African Governance Report I - 2005

image of African Governance Report I - 2005

The African Governance Report is the result of extensive research covering governance practices in 27 African countries. The findings were subjected to a rigorous process of reviews that involved both national and international experts working on governance, political and economic issues. The report is the first Africa-driven study of its kind, which aimed at gauging more empirically citizens’ perceptions of the state of governance in their countries, while identifying major capacity deficits in governance practices and institutions and recommending best practices and solutions to address them.



Institutional checks and balances

In Africa the executive has historically been the most powerful institution of governance. The tendency of the executive to monopolize power and abuse discretionary authority has been universally observed throughout the ages. And in various manifestations and degrees, so have the other institutions of governance. There are several reasons why the executive tends to monopolize power and discretionary authority. The executive initiates and enacts laws, rules and regulations, and ensures their compliance. It controls administration of the country, and with the support of the civil service is the main provider of the public goods and services, including security and defense, and ensures law and order. It formulates and implements national policies; and it controls major material and financial resources, mobilising people and providing employment. Clearly the executive has tremendous powers and discretionary authority at its disposal.


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