Power and Politics in Africa

The Africa Power and Politics Programme has one overarching objective: to identify ways of exercising power, doing politics and building states that might work better for development and poverty reduction in sub-Saharan Africa rather than the arrangements now in place. Our starting point is that the Good Governance agenda as presently formulated does not provide adequate guidance on this crucial problem. One reason is that it does not draw sufficiently on directly relevant experience, especially evidence of what works well under the particular conditions of Africa today. How to get better evidence on this subject poses a substantial challenge, aspects of which were tackled during the programme’s 12-month design phase (2007-8).

In September 2008, the main results of the design process were drawn together. It was agreed to organise the bulk of the programme’s research and policy engagement work in six Research Streams, each devoted to gathering new evidence and insights in a particular field of governance for development in Africa. The research streams are:

  • Business and politics
  • State bureaucracies
  • Parliamentarians
  • Local governance and leadership
  • Local justice provision
  • Formalising schooling

Further details on this programme are available on the Power and Politics in Africa website.


Key contacts

Project details

start date
17 April 2007
end date
31 March 2012


About this project