March 10-12, 2010
Purpose of the Seminar
As part of the AGI activities program in policy dialogue and advocacy for democratic and participatory governance in Africa, this seminar is designed to allow governance experts, governance practitioners from the public and private sectors, and civil society activists to engage in an intellectual dialogue on the major challenges facing Africa and to propose ways in which to rethink governance in general, and developmental governance in particular, with a view to satisfying the people’s aspirations for peace, human rights and development. The development challenge for Africa is to institute policies, institutions and processes that would help eradicate poverty and enhance socio-economic transformations as a means of reinforcing human security and ensuring self-sustaining development. Given the challenges of globalization and the worldwide hegemony of liberal ideology, it is imperative that in the current rehabilitation of the pan-African project of continental unity, those in position of authority in politics, bureaucracy, civil society and the private sector, be challenged to generate new African thinking on developmental governance.
Rationale for the Seminar
Part of the work of the AGI consists in promoting serious reflection on the ways and means of charting a new African path to economic development through the eradication of poverty, inequality and social exclusion. In this regard, the focus of this seminar is on how governance can be a means by which states and regional organizations can effectively meet the aspirations of the people of Africa to see the continent’s abundant wealth in natural resources be harnessed to eradicate poverty and to improve their material conditions of life. The failure of post-colonial governments to transform the colonially-inherited economies so they could serve the interests of African citizens is ultimately a failure of governance. Dependent on policy prescriptions imposed from the outside rather than on homegrown solutions, and weakened by the absence of a meaningful African voice in global governance, the governance socio-economic strategy lacks the essential tools for uprooting underdevelopment in Africa. One of these tools, and the main rationale for this seminar, is for Africans to retake the driving seat by generating their own thinking on developmental governance.
In this regard, this seminar is consistent with the mission of the AGI “to advance an African perspective on governance” and “to facilitate collaboration, co-ordination and networking among institutes, centers and networks in the field of governance in Africa.” In the implementation of this mission, the AGI is mandated to promote high-level policy dialogue, information and experience sharing as well as knowledge based public policy, in addition to developing mechanisms for supporting the governance agendas of the African Union, the regional economic communities (RECs) and other African regional and sub-regional organizations. It is therefore appropriate that the first major AGI seminar on policy dialogue for governance in Africa should bring all of these organizations together in order to reflect along with representatives of states, the private sector, civil society and academia on the most appropriate approaches to developmental governance for the African continent today.
The Seminar will provide participants with the opportunity to achieve the following objectives:
To critically discuss the global agenda, the ideology behind it, and its impact on Africa’s social and economic development.
To take stock of existing knowledge on current African thinking on developmental governance and identify knowledge gaps and issues for which further research is needed;
To identify new and innovative directions on developmental governance in Africa and show how these new ideas and innovations may be used to accelerate economic and social change and Human Security in Africa; and
To propose ways of reinforcing the capacities of African states, regional and sub-regional organizations, the private sector and non-governmental organizations for self-reliance and for adopting autonomous and innovative approaches to economic and social transformations for sustainable development and for protecting the environment for future generations.
Following is the proposed content of the seminar:
Panel 1 : The Global Agenda and its Impact on Africa’s Development. This first general panel aim to answer to several questions. How does the global agenda, together with its dominant liberal ideology, impact on African thinking on governance? What are the conditions of possibility of a paradigm shift? What frame of reflection and multi-actors dialogue in order to allow Africans to re-appropriate reflection for developmental governance?
Panel 2 : The Bandung Project Revisited: Is there a Non-Western Perspective on Developmental Governance? This panel will refine the reflection relative to the thematic contents associated to developmental governance from the economic angle, according to the prospect symbolized by the Bandung Conference of 1955 and the New International Economic Order (NIEO). The role of China, Brazil and India who appear as world economic powers will also be questioned here.
Panel 3 : The African Union, NPCA and the APRM: New Pan-African Conceptions of Developmental Governance. This first panel centered on pan-African scales and governance instruments and their articulation, will examine their possible contribution to developmental governance. It will also be an occasion of seeing how these conceptions are different from both the global orthodoxy and the original pan-African project of economic self-reliance and continental solidarity?
Panel 4 : The Contributions of the ECA, the AfDB and the ACBF to African Thinking on Developmental Governance. This second panel centered on governance scales and their articulation is designed to examine the respective contributions of these three organizations to new thinking on developmental governance and its implementation in Africa.
Panel 5 : The Regional Integration Process and its Contribution to African Thinking on Developmental Governance : COMESA, EAC, IGAD, SADC, CEN-SAD, ECCAS, ECOWAS and UMA. This third panel on the scales of governance and their articulations will be centered on the essential contribution of the Regional Economic Communities to developmental governance in Africa.
Panel 6 : Citizenship, Migrations and Socio-Economic Transformations in Africa. This thematic panel will organize reflection on the articulation between human rights, economic and social transformations (including the questions of employment, land tax as well as the role of migrants and Diaspora) but also human security for developmental governance.
Panel 7 : The Respective Roles of the State and Non-state Actors in Africa’s Development. This thematic panel will attempt to highlight the specific roles of the private sector and NGO in the promotion of socioeconomic transformations and human security in Africa.
Panel 8 : Local authorities and territorial development in Africa. This thematic panel will emphasis the premises as the relevant space of foundation of developmental governance, but also as vector of endogenous, participative, appropriate territorial policies and articulated in other scales for effective developmental governance.
Three major results are expected from this seminar:
New and innovating African thinking on developmental governance.
All of the seminar papers will be published online and in an edited volume. The Seminar report will be made available to all African states and regional and sub-regional organizations and posted on the AGI website and the online resource center.
The proceedings of the seminar will be used by the AGI and its network in their advocacy for autonomous African thinking on developmental governance.
Seminar participants will come from the following categories:
1) State sector, including traditional rulers and representatives of local governments
2) Non-State sector, including academic experts, NGOs and the private sector
3) African Union and the Regional Economic Communities
4) AfDB, ECA and ACBF
5) Development Cooperation Agencies
Venue and Dates
Dakar, 10-12 March 2010, Le Méridien Président Hôtel.
English and French