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CALL FOR PAPERS – 5TH AFRICAN GOVERNANCE SEMINAR

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APRM_Call for Papers_5th African Governance Seminar_AGoSS 2022

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5TH AFRICAN GOVERNANCE SEMINAR CALL FOR PAPERS

 

Submission of Abstracts Due: 19 August 2022
Submission of Full Draft Papers Due: 19 September 2022

 

Introduction
The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Continental Secretariat, an autonomous entity within the African Union (AU), is inviting abstracts for papers from African experts, scholars, and practitioners. The APRM invites the following experts to submit papers:
1. Doctoral Candidates,
2. Post-Doctoral Candidates, and
3. Policy Research Fellows.

The accepted papers will be presented by the authors at the 5th African Governance Seminar Series (AGOSS) event that is scheduled to take place from the 29th to the 30th of September 2022, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Seminar Papers that meet writing standards will be published.
The African Governance Seminar Series is a multi-stakeholder interactive platform for debate and analysis of developments and trends on governance in Africa. The format of the series comprises an annual conference of governance experts, practitioners, industry captains, as well as academicians from universities, higher learning institutions, centres of excellence, and schools of government in Africa. The seminars examine topical developments and paradigms in democracy and political governance, economic governance and management, corporate governance, socio-economic development, and state resilience within the framework of the African Union (AU) Constitutive Act, the Charter of Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG), and the AU Agenda 2063.

The objective of the seminars is to develop and generate knowledge on innovative alternatives in governance practice and theory, reviewing and assessing emerging literature and trends on governance on the continent through consolidation and analysis of literature and reports from within and outside the continent. Authors and presenters at the seminars join a distinguished community of African governance specialists who constitute a network. The network interacts through an online platform and conferences across the continent.

 

Background
The African Governance Seminar Series, which seek to interrogate current mainstream governance ideological and policy frameworks for suitability and feasibility to the political economy of governance and development in Africa, are an initiative of the APRM. Launched by the African Union (AU) Assembly of Heads of States and Governments in 2003, the APRM1 is the continent’s self-monitoring and peer review instrument for promoting good governance. AU member states voluntarily accede to the Mechanism, its review processes and implementation of National Programmes of Action deriving from the reviews. In this regard, participating states are encouraged to adopt AU standards and codes to improve constitutionalism as well as policy adoption, domestication, and implementation.
To enhance coherence and complementarity between academia and practitioners in the construction of discourse on governance and standards of practice, the APRM brings together a wide spectrum of the governance community.

 

Rationale
AGOSS was established as an interactive platform to bring multiple stakeholders including academics, practitioners as well as public and private non-state actors to dialogue. The aim is to bridge the divide between theory and practice, and the divergence between academia and practitioners, to encourage and promote continent-wide convergence on governance values, standards, and codes.

Call for Papers
The call for papers for the 2022 African Governance Seminar invites topics on one or more of the following themes:

 

AGOSS 2022 Main Theme

Main Theme: Consolidating Democracy and Economic Governance for Recovery, Growth and Stability
Governance comprises a set of systems, decision-making processes, and practices towards the administration, development, and
progression of a nation. The African Union (AU), through Article 3 and 4 of its Constitutive Act and among its other instruments,
recognises the importance of good governance in promoting social welfare, economic growth, and political stability. Over the last two
decades, the global community has experienced financial and economic crises, political uprisings, extreme climatic changes,
environmental catastrophes, epidemics, and pandemics. The most recent of these is the corona virus, Covid-19, that has highlighted
the need for more robust governing processes. There is no better time than now for African countries to re-define and re-invent their
governance systems for the better. The APRM2 recommends that AU member states include, among others, adoption of policies on
disaster preparedness, planning and management, utilisation of multi-stakeholder platforms, as well as having a human rights
approach in relation to Africa’s governance response to Covid-19.

The 5th AGOSS event focuses on ways in which AU member states can consolidate democracy and economic governance to recover
from these shocks and disasters while promoting growth and stability. The papers must present recommendations that facilitate the
attainment of the AU Agenda 2063 aspirations and the United Nations (UN) Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 

Sub-Themes

Sub-Theme One: Understanding Unconstitutional Change of Government in African
The objective of the second sub-theme is to examine and interrogate the underlying causes for Unconstitutional Changes in
Government (UCGs) and the efficacy of preventive and redress measures applied by the African Union. Therefore, authors are
encouraged to probe issues relating to the nexus of four sub-theme elements for this session and what role these sub-theme elements
play in causing, catalysing, or triggering UCG.

Firstly, the sub-theme focuses on integrity of democratic elections and change of government which broadly refers to the global
approach to attending to the four elements of the problem of unconstitutional changes of government, namely: i) a set of common
values and principles for democratic elections; ii) a common definition of what constitutes unconstitutional change; iii) measures and
actions that the African Union could progressively take to respond to an unconstitutional change; and iv) an implementation
mechanism. In the case of the African Union, these standards are defined in the charter/convention/protocol on i) the 1990
Declaration on the political and socio-economic situation in Africa and the fundamental changes taking place in the world, ii) the 1995
Cairo Agenda for the Re-launch of Africa’s Economic and Social Development, iii) the 1999 Algiers Declaration on Unconstitutional
Changes of Government, iv) the 2000 Lomé Declaration for an OAU Response to Unconstitutional Changes of Government; and v)
the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.

Secondly, the sub-theme focuses on human rights which derives from the African Charter on People’s and Human Rights Article 2
which states that “Every individual shall be entitled to the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms recognised and guaranteed in the
present Charter without distinction of any kind such as race, ethnic group, colour, sex, language, religion, political or any other
opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or any status”. This is further stated within UN Universal declaration of Human Rights
Article 1 and Article 3. For purposes of this sub-theme, diversity management broadly refers to the management of multiplicity of
identity groups that inhabit a country. Such for the purpose of mitigating conflicts and related social and economic cost.

Thirdly, the sub-theme looks at economic management and public sector accountability which focuses on two key elements as
potential catalysts of UCG. The first, economic management, refers to the system of institutions, processes, and practices responsible
for the broad national economic policy framework aimed at promoting an inclusive economic growth and the general welfare of the
citizens. The second, public sector accountability is defined in the context of transparency, equity, democracy, efficiency, and integrity
of holders of public office towards improving the welfare of citizens. Several factors related to economic governance and public sector
accountability have emerged in countries that have recently witnessed unconstitutional changes in governments. These include the
following: i) marginal improvements in the welfare of citizens despite extensive increase in the extraction of mineral resources and
announcement of several multi-billion-dollar projects with international firms to tap new reserves, raising the level of discontent
amongst citizens; and ii) lack of transparency in the use of public funds and failure by the justice system to bring to account public
officials that have been accused of corruption and abuse of public office.

Thirdly, increase in cost of living and other associated economic hardships caused by removal of social safety nets for the vulnerable
groups of the society such as subsidies for fuel, electricity, and other basic commodities. Fourth, the deterioration of economic metrics
such has high inflation, increase tax burden, and interest rates, making it difficult for both citizens and businesses to stay afloat.

Fifth, Lack of service delivery in local governments. Lastly, lack of benefits for communities around the areas where natural resources are
extracted and inadequate compensation for displacements from their traditional sources of economic life.

Finally, the sub-theme focuses on popular uprisings, militarization and terrorism derived from the 50th Anniversary Solemn
Declaration para f(ii). The declaration reiterates the rejection of unconstitutional changes of government including through any
attempts to seize power by force but recognises the right of our people to peacefully express their will against oppressive systems.

 

Sub-theme Two: Governance for State Resilience in the Post-Covid Era

The objective of this first sub-theme is to examine the ways in which governments can build-back better after Covid-19 by improving
governance processes, improving state institutions, and enhancing the resilience of their societies to cope with various types of
shocks and disasters. Taking into consideration a futures approach, the theme calls for papers that will explore how governance is
going to evolve in terms of public sector investment and public institutions in addressing the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on
society, including the following:

 

a) E-Governance and Access to Information for Sustainable Development
Several countries agree that access to information fosters good governance by enhancing transparency, increasing accountability,
and improving participation of the populace in public affairs. At its 44th session, the United Nations Human Rights Council made a
resolution on freedom of opinion and expression (A/HRC/RES/44/12) which recognises the responsibility of public authorities in
ensuring the availability of information. According to the 2021 UNESCO Report on Public Access to Information (SDG 16.10.2),
access to information (ATI) ‘should be the thread that binds together diverse actions towards the successful implementation of the
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and beyond’. Similarly, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has
drafted guidelines and related model law on access to information and elections in Africa which empowers the electorate to be wellinformed
about political processes. ATI is critical in rebuilding communities to favourably emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.

This session calls for papers that explore how ATI can be utilised in re-building communities and their public institutions to emerge
from the COVID-19 pandemic. In commemorating the UN International Day for Universal Access to Information, the session will
focus on how Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other frontier technologies such as cloud computing, big data, Internet of Things, and
virtual reality can ensure achievement of digital societies, where government services and economies are technologically driven.
Artificial Intelligence also has the potential to accelerate the process of achieving Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 16, including
increasing access to information in member states. Authors are invited to write taking into consideration the current Fourth Industrial
Revolution (4IR) with increased open access, internet economy, transparency, e-services, and digitized materials. This includes how
e-governance may be a suitable approach to post-pandemic recovery. Therefore, papers are to make recommendations on strategies
to increase information dissemination, public education, and public participation in governance processes on the continent and the
diaspora.

 

b) Strengthening Resilience in Nutrition and Food Security on the African Continent
This session is in line with the African Union theme of the year 2022, which is on nutrition. The submissions presented in this session
will focus on the state of Africa’s agro-food systems, health, and social protection systems for the promotion of governance and
acceleration of human, social and economic development. In their analysis of nutrition and food security on the continent, authors
are encouraged to take into consideration the 4C’s that are outlined by AUDA-NEPAD (2022), namely, climate, conflict, covid-19,
and the cost of food. Authors are encouraged to discuss the aspects of health and social protection in the context of post-covid-19
recovery. Papers may also explore the interlinkages between food shortages, malnutrition, and various humanitarian crises on the
continent. The AU has made strides in developing frameworks to guide member states on agriculture and development. These
include the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Assembly/AU/Decl.7 (II), the Africa Seed and
Biotechnology Programme (ASBP) Assembly/AU/Dec.86(V), the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative (EOAI) EX.CL/Dec.621
(XVII), the Geographic Indications Strategy for Africa (GISA) EX.CL/Dec.987(XXXII) and the Great Green Wall initiative. The United
Nations Paris Agreement also aims to increase pathways towards climate-resilient development, in this regard authors are
encouraged to outline how the implementation of these commitments and similar policies can accelerate food security and climate
change adaptation in Africa.

 

c) Free Movement of People and Goods
The African continent has made strides in the implementation of instruments to improve the movement of people and goods withing
and between countries. One of these instruments is the AU Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) Agreement which seeks to ‘create
a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business-persons and investments’ in Africa. This theme
calls for papers that analyse trade, market, and migration patterns which facilitate integration in Africa on emigration and immigration,
free movement of persons (human capital) and development of national and regional economies.

 

Sub-Theme Three: Economic Governance for Improved Access to Global Capital
Access to international capital markets presents many opportunities for Africa. It helps diversify funding sources and makes countries
less dependent on aid and multilateral and bilateral loans to finance investment and expenditure. While stringent conditions come
with multilateral and bilateral loans, they generally don’t with commercial debt. Africa needs roughly US$130 billion to US$170 billion
a year for infrastructure investment but countries lack the capacity to generate domestic revenues and don’t attract much global
foreign direct investment flows either3. Sovereign credit ratings whose primary aim is to assess a sovereign’s willingness to meet its
financial obligations fully and on time play a critical role in determining access to international capital markets. Thus, Credit Rating
Agencies’ credit ratings have an impact on issuers as they determine the conditions under which governments can access debt
markets. When it comes to credit ratings in the African context, common concerns include potential conflicts of interest, unreliable
methodologies, and a lack of understanding of African economies. Furthermore, there are concerns surrounding the oligopolistic
nature of the ‘big three’ rating agencies. The number of African countries rated by the three major rating agencies, Moody’s, Fitch,
and Standard & Poor (S&P), increased to 31 in 2021 from only 10 in 2003. Meanwhile, the average number of annual credit ratings
issued for countries across Africa rose from 7 between 1994 and 2007 to 37 between 2008 and 2020.

The seminar seeks to examine the evolving role of CRAs in Africa and the feasibility of establishing a continental regulatory authority,
a pan-African credit rating agency and technical support and advisory research institutions as a means of addressing the challenges.
It is envisaged that the sessions under the first sub-theme will make actionable recommendations on emerging issues that have been
highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Sub-Theme Four: Corporate Governance in State Institutions and Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs)
The private sector is pivotal in facilitating development in African countries. The objective of this sub-theme is to explore how Public
Private Partnerships (PPPs) can be a solution to state challenges such as service delivery, infrastructural development, and inclusion
of non-state actors in governance processes. The UN SDGs Goal 17 highlights the importance of inclusive partnerships for
sustainable development at the global, regional, national, and local levels. These partnerships often require good management, risk
allocation, investments, transparency, and cooperation. In this regard, the APRM4 has identified laudable practices towards ensuring
effective corporate governance that respects human rights.

The sub-theme calls for manuscripts on innovative solutions to governance challenges in public institutions and enterprises by
exploring ways in which multilateral instruments, public-private ventures, institutions, and corporations can improve their day-to-day
business to ensure good corporate governance. Authors are challenged to explore ways in which companies and PPP entities can
foster economic growth in this era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Consequently, papers may explore the merits and demerits
of various corporate governance frameworks for improving and institutionalising public services, for example, towards the
fulfilment of governments’ national, regional, and continental commitments. Public institutions include government organisations,
non-governmental organizations, parastatals, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and more. Boosting the performance of the SOE
sector through improved governance arrangements can potentially lead to better economic and social outcomes. The establishment
of new policies for covid-19 has prompted the increase in new kinds of public institutions. The session will examine the future of
incarceration and correctional services as well as issues of the individual and of regulated public spaces. It calls for exploration of
how public institutions can be well-governed, including a guidance framework for correctional & detention facilities. The
recommendations that will emanate from the session will attempt to boost the performance of public institutions to potentially lead to
better economic and social outcomes in African countries.

 

Submission Process
Seminar authors are invited to submit abstracts on or before 19 August 2022
1. Abstract of 300-500 words.
2. The first page of the proposed paper should include the title, authors’ name, affiliation, and full contact details.
3. Potential author’s biographies should be submitted, indicating the list of papers previously authored and/or published.
4. Upon submission of their abstracts, potential authors will be notified of the outcome of their submissions. If their abstract has been selected, potential authors will receive further information regarding the submission process and Seminar logistics.
5. Full draft papers must be submitted via e-mail in both PDF and Word format as attachment to [email protected] on or before 19 September 2022.
6. The final paper submissions should be approximately 2,500-5,000 words in length, excluding references, figures, tables, and appendices.

NB: Papers submitted must not have been published, accepted for publication, or under consideration for publication anywhere
else.

Pickup Features

  • Call for Papers
  • Phone:

  • Email:

  • Pick Up:

    none

    09/27/2022

    12:00 AM

  • Drop Off:

    none

    09/28/2022

    12:00 AM

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