Relevance of African traditional institutions of Governance
Author(s)/Corporate Author (s)United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa;
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African countries are characterized by fragmentation of various aspects of their political economy, including their institutions of governance. Large segments of the rural populations, the overwhelming majority in most African countries, continue to adhere principally to traditional institutions. The post-colonial State, on the other hand, essentially emulates western institutions of governance, which are often at odds with traditional African cultural values and the region’s contemporary socio-economic realities. The question therefore is not whether the traditional and “modern” systems of governance are competing against each other but how to integrate the two systems more effectively in order to better serve citizens in terms of representation and participation, service delivery, social and health standards and access to justice. 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.