About Us

Good Governance Africa is a research and advocacy non-profit organisation with centres across Africa focused solely on improving governance across the continent.

GGA engages in applied research and stimulates critical debate. All our work is based on exploring and advancing the key governance principles of democracy, accountability and transparency, and combining these with upholding the rule of law and respecting human, civil and property rights.

How we define governance

GGA believes a country is well governed when three broad requirements are met:

  • First, citizens must have a say in how the country is run. This implies that there should be democracy, accountability, and transparency.
  • Second, the rule of law and human, civil, minority and property rights should be upheld and enforced by a legitimate government with separate, independent branches of power.
  • Third, the government should pursue inclusive and growth-oriented policies.

 

Vision

We strive to improve the lives of all citizens by promoting enhanced governance on the continent of Africa.

Mission

Our mission is to promote fact-based knowledge that arises through topical research, critical conversations and advocacy.

Values

Our values include integrity, accountability, transparency, tenacity and moral courage.

Events

GENEVA PEACE WEEK 2019  

GGA Session: The Transformative Power of Non-violent Truth Force

United Nations Office, Geneva: Palais des Nations, 6 November 2019 at 11.15-12.30

  • The Honourable Ela Gandhi (Former MP, Durban-based granddaughter of the Mahatma)
  • Mr Breyten Breytenbach (Renowned poet, writer and anti-apartheid activist)
  • Mr Thapedi Masanabo (Curator, South African Memorial at Delville Wood, France)
  • Professor Alain Tschudin (Executive Director, Good Governance Africa and professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg)

Aim:

The idea is to debate the profound value of a transformational agenda that shifts individuals, communities and systems from violence to peace. We hope that Ela can speak to Gandhi’s settlement in Durban, Breyten to Gorée’s promotion of reconciliation (for example, the Dakar Meeting of 1987) and Thapedi’s valuable work in transforming the memorial (itself a place that was intended to commit to memory but actually committed violence based on racial exclusion).

Framing:

The statue of the Mahatma Gandhi, sitting in the park alongside the Via Appia and besides the Palais des Nations amidst the fallen autumn leaves, paints a picture-perfect portrait of peace, tranquility and much yearned for Zen. Last year, when Achim Wennmann and I discussed the Geneva Peace Week, in this the 150th celebration year of both Kasturba and Mohandas Gandhi, we felt it important to re-introduce a voice that, albeit trendy at times, has become marginalised and somehow silenced by contemporary discourse. This is the voice of satygraha – or the “non-violent truth force” – the way of being Gandhi developed during his time in South Africa.  Click HERE to read more

             

COMMEMORATING 150 YEARS OF MOHANDAS AND KASTURBA GANDHI (1869 – 2019): INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE – 3-5 October, 2019

The Confluence of spirituality and life:  a Gandhian legacy for the 21st Century

GGA collaborated with the Gandhi Development Foundation on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the births of Mahatma and Kasturba Gandhi to provide delegates from around the globe with the opportunity to look at the significance of their legacy and consider what needs to be done to alter the course of humankind in the 21st century.

The conference, held at the Phoenix Settlement (Bhambayi) in Inanda, Durban on 3-5 October, was a broad exploration of Gandhi’s views within the context of his spirituality. It followed three previous conferences on the following themes: Empowerment, Mobilisation, Peace and Development – a century of alternative media; Satyagraha (a pro-peace agenda); and Roots to Fruits.

DAY ONE (Wednesday, 3 October): An overview and setting the scene, in the context of the overall theme, Sarvodaya (for the benefit of all). The keynote guest speaker, Dr Bernard Lafayette, a civil rights activist from Atlanta in the United States, addressed delegates on ‘The Global Relevance of the Living Legacy’.  Dr Lafayette’s trip South Africa was facilitated by the generosity of Delta Airlines, which sponsored his flights from Atlanta to Johannesburg. The conference was opened by Prof Alain Tschudin, Executive Director of GGA (SADC) and Visiting Professor at WITS School of Governance (2019-2022). Delegates planted 150 Khus grass seedlings at the settlement to commemorate the 150th-year celebration before touring the property; each session of the conference was preceded by a different yoga pose. 

DAY TWO: The second day consisted of the presentation of papers and discussions on the theme of Swaraj (Rule over Yourself), from rights to responsibilities.

DAY THREE: The themes for the final day of the conference were Swadeshi (Local Productio) and Satyagraha (The Power of Truth).

The more than 100 delegates consisted of learned people from across the globe and included:  Yarow Sharef Aden (Chairman, Somali Africans Patriotic Alliance); Kojo Opoku Aidoo (Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana); Betty Govinden (Retired Professor, University of KwaZulu-Natal); Kwasi Amakye-Boateng (Department of History and Political Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology); Rajendra Deshpande (Centre of Gandhian Thoughts and Peace Studies, Gujarat, India); Prof Ajay Dubey (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi); Ela Gandhi (Chairperson, Gandhi Development Trust); Virendra Gupta (President of Antar Rashtriya Parsishad and former Indian High Commissioner to South Africa); Crispin Hemson (Director, ICON, DUT); Pheroze Nowrajee (Kenyan Indian Diaspora); Narayan Kumar (Hon. Director of Antar Rashtriya Sahayog Parishad and Convenor of Diaspora Affairs Committee); Dr Siby Joseph (Institute of Gandhian Studies, Wardha, India); Krishna Moorthy (Dept. of Politics and International Studies, Pondicherry University, India); Philip Olayoku (Information Aid Network, Nigeria); Aditya Patnaik (Gandhi Ashram, Sevagram and Delhi); Prof Mala Pandurang (Principal at Dr BMN College); Ashra Ramgobin (Executive Director and co-founder of the Human Rights Development Initiative, Pretoria, South Africa); Rajni Sarin (Chief Medical Officer, Sarin Upchar Grah, Farrukhabad); Prof Crain Soudien (CEO, HSRC); and Dr Mark Wilson (Caroline Marshall Draughon Centre for the Arts and Humanities, Auburn University).

The International Launch of the Africa Survey Digital, 26 September 2019

The launch of the Africa Survey Digital took place in New York on Thursday, 26 September 2019, hosted by Covington as a side event during the UN General Assembly 2019, and in partnership with the Corporate Council on Africa and the Indaba Foundation.

The Africa Survey Digital innovatively provides a home for thousands of indicators to visualise and interpret a broad range of data on Africa. The launch marked a key milestone in this two-year digitisation project undertaken with Tableau developers, and signalled GGA’s intention to release this as a public good to promote information sharing and better governance in Africa.

Ms Olajobi Makinwa, Africa Chief at the UN Global Compact, was keynote speaker and the panellists included:-

  • Ambassador Liberata Mulamula – Visiting Scholar and Associate Director at George Washington University’s Institute for African Studies-Elliott School of International Affairs
  • Rob Floyd – Director and senior advisor, ACET
  • Chukwuma Peter Okoroafor – Nigerian lawyer and member of the Global Shapers Community
  • Tiyani Majoko – admitted attorney and co-founder of Lawgistics Legal Consultants
  • Ayokanmi Aderibigbe – key associate, Templars

Audit Performance and Social Delivery at Local  Government Level, 18 June 2019

This field research aimed to assist the Auditor-General’s office and local government officials as they sought to embark on initiatives to ensure that quality financial oversight does have a positive impact on service delivery levels. The performance of municipalities is a key element of local governance. The Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) conducts regular audits on local governments to ensure accountability, compliance and proper financial management. These internal controls allow for accountability at the grassroots level of democracy. GGA embarked on a survey that sought to establish the correlation between audit performance and service delivery. The survey aimed to analyse whether the level of audit performance translated into service delivery performance and subsequently into good governance.

Using the AGSA’s Consolidated General Report on the Local Government Audit Outcomes – 2015/2016 and a survey of 1,346 respondents, the survey was conducted in three South African provinces: Western Cape, North West and Free State. The provinces were selected based on their performance in the AGSA 2015/2016 report. Western Cape was the best performing province with the most unqualified audits with no findings. North West was the worst performing province with the most disclaimed audits with findings and Free State ranked in the middle of the pack. In each of the three provinces two municipalities were randomly selected – one with an unqualified audit with no findings (or the highest recorded level of performance), and the other with a disclaimer audit with findings (or otherwise the lowest level of performance).

This was an exploratory study geared towards comparative analysis. A mixed methodology approach was adopted, combining both qualitative and quantitative methods. A mixed sampling technique was applied comprising of purposive sampling in the selection of provinces and municipalities and convenience sampling during data collection at the study sites. Gender balancing was applied at these sites, with a target sample of 100 women and 100 men per site. GGA employed the same citizen survey methodology which has been used in previous initiatives of this nature, with CommCare capi surveys and conducted by trained fieldworkers selected from 27-31 May 2019 in selected municipalities in the target provinces. On 18 June 2019, GGA presented the report results and recommendations to the Auditor-General’s office at a launch event. The results were also disseminated to local citizens, as well as politicians and policymakers, through an outcome document. Read more here: GGA Citizen Survey

Extremisms in Africa Volume 2, International Launches

Extremisms in Africa Volume 2 launches and Workshops  were held at George Washington University in Washington DC in the US on Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 June, and the Institute of Directors, Pall Mall in London Thursday 4 July, 2019

 

Extremisms In Africa Volume 2 Launch, 5 June 2019

Good Governance Africa (GGA), together with esteemed guests, braved a cold winter morning for the launch of Extremisms in Africa Vol 2 in Rosebank, Johannesburg on 5 June 2019. Extremisms in Africa Vol 2 is the second anthology GGA has published on the subject of extremism and political violence in Africa. Extremisms in Africa Vol 1, one of the first anthologies of its kind on the subject to be authored – and published – on the African continent, provided an account of how extremist groups arose in Africa and the various ways in which they have harnessed their global agendas to local conflict dynamics and structural challenges, enabling them to exploit the grievances of individuals and communities for their cause. The second anthology looks forward, paying special attention to the ways in which emergent trends, global geopolitics and conflict dynamics merge to impact on the African continent. To this end, we have sought to engage with diverse subjects, ranging from ecological concerns surrounding climate change and migration, and the implications such human movement has for modern-day trafficking and slavery, to the role of women and youth. Extremisms in Africa Vol 2 is available at good book stores in South Africa and via Amazon.

Citizen Governance, The Informal Economy And Enterprise Development, 16 May 2019

Taking into consideration that the informal economy accounts for 35.2% of total non-agricultural employment in South Africa and about 88% of the workforce in Ghana, Good Governance Africa undertook a study that investigated the dynamics of this sector in densely populated regions of Johannesburg, South Africa and Accra, Ghana, with an emphasis on citizen governance, enterprise development and livelihoods.

This research study contributes to policy development, backed by effective implementations, to improve livelihoods in the informal economy sector and also seeks to support a bottom-up multidisciplinary movement of actors in support of the informal economy.

Good Governance Africa, together with The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), held an open platform convening workshop, which engaged key stakeholders, traders and informal economy representatives, members of government, multi-laterals, the private sector and civil society at large in Johannesburg on Thursday, 16 May 2019.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REPORT

Good Governance Africa Releases Latest Government Performance Index 2019, 17 April 2019 

The performance of local municipalities in South Africa is the indicator of the country’s heartbeat. Local municipalities are the closest institution to citizens, reflecting in great measure levels of citizen engagement – as recipients but also as contributors. In addition, local government shows, like no other indicator, the health of public institutions at the most atomised level. Local municipalities are universes, where the historic legacy of the country and the current democratic dynamics converge to give a clear picture of the status quo. The 2019 Government Performance Index was a continuation of GGA’s local government research, which began in 2016. In 2019 we were able to compare the state of South Africa’s municipalities with our previous index and found a significant variation in the municipal landscape, and some shifts within the rankings. The ranking showed that the top three performing municipalities were Mossel Bay (Western Cape), Senqu (Eastern Cape) and Swartland (Western Cape).  The top performer, Mossel Bay, is led by the DA and the municipality ranked second, Senqu, is ANC-led. The majority (60%) of the municipalities in the top 20 are in the Western Cape; Mossel Bay, Swartland, Bergrivier, Cape Agulhas, Prince Albert, Swellendam, Cederberg, Matzikama, Overstrand, Witzenberg, Hessequa and Langeberg. GGA’s ranking assessed 213 municipalities, using data on 15 indicators across three themes: administration, economic development and service delivery. The data was sourced from a number of publicly available sources, including Statistics South Africa and the Gaffney Local Government Year Book 2013-2015: this data is obtained from the national census and the Auditor-General’s reports. Our observations and comparisons pave the way to start conversations about practical strategies for the improvement of local government, including raising awareness of universal governance principles for the public service, the benchmarking of good practices against those in other countries and, once again, robust citizen engagement. 

 

GGA General Manager, Michelle Venter, together with OXFAM Executive Director, Siphokazi Mthathi, at the culmination of the successful joint venture event.

View KykNET’s Lourensa Eckard interviewing GGA’s Head of Publications, Lloyd Coutts, and researcher Sixolile Ngwala discussing the GGA 2019 Government Performance Index findings here 

Chairman’s Meeting, 21-23 August 2018
A meeting of the Chairmen from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ghana and Nigeria was held at the GGA offices in Rosebank, Johannesburg to review the past year and set plans and budgets for the upcoming financial year January to December 2019.

Extremisms Workshop, 6-7 June 2018
The workshop was held over two days and provided insight into the current state and evolution of extremist movements in Africa while critically analysing contemporary counterterrorism and countering violent extremism responses. Guest speakers and panellists included top experts in this field, including Professor Hussein Solomon (Department of Political Studies and Governance, University of the Free State), Peter Knoope (Former Director of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism in The Hague and Research Fellow at University of Pretoria), and Thomas Madrup (Associate Professor at the Royal Danish Defence College).

Extremisms in Africa Book Launch, 5 June 2018
This event took place at the GGA offices in Rosebank, Johannesburg. The keynote speaker, Dr Lindsay Cohn, Associate Professor at the US Naval War College, discussed Approaches to Countering Violent Extremism, which was followed by a panel discussion and networking.