LPSA Expert Working Group on Sub-Saharan Africa – Open Meeting – 25 January 2024 

25 January 2024 [12:00 PM WAT/1:00 PM SAST/2:00 PM EAT]

LPSA’s Regional Working Group on Sub-Saharan African (SSA) Open Meeting took place on January 25th, 2024. The meeting was opened and moderated by SSA co-chairs Jaap de Visser and Judy Oduma.

Jamie Boex, Executive Director of LPSA, discussed the State of Local Governance Institutions in Africa. He outlined a draft report on the findings on local governance in six African countries, emphasizing the distinction between devolved and non-devolved entities. Most countries exhibit hybrid local governance institutions with limited autonomy, influenced by legal and practical factors. Boex noted variations in political, administrative, and fiscal restrictions, highlighting Africa’s similarity to Asia in governance patterns. The LoGICA framework’s application extends beyond Africa, revealing diverse governance structures globally. The draft report, focusing on Africa, will be shared for feedback.

During the latter part of the meeting, group discussions were conducted on two key themes. The first theme, “Local Government in the Face of Africa’s Crises,” explored the impact of conflicts, food insecurity, and extreme climate events on decentralization. Participants discussed whether decentralization is progressing amid crises, the effects on local government resources, and the roles of local governments in managing national crises. The second theme, “Decentralization and Democracy,” focused on the intersection of decentralization and democracy in the context of upcoming elections. The discussions aimed to assess the role of local governments in democracy, addressing challenges, offering hope, and outlining the way forward. Following this, participants returned to the plenary session, and the facilitators shared the groups’ observations. The discussion highlighted various perspectives on decentralization, specifically focusing on the challenges related to decision-making power at the local level.

Jacqueline Muthura, coordinator of the LPSA’s Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality Working Group, shared an update of a new project called “Localizing Women’s Economic Empowerment in Africa”, a two-year initiative which will focus on promoting the adoption and implementation of intergovernmental policy solutions for women’s economic empowerment in Kenya and Ghana. The conversation concluded with a call for a nuanced understanding of the complexities involved in decentralization, recognizing the interconnectedness of local and national governance.

video of the meeting is available on YouTube. The links below provide access to the video segments of the different agenda items.

The next SSA working group meeting will take place on 18 April 2024 [12:00 PM WAT/1:00 PM SAST/2:00 PM EAT]. Register Here!

No.Agenda ItemContributor
1.Welcome RemarksCo-Chairs
2.LoGICA UpdateJamie Boex
4.Introduction: LPSA Discussion on Trends in AfricaCo-Chairs
6.Any other businessCo-Chairs

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