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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Decentralisation, Local Governance and 'Recentralization' in Africa
Author:Wunsch, James S.
Periodical:Public Administration and Development
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:administrative reform
local government
Politics and Government
Economics and Trade
Development and Technology
External link:https://doi.org/10.1002/pad.185
Abstract:Although many African States have pursued substantial decentralization reforms in the previous twenty years, many of these reforms are still experiencing problems in bringing about effective local governance. Often these problems grow from the difficulty in translating general reform initiatives into specific working arrangements at the local level that are effective in several key processes and operations. Specifically these include planning and capital investment, budgeting and fiscal management, personnel systems and management, and finance and revenue. A combination of central reluctance to relinquish authority in these key areas and the complexity of organizational redesign to support decentralization seem to explain these problems. With the exception of Botswana, where an unusual political environment may have overcome turbulence and allowed a more broadly based political life to exercise some influence over the centre, and whose relative wealth may have temporarily altered the intense competition characteristic of Africa's severe scarcity, a top-down, decentralization/local governance strategy still faces substantial challenges in contemporary Africa. Bibliogr., note, sum.