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Centre of African Studies

Mo Ibrahim Governance and Development in Africa Residential School, Uganda, 19-23 April, 2010

The Residential School of Governance and Development in Africa was held in Entebbe, Uganda, from 19-23 April 2010. The week long, intensive program was led by the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS) University of London, in partnership with the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and the Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC) based at Makerere University. The aim of the residential school in Uganda was to explore the future of governance and development in African countries and it followed the hugely successful, inaugural experience in 2009 in Dakar (Senegal). The School represents just one of the activities of the ‘Governance for Development in Africa’ programme run by SOAS and funded by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. Professor Joe Oloka-Onyango, Professor of Constitutional Law at Makerere University gave the opening remarks to the meeting and based his talk on linking human rights and governance.

Participants in the SOAS Residential School in Uganda included policy makers, academics, civil society representatives and government officials from countries across Africa, exploring new ideas and sharing experiences on good governance and development.  It was an engaging and informative event, despite the absence of some key participants who were unable to travel from London due to the ban on air travel as a result of the volcanic eruption in Iceland. The meeting however took place successfully with a reorganised program which relied entirely on local and regional experts. This outcome clearly demonstrated the continent’s resilience and capacity given the calibre of participants from across Africa who gathered to discuss governance challenges in relation to their work.

Among those experts were Mr Godber Tumushabe who spoke on environmental sustainability and security for national and regional development;  Dr Christopher Mbazira of the Faculty of Law at Makerere University spoke on the positive effects of international obligations in achieving economic, social and political rights in Africa. Hon. Justice Professor George W. Kanyeihamba, former Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and Former Attorney General of Uganda spoke on judges’ interpretation and making of laws, while Dr Emilia Onyema, Lecturer in Law at SOAS led discussions on  the use of law as a tool for effective governance. Dr Jibrin Ibrahim of the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) and founding Director of Global Rights in Nigeria discussed the relevance of Millennium Development Goals in African development while Prof Augustus Nuwagaba spoke on the importance of government planning initiatives in good governance and development.

MIF representatives, Dr Hania Farhan and Elizabeth McGrath, gave a presentation on the Ibrahim Index of African Governance which is a comprehensive ranking of African countries according to governance quality. The residential school also saw the launch of ‘Governance in Africa Conversations’, a series of radio interviews with leading academics discussing the issues surrounding governance and development. The programmes will be broadcast on radio stations across the continent and is also be available online at www.governanceinafrica.org.

Below you can download the papers presented at the Residential School: