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.



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


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


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


International Launches

Extremisms in Africa Volume 2 Launches and Workshops  were held at the George Washington University in Washington DC, USA 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 nationally from the first week of July.


Pictured from left: Prof Alain Tschudin, Prof Peter De Clercq, Laura Freeman, Sven Botha, Stephen Buchanan-Clarke, Dr Craig Moffat

Pictured from left:
Prof Alain Tschudin, Prof Peter De Clercq, Laura Freeman, Sven Botha, Stephen Buchanan-Clarke, Dr Craig Moffat

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.


Pictured from left: Roshida Muller, Edward Sarpong and Prof Pundy Pillay

Pictured from left: Clint Davies, Lebo Motshegoa, Charlene Heyburgh, Kefilwe Ndaba, Mamokete Matjomane and Chrissy Dube










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 is a continuation of GGA’s local government research, which began in 2016. This year, we were able to compare the state of South Africa’s municipalities with our previous index and have found a significant variation in the municipal landscape, and some shifts within the rankings. The ranking shows that the top three performing municipalities are 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, 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. The full report may be found on our website www.gga.org. Issued on behalf of Good Governance Africa Contact Gail Nel on 011 268 0479 – gail@gga.org – for any queries or to arrange interviews Listen to Political Anaylst Lukhona Mnguni discuss the GGA 2019 Government Performance Index on The John Maytham Show, on CapeTalk.


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 analyzing contemporary counter terrorism and countering violent extremism responses. Guest speakers and panelists 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 Approached to Countering Violent Extremism, which was followed by a panel discussion and networking.

International Launches 

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


Extremism workshop, 5 December 2017
In 2016, Good Governance Africa (GGA), which maintains offices in Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa, commissioned a book on violent extremism in Africa as part of the Institute’s ongoing National and Human Security Programme. This book sought to bring together voices from across the continent and globally to provide original analysis into some of the most pressing issues related to violent extremism on the continent today.

On the 5th December 2017, GGA hosted a panel discussion, where a selection of speakers presented on important trends in violent extremism in both South Africa and the continent, and evaluated approaches to addressing these threats.

Land Reform workshop, 29 November 2017
The workshop comprised a presentation from the authors, panel discussions and a keynote presentation by the Honourable Pumzile Justice Mnguni, Whip at Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform. The workshop was exciting and engaging and provided a platform for open discussions.

Land book launch, 28 November 2017
This volume represents the first of two books dedicated to the topic of land as part of the Natural Resources Programme of Good Governance Africa, which emphasises enhanced governance, stewardship and sustainability, especially in respect of Africa’s non-renewable resources. GGA is a non-profit organisation focused on exploring and advancing the key governance principles of democracy, accountability and transparency, upholding the rule of law and respect for human rights. The Launch was held at the GGA offices in Rosebank.

Informal economy workshop, 10 October 2017
The workshop was targeted at giving comprehensive feedback in the form of a full Mbizana Municipality Local Governance Report. The report was on the research conducted in Mbizana thus far. The workshop was characterised by a presentation of the report and engaging discussions from participants. Recommendations were made to this effect.

Mbizana community feedback workshop, 21 – 24 August 2017
GGA has conducted research in Mbizana , which was identified as the lowest performing municipality in GGA’s ground breaking Governance Performance Index. GGA embarked on research from Nkantolo to Bizana in May 2017. The workshop, which was held in Ludeke and Bizana, was to provide feedback to the Mbizana community on the findings of the study. The outcome documents are available in both English and isiXhosa.

Panel discussion with the Auditor General, 28 June 2017
Soon after the release of the AG’s annual report, GGA invited the AG (Kimi Makwetu) and esteemed panellists to a discussion on the Transformative impact on information. The event was brought to light by the AG’s presentation; a fact based panel discussion as well as a interesting dialogue from the question and answer segment.

Voter Sentiments Survey Launch, 15 March 2017
The event launched a GGA survey on the voter sentiments on governance in South Africa drawn from research conducted after the local government elections in August 2016. The highlight of the event was a presentation of the findings that also featured in an article in the City Press. Attendance varied from journalists to economists and the ordinary citizens. The outcome document is available in all eleven official languages in South Africa.


The puzzle of political alternation

DRC: quo vadis? As Kabila fights to retain power, opposition politicians must put political differences aside in the interests of the electorate The 2006 elections marked the end of a dramatic decade in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after two wars (1996-1997...

Mapping ethnic conflicts

Africa: an artificial patchwork? Understanding the dynamics of ethnic conflicts in Africa means appreciating the role of ethnic identity In 2011 Peter S. Larson, a professor at the University of Nagasaki, Japan, published an attempt to chart the interplay between...

Reporting ethnicity in African politics

Africa: the scourge of ethnicity Understanding ethnicity—inherited or imposed—can go a long way to ensure accurate coverage of conflict in Africa As a journalist I have covered a range of conflicts, some of which had a clearly ethnic dimension. But ethnicity is a...

Looking for the right rules of engagement

  Boko Haram: fight or talk?   Last year, the Nigerian military persistently denied media reports of an upsurge in attacks by Boko Haram in the country’s northeast. Then, in November 2018, the Islamist militant group raided an army base near the border with...

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