GPI Sustainable development

Over the long term, there is a clear association between accountable and inclusive governance on the one hand and broad-based economic development on the other.

We find empirical support for this assessment at the global, African, and regional levels within Africa across both shorter and more extended periods of time. The explanation is that a long-term governance environment which embraces accountability is also more politically stable, enabling consistent policymaking, which can sustain economic dynamism and meet citizens’ needs. Concerningly, there are African countries, including Angola, which have recently sought to repress rather than encourage participation. This has been one contributing factor to the recent stagnation and reversals which Angola has experienced in critical measures of human development pertaining to education, health and economic outcomes. This intelligence report identifies the critical implications that this finding has for companies with committed financial interests in African countries:

  • The importance of inclusive governance is that a more participatory, accountable and non-discriminatory society will also see corresponding improvements in broad-based economic development, which benefits businesses and citizens in tandem.
  • The private sector has both an incentive and a responsibility to actively invest in mechanisms that encourage accountable governance in African countries where they operate.
  • Investing in these mechanisms minimises the reputational risk companies open themselves up to by engaging in opportunistic behaviour which bolsters rather than blocks repressive behaviour by African governments.
  • Through supporting inclusive governance initiatives emanating from African civil society and local communities, companies can demonstrate that they have a long-term commitment to fostering economic development in the world’s fastest-growing continent.
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Pranish Desai is a doctoral student in political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His core areas of focus are in comparative politics and political methodology, with a specific interest in the politics of Southern Africa. Between 2021 and 2024, Pranish held several key positions within the Governance Insights and Analytics programme at GGA. In these roles, he was centrally responsible for the elevation and enhancement of the Governance Performance Index as GGA's flagship governance assessment tool. Before departing GGA, Pranish also played a key role in the development of our strategic framework for the 2024-2028 period.

Senior Researcher: Governance Insights & Analytics | Website | + posts

Monique Bennett holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of the Witwatersrand. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Political Science at Stellenbosch University funded by the Peace Research Institute of Oslo. She enjoys a mixed-methods approach to research across topics such as governance, environmental issues, human security and peacebuilding within the African context. She supports her research team by providing data-driven evidence for their research/op-eds and writes for various South Africa news outlets.

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Nnaemeka is a data analyst and researcher at Good Governance Africa. He completed his Masters degree in e-Science (Data Science) at the University of the Witwatersrand, supported by a scholarship from the South African government’s Department of Science and Innovation. Much of his research explores socio-political issues like human development, governance, disinformation, bias, and polarisation, using data science and AI techniques. He has published research in scholarly journals like Politeia, Journal of Social Development in Africa, and The Africa Governance Papers. He has experience working as a Data Consultant at DataEQ Consulting and teaching at the Federal University, Lafia in Nigeria and the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. 

Head of Governance Insights and Analytics | Website | + posts

Chrissy Dube is the Chairperson of the GGA Management Committee and also a member of the GGA Executive Committee. She is Head of Governance Insights and Analytics at Good Governance Africa. She completed her Master of Commerce Degree at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2013. She also has qualifications in Advanced Project Management, Data Analysis, Ethics, and Compliance. With her experience in interrogating data, Chrissy specialises in analysing and interpreting data for informed decision-making in both the private and public sectors. Chrissy is a registered member of the Institute of Risk Management South Africa. Her interests include monitoring economic and social developments.