As part of its establishment as an independent pan-African think tank on governance, the African Governance Institute (AGI) is launching its program of action with an inaugural workshop on rethinking governance in Africa. The workshop is designed to highlight the form and approach of the AGI as a forum of high-level policy dialogue on democratic and developmental governance in Africa involving representatives of the public and private sectors, civil society leaders, academics and government experts, with a view to finding the most appropriate solutions to the major challenges of governance facing the African continent.
The workshop will be held in Dakar in either late October or early November 2009, and hosted by His Excellency Mr. Abdoulaye Wade, President of the Republic of Senegal. In two days of meetings, the workshop will allow the participants to engage in an intellectual dialogue on how to rethink governance in Africa with a view to satisfying the people’s aspirations for peace, basic human rights and development. In this regard, the dialogue will be organized around three major themes :
(a) the challenges of governance in Africa, a discussion organized around the book of the same title published by UNDP with a preface by President Wade ;
(b) rethinking governance in Africa ; and
(c) major objectives of the AGI in 2010-2012 and expectations of partners.
In addition to plenary sessions on these three topics and the launching of the online documentary centre of the AGI on governance in Africa, a special plenary session will be devoted to a dialogue with those Heads of State or Government who would have responded positively to President Wade’s invitation to participate in the workshop. At the beginning of each plenary session, three panelists will introduce the debate with seminal papers. The conference proceedings ; including the papers and the final report, will be widely disseminated in printed form and in a CD-Rom as the first publication of the AGI.
The major conclusions and recommendations of the workshop will serve as the basis on which the AGI will identify topics of discussion for policy debates on governance in Africa, the issues for which further research is needed ; and those areas of governance requiring innovative training seminars for purposes of institutional capacity development in Africa. As part of the short-term programmatic activity of the AGI, a major follow-up to the inaugural workshop is already being planned in the form of a high-level seminar on the current African thinking on developmental governance. Governance experts and practitioners will review ways in which the governance of development is conceptualized in Africa, and make recommendations on strengthening the democratic developmental state in Africa.
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