Relevance of African Traditional Institutions of Governance

In October 2004, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) organized the fourth African Development Forum (ADF-IV), which focused on the theme, “Governance for a Progressing Africa”. In the ADF-IV agenda for action, ECA was requested to develop a project to map out traditional systems of governance, including their consensual decision-making models, as part of a broader effort to better define and advocate their role in achieving good governance in Africa. This concept paper addresses these issues and outlines the theoretical framework for the dynamics that enable traditional governance institutions to play a more “developmentalist” role in modern governance systems.

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