattara, Houphouët’s only Prime Minister and Laurent Gbagbo, a long-term opponent elected in 2000 during the Restructuring regime under catastrophic conditions, embarked on a permanent struggle.
The decade 1990-2000 saw the shattering of Côte d’Ivoire’s main attribute, internal peace.
On 19 September 2002, the Ivoirian rebellion broke out with at its head one of those involved in the 1995-2000 period of dissent, Guillaume Soro, in order he said to fight against ‘Ivoirité’ , that would continue to spread during Restructuring... Eight years later Côte d’Ivoire split in two, and has not had presidential elections since 2000, taking it backwards more than 20 years. From 10% in 1985, the poor represented half of the population in 2008; the gross school enrolment rate has fallen to 65% compared to 74% in 2001, and the unemployment rate among young people has reached the record level of 16%, compared to 6% previously, ...
As to this fiftieth anniversary, the main expectation of Ivoirians concerning these elections is to finally choose who will re-unite the nation. The challenges are enormous: it is about the people reappropriating its destiny by making the essential choice of a State promoting healthy governance, the mark of social justice and democracy, and supported by promoting skills and expertise, in order to respond boldly and creatively to the numerous challenges. The time has now arrived to assume this heritage including the important aspect of the nation’s ‘multiculturalism’. ‘It shouldn’t be forgotten that public order, personal security, economic and social progress are not the natural order of things, but are the result of ceaseless effort and permanent attention from an honest and effective government that the people must elect’. The next fifty years of Côte d’Ivoire will depend on the perseverance of its citizens in making a reality of this assertion by Lee Kuan Yew, the founding Father of the City-State Singapore.
Development economist & former Minister
Contribution on the 50th anniversary of Chad
11 August 1960 – 11 August 2010
A military territory in 1900, and then civil in 1920, Chad was tied to the government of French West Africa (AEF) until 1958. In 1946, a representative Council with administrative and financial powers was formed. It took the name of Territorial Assembly in 1952. The colony of Chad became an overseas territory in 1946. It elected a member of the National Assembly (1945-1956), then two (1956-1958), two senators and three councillors from the French Union. The Overseas Reform Act of 23 June 1956 and its implementation on 4 April 1957 extended the powers of the Assembly and created a government cabinet presided over by the Governor and made up of ministers elected by the Assembly. Gabriel Lisette was Vice-President. Following the referendum of 28 September 1958, the Territorial Assembly proclaimed the Republic of Chad on 28 November 1958, an autonomous member state of the community. Lisette, Sahoulba and Koulamallah were presidents of the provisional government in succession. A Constitution came into force on 31 March 1959.
On 11 August 1960, Chad gained independence and international sovereignty. Ngarta Tombalbaye, Head of State in 1960 was elected President of the Republic on 22 April 1962. A constitution was established on 28 November 1960, and a second promulgated on 16 April 1962 would be modified on 29 December 1965 and 7 February 1967. Ngarta Tombalbaye re-elected President of the Republic on 15 June 1969 was thrown over by a military coup d’état on 13 April 1975. A Supreme Military Council was established under General Félix Malloum’s presidency. He became President of the Republic, and shared power with Hissein Habré, Prime Minister based on the Charter of 29 August 1978. Following the unrest of 12 February 1979, inter-African conferences took place in Kano and Lagos and led to the constitution of two successive national union and transition governments. The first presided over by Lol Mahamt Choua (29 April-29 August 1979) and the second by Goukouni Weddeye (10 November 1979).
In 1982, a period of dictatorship began with the seizure of power by the armed forces of the North (FAN) with Hissein Habré at their head; a very dark period in the history of Chad where there were more than forty thousand deaths (Amnesty International). Chief of Staff of the Army under Hissein Habré, Idriss Déby fled to the mountains in the East (refuge of rebellion movements) to return on 1 December 1990. Indeed, no transition took place according to constitutional rules: violence and armed factionalism have always prevailed in these decisive moments. This date would mark a new era of governance for Chad called democracy (‘I bring you neither gold nor money but freedom’, extract from Deby’s speech on 3 December 1990).
A series of events would also prepare the ground for a new departure politically, economically and socially. A National Sovereign Conference (CNS) took place from 15 January to 7 April 1993 and led to the adoption by referendum of a Constitution on 31 March 1996, and then democratic popular elections (presidential and legislative) in 1996 and 1997. These different elections saw the victory of the MPS (Patriotic Salvation Movement) with Idriss Deby still as President of the Republic and a majority in the National Assembly. These results would be repeated in 2001 and 2002. Some viable institutions exist and operate (the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Council, and Parliament etc.). The determination of the regime in place to stay in power by modifying the Constitution (Article 61) in 2005 created an unprecedented internal political deadlock and supplied the rebellion with men and war equipment (desertion in the army ranks but especially among the presidential guard). The crisis in Darfur (2003) was a contributing factor to institutional instability in Chad. Relations with certain neighbouring states (notably the Sudan) through wars by ‘proxy’ or in other words, the unconditional support (arms, financial and logistical means) that each regime gives to the rebels of the other, beyond borders, has been particularly appalling these last ten years. The presence of international forces (Resolution 1778 of the Security Council) has for all that not brought the expected results.
Internally, and in response to the decision of MPS to amend the constitution to preserve power, the political opposition chose in 2002 to establish the CPDC (Coordination for the Defence of the Constitution), advocating the boycott of all elections. Thus, the situation resulted in a deadlock. Unable to initiate inclusive discussion with the three (3) players (the majority, the democratic opposition and politico-military parties) in the conflict (the presidential camp refusing this possibility), the CDPC agreed to negotiate alone with the government – negotiations which led to the political platform of 13 August 2007. It should be mentioned in passing, that after eighteen (18) years of a multi-party system, the image of opposition political parties is not that of structures able to bring about change. Weakened by the regime’s efforts of co-optation, deprived of the means to express their views and confronted with the lassitude of their militants, their main leaders have quite often accepted a precarious alliance in entering into government.
Fifty years of independence has produced mixed results on the socio-economic front. With an estimated population of 2.5 million inhabitants in 1960, the country had 9.9 million in 2009 (UNDP). Chad remains a fragile economy with a weak GDP ($646 per inhabitant) and its HDI ranking in 2009, 170th/179). According to the latest estimations by INSEED (National Institute of Statistics, Economic and Demographic Studies), the economy’s rate of growth was 1.9% in 2009, compared to +0.01% in 2008. As it happens, Chad, an agro-sylvo-pastoral country has joined the club of oil-producing countries (production started in 2003) thanks to its oil deposits in the south (Doba and the surrounding area) creating great hope for change and development, and abandoning the traditional lifeblood of its economy (cotton, livestock farming etc.). The Doba-Kribi pipe-line construction project (Cameroon) was the largest on-shore investment in Africa. The agreement signed with the World Bank and the consortium (Exxon, Chevron and Pétronas) gave the Chadian government the role of trading and redistributing that should have enabled it to restore its image and improve its public services. Regrettably, the reassessment of the initial model of management (See Law 001/PR/99 on 11 January 1999 on managing petrol revenue) aggravated the crisis of confidence in the State.
After half a century of independence, some major challenges of governance have been thrown into sharp focus: quality of the health system; education (its accessibility); infrastructure (roads); reform of the security sector (in particular the setting up of a republican army); and transparency in management and the duty of accountability; and independence of the judicial power (established in theory by the constitution). Far from being a reason for celebration, 11 August 2010 should be seen as an important moment for Chadians, not only in taking stock of the last fifty years but much more in diagnosing the multiple obstacles in the development of their country.
Tordeta Ratebaye, Diplomat by training, a graduate of ENA Paris (International Management of Conflicts) and the Institute of International Relations in Cameroon- IRIC, & member of CODESRIA. A contributor to ‘FPAE de Geopolitique’ in Central Africa, and ACCORD (African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes).
Congo fifty years later
On 15 August 1960, at the moment of declaring Congo’s independence, Father Fulbert Youlou, President of the Republic, summed up the meaning of ‘independence’ and the reality concealed in these terms: ‘I explained’ he said ‘that our freedom is complete awareness of ourselves first and our determination to work for our Congo’s prosperity’. According to Father Youlou, independence is an element on which we can found thinking and policy on institutions, economic or even political plans, the market, and the social sphere; in short, state policy supported by developmental governance.
Independence, General de Gaulle used to say at that time, was presumed to exist in itself, by itself, for itself. That’s what the President of Congo wanted to implement. Father Youlou had set about building this structure by advocating unity, whose political institution would be the one-party system, although the plan did not correspond to this period of freedom in continuity.
A period of rupture in continuity followed, wrapped up in socialist ideology initially, followed by Marxist-Leninist and embodied by a bureaucratico-political elite, bogged down in ideological contradictions. It opened up a period of post-Marxist reorganization in continuity that runs to date. The fall of Youlou happened in August 1963. The State became a revolutionary State, by revolutionaries, for revolutionaries. The single party, against which the opposition to Youlou’s regime fought, ended up being established by its critics: the MNR (National Movement of the Revolution), a socialist or communist-style single party created in July 1964. It was replaced in 1969 by the PCT (Congolese Workers’ Party), which led to the Sovietization of political, economic and social life. Corruption and theft were sanctioned by slogans such as ‘the goat grazes where it is tethered,’ and accession to power by the slogan ‘power is at the end of a shotgun’ etc.
On 18 March 1977, the assassination of Commander Marien Ngouabi; and on 22 and 25 March 1977, the assassinations of Cardinal Emile Biayenda and the former president, Massamba-Débat, overthrown in 1968 by Mr. Ngouabi.
A Military Committee Party (CMP) was put in place, presided over by General Yhombi Opango, President of the Republic and ousted following Denis Sassou Nguesso’s action on 5 February 1979. CNS (25 February-10 June 1991) replaced the communist State with a liberal State. It put in place a transition regime directed by the Prime Minister, André Milongo while Monseigneur Ernest Kombo, president of CNS presided over the Republic transition parliament’s Conseil Supérieur (Upper Council), the president, Sassou having kept his presidential duties. On 16 August 1992, Pascal Lissouba was elected President of the Republic. Lissouba by playing the internal system appointed A. Milongo to the Speaker’s Chair at the National Assembly, set up violence as a mode of government, and made war against Bernard Kolelas, Mayor of Brazzaville and an opponent (then appointed his Prime Minister); and against Sassou Nguesso, a former ally, who chased him from power on 15 October 1997. After this military victory, Sassou Nguesso was re-elected for a second term of 7 years in 2009 and this, in an predation and private income economy that is still extrovert.
Fifty years later, the Congo presents the face of a consumer society without industries. The realitity of development and modernization has turned out to be catastrophic. The application of economic and socio-political models, imported into a culture which does not have the same methodical behavior, has destroyed all development efforts. The policy of redistribution was not integrated into strategies to fight poverty, increasingly endemic. The Congolese post-colonial state has experienced a logic that transcends ideologies and is part of a double game of paradoxical governance that pulls strings on xenocratic devices in a system legitimized by lineage rules or positioning.
Governance is very much based on a neo-patrimonial state. The modes of lineage functioning neglected developmental governance. The Congolese ‘highway’ of evil has been chaos: disorganization of the economy and the state; playing of the ethnic card; nepotism; despotism; recurrent internal armed conflicts (1959; 1972-1973; 1993-1994; 1997; 1998-2000; 2002); desecration of human being, weakening right to life (353 missing in Brazzaville Beach, 1999); institutional framework incompatible with economic growth and turned towards the rest of the world; dominant position of foreign traders; lack of political governance; constitutional inflation (13 constitutional laws between 1958 and 2002); difficulties of access to basic social infrastructure; non-promotion of human capital; deficit of civic and moral values; etc. A budget overspend of 210.4 billion budget (2008), HIPC Completion Point (2010), needs orthodox management for developmental governance that applies good governance and the rule of law.
VICTOR NGOUILOU-MPEMBA YAMOUSSOUNGOU, University of Brazzaville
The fiftieth anniversary of Niger’s independence
Niger is celebrating this year, like its peers in the sub-region, the 50th anniversary of its independence obtained on Wednesday 3 August 1960. Shortly before this date, it had initiated an institutional experiment as part of what is known as Deferre’s ‘loi cadre’ (Deferre Overseas Reform Act), with the establishment of an autonomous government in 1957. Djibo Bakary was its first leader. He led it until the referendum of September 1958 which marked the entry of Niger in the Franco-African community, the installing of Diori Hamani as vice president in the Cabinet government and the gradual withdrawal of Djibo Bakari from political life. The political class was then torn between supporters of immediate independence in 1958 (led by Djibo Bakari and his party, SAWABA) as Guinea had done, and supporters of keeping Niger in the Franco-African community (led by Diori Hamani and the RDA). Finally, independence was granted by France against all expectation through the systematic setting up of legal instruments, without any preliminary preparations. In a country like Niger, which was emerging from around sixty years of domination, everything needed to be set up given the inadequacies of the colonial legacy: a poorly developed school system, an embryonic health system, national construction to be consolidated in a vast country twice the size of France, administration with limited human resources, etc. Howeverin fifty years what a distance covered but also still remains to be done.
While Niger had just joined the Franco-African community following the referendum of 1958, here it was, a few months after, beginning a process of empowerment which would lead it to independence. From 18 December 1958, Niger became a member State of the community and took the name of the Republic of Niger. On the same day, the Legislative Assembly became an appointed assembly with its main mission to establish a constitution for Niger. On 30 December 1958 a constitutional committee was set up to draw up and submit to the government of the Republic of Niger a draft constitution. On 23 November 1959 a law decided on Niger’s flag and currency. Another law dated 24 December 1959 set the official holidays of the new republic. On 11 July 1960, a special agreement between France and Niger on the devolution from the Community would enable Niger to obtain ‘with the full consent and respect of the French Republic, international sovereignty and independence’. On 30 July 1960, a law established the Legislative Assembly of Niger as the National Assembly. On 1st August 1960, the 60-45 law effectively transformed Niger into an independent and sovereign Republic. This independence would be proclaimed on 3 August 1960 midnight by Diori Hamani himself in front of a room-full of guests. The rank, prerogatives and powers of the Head of State are conferred to the President of the Cabinet of Ministers. Diori Hamani became the Head of State. It was not until 12 July 1961 that a national anthem, La nigérienne was chosen by the new power. The Republic’s coat-of-arms would be adopted much later. Thus, Niger would achieve independence quietly, adorned with its new symbols and thus setting a new dynamic in motion that would enable the young State to make its entrance on the international scene.
Those who lived through this period and accompanying events remember this period with much emotion and pride. They consider that independence enabled them to obtain dignity and governmental responsibility, as well as distinguished administrative duties. For them, the future took a new turn and new avenues of hope.
Of course this independence was not prepared or planned. It was, however, completely assumed by the authorities who were already exercising power but who from then on, had paraded the new finery of the sovereign State and full member of the international community. It should be said that Niger’s particular situation did not very much predispose the new leaders to break with the former colonial power. The latter was present with its army spread across the territory, but also with its senior administrative staff turned technical assistants, but kept in their posts and who exercised responsibility at all levels. France’s presence had even increased. Political or formal independence was discussed as if saying that other aspects of independence still had to be conquered. This was a discourse widely shared in particular among the militant left, symbolised by militant students in FEANF (Federation of Students of Black Africa in France) or the USN (Union of Nigerien Academics), but also by politicians from the former SAWABA party and its allies, since then discredited or forced into exile.
A real but mixed result
This report can be examined by considering several angles:
Politically, Niger, in 50 years, has gone from a one-party regime (1960-1974) to military dictatorship (1974-1987). It only really began its process of democratization in 1990, under the Second Republic. This was certainly turbulent due to the numerous coups d’état which left their mark. In fact, since its national conference (July- November 1993), three military coups d’état and four constitutions were adopted in less than twenty years. One can only hope, however, that this chaotic evolution gradually creates a basis for a satisfactory sustainable democracy. Very soon, next October, a new constitution will be submitted for adoption by the Nigerien people to create again the basis for a new start. It will be the seventh since its accession to independence.
Internationally, Niger experienced very dynamic diplomacy but whose place has gradually declined. Thus, Niger was very present in cooperating with African countries within Francophonie, with President Hamani Diori who was largely responsible for setting up international organisations such as OCAM (African and Malagasy Common Organisation) and ACCT (Cultural and Technical Cooperation Agency). It was also under his presidency that Nigerien diplomacy took off with the nomination of ambassadors throughout the world, official trips and the structuring of its diplomatic administration. During Seini Kountché’s military regime, placements in internationally renowned organisations were made: Idé Oumarou as the head of the Organisation of African Unity, Hamid Algabit at the head of OIC (Organisation of the Islamic Conference), Brah Mahamane at the head of CILSS (Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel). Nigeriens could also be seen participating in various and diverse posts as part of the international civil service, in particular in UN peace-keeping missions. Thereafter, this tended to slow down, and even stagnate compared to the dynamics of the beginning of the 1960s. The persistence of political crises and the bad economic situation have a bearing on this decline in performance.
In addition, Nigerien administration – in a very early embryonic State at the moment of independence - gradually expanded with national civil servants and today covers most sectors in economic and social life. Despite the difficulty it has to function (‘stock dilution’ of the best management into politics, international civil service, and expertise, etc.) in this context of a generalized crisis, it must be admitted that it exists and continues, even if corrupted by malfunctioning which dangerously compromise its efficiency in executing its duties as a public service.
For its part, the Nigerien economy from the beginning was based on income from groundnuts, and then uranium and today new mining prospects are opening up with new partners such as China. However, it must be said that it is a country greatly dependent on external aid, in particular for its public investments and to a large extent its functioning.
Ultimately, it is Nigerien society that has greatly changed. It has undergone many mutations. For example, the youth represent a large demographic weighting that due to the country’s high fertility rate, points to a population that will double its number in the next twenty years. The question arises of course, of generating resources to deal with, in terms of public policies, these changes.
Challenges for the future
Today, numerous challenges have arisen in the country. Independence has been obtained but is facing a food crisis with disastrous consequences. Here is the issue of its food sovereignty that arises. Beyond this crucial and topical problem, it is all about the economic direction of the country. Not only that it does not go beyond an economy based on natural resources, widely considered as a prospect for the future, but that the use of income that has accumulated through mining exploitation has not generated a firmly embedded national economy, part of the world economy, and capable of respond to people’s expectations in terms of jobs and well-being, and eradicating poverty which affects more than two-thirds of the Nigerien population. In addition the challenge of democracy and governance is openly asked as seen by the recurrence of military coups d’états that unquestionably shows the need for institutional stabilization indispensable to begin economic development.
Mahaman Tidjani Alou
Professor Agrégé in Political Science
Abdou Moumouni University of Niamey.