Harnessing traditional governance in Southern Africa

OUTPUT TYPE: Research report- client
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2007
TITLE AUTHOR(S): A.Y.Amoateng
KEYWORDS: GOVERNANCE, SOUTHERN AFRICA, TRADITIONAL AUTHORITIES
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Development (HSD)
Intranet: HSRC Library: shelf number 5103

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Abstract

The context and rationale for this study are the current democratization process and commitment to good governance on the African continent. Against the background of democratization in Africa, traditional forms of authority have come back into the spotlight of interest, especially with respect to the role of chiefs as an intermediary between the state and the citizen. The current opportunities for democratic participation and good governance in most African States seem unprecedented, yet there have been many failures. A significant part of this lies in the overlooked relationship between the contemporary African state and traditional authority and the opportunities these institutions provide for bringing development to the people. There remains a disconnect between State structures and civil society, and while the view is held that African democratization should draw from its cultural traditions, more needs to be done to analyze systematically the extent to which this can or does occur.