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Socio-economic Problems Facing Africa: Insights from six APRM Country Review Reports

"The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) tries to identify both problems facing participating countries and solutions to these problems. This paper seeks to identify common socio-economic development problems revealed in six African countries th...

Natural Resource Governance, Boom and Bust: The Case of Kolwezi in the DRC

"This paper considers the effects of the successive booms and busts in the mining industry and the commodity markets on the management of natural resources in Kolwezi. It focus on the commodities boom that ran from 2004–2008, and the bust that beg...

Unchecked Executive Powers: Lessons in Effective Government Design

"Without checks and balances, the executive branch of government will inevitably dominate governance structures. This tendency has been particularly pronounced in Africa, in part because countries inherited the structures of the colonialists and t...

Civil Society Participation in Uganda's APRM Process

Ugandan NGOs faced challenges in influencing their national APRM process, but this paper shows that with resourcefulness, focus and energy, motivated groups can make a difference. In Uganda, umbrella organisations were appointed to represent civil...

Understanding APRM Research: Planning, Process and Politics. A Practical Handbook for Peer Review Research

Based on experiences of researchers working on early APRM reports, this handbook offers practical advice on tackling all aspects of this complex research process. This edition of the SAIIA Occasional Papers Series presents two papers by SAIIA res...

Addressing the African Peer Review Mechanism's Programmes of Action

Examining the first six APRM Programmes of Action, this paper traces how PoAs are developed, implemented and monitored, and how they could be strengthened going forward. This edition of the SAIIA Occasional Papers Series presents two papers by SAI...

Political Economy Models of the Resource Curse: Implications for Policy and Research

"A number of studies suggest that natural resources can have a negative impact on countries’development prospects. This paper reviews political economy models of the resource curse and examines the implications of these models in terms of policy a...

From Fatigues to Three-Piece Suits: East African Guerrillas in Power

"Since decolonisation in African countries ethno-political differences have led to guerrilla warfare. Through these movements, authoritarian regimes have been created. In Uganda, after the National Resistance Movement took power a ‘no-party democr...

The Road to Copenhagen: Climate Change, Energy and South Africa’s Foreign Policy

"Drawing on Robert Putnam’s metaphor of the two-level game, the analysis considers the challenges facing South Africa in balancing domestic priorities with growing international pressure to reduce carbon emissions. Through the analysis, this pape...

People Power: How Civil Society Blocked an Arms Shipment for Zimbabwe

"In April 2008, a Chinese ship carrying arms destined for Zimbabwe’s Defence Force attempted to offload those weapons in Durban’s harbour, so that they might be transported across South African territory to land-locked Zimbabwe. South African civ...

Lessons in Effective Citizen Activism: The Anti-Third Term Campaign in Zambia

Learn how Zambian civil society mobilised effectively to stop former President Frederick Chiluba changing the Constitution to run for a third term as president. Often, we complain that we lack the time, money and expertise to make any difference ...

Lessons from citizen activism in Uganda: Saving Mabira Forest

People power (and lessons from previous failures) enabled Ugandan environmentalists to save a vital forest from commercial exploitation. This paper examines how African civil society organisations have successfully influenced policy Often, we co...

Engaging with Parliaments: Advice to Civil Society

Practical strategies and hands-on tactics for CSOs seeking to influence policy-making in African parliaments. This paper examines how African civil society organisations have successfully influenced policy. Often, we complain that we lack the tim...

Preventing Corruption in African Procurement

This paper discusses some of the ingredients for building stronger systems. It examines public procurement - the purchasing of goods and services by government departments or state-owned enterprises - which involves enormous sums of money, and the...

What Makes for Effective Anti-Corruption Systems?

This paper is by Marianne Camerer, co-founder and international director of Global Integrity, an international non-governmental organisation that tracks anti-corruption systems. Drawing on international best practice, she argues that the condition...

Media Freedom, Transparency and Governance

This paper, by veteran journalist Raymond Louw, asks a fundamental question: 'Can good governance exist without a free and independent media?' And he argues that Africa's premier governance and accountability tool - The APRM - seems to have ignor...

Making the News: Why the APRM didn't

In this paper, Brendan Boyle who covered the South African peer review process for the Sunday Times newspaper, reflects on why, in his opinion, the APRM failed to capture the imagination of the public and the press, and generate a national convers...

‘Strategic Partnerships’: The European Union’s Quest for Global Clout

"The European Union (EU) has revisited many of its external policies with the view to strengthen its relations with strategic partners in the developing world, and to boost its visibility as a pivotal political actor on the global stage. These st...

Using Representative Opinion Surveys in the African Peer Review Mechanism Process

Opinion surveys capture public perceptions. What are the key considerations when designing and implementing them in the APRM? All participating countries in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) process have had to struggle with the long, compl...

Banking on Africa: Chinese Financial Institutions and Africa

The Chinese drive into the resource sector in Africa has already received much attention in the media and, increasingly, in scholarly literature. What has not been well understood is the role of Chinese financial institutions in support of the cou...

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