SOAS University of London

Centre of African Studies

GDAI Webinar Series #2 - 'Twists and Turns: the unpredictable trajectory of decentralization in Sierra Leone'

Dr Felix Marco Conteh

Date: 30 April 2019Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 30 April 2019Time: 6:30 PM

Venue: Online event

Type of Event: Webinar

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation, the Centre of African Studies at SOAS and SOAS Radio are delighted to announce that the speaker for our second webinar will be Dr Felix Marco Conteh, who completed his PhD at SOAS University of London in 2014 under the Mo Ibrahim Foundation PhD Scholarship programme.

Dr Conteh will deliver a webinar entitled 'Twists and Turns: the unpredictable trajectory of decentralization in Sierra Leone'

In 2004 the Government of Sierra Leone reactivated elected local councils through an ambitious post-war decentralization programme funded by the World Bank, after a hiatus of 32 years. While the official justification for the programme is embedded in technical notions of expanding space for citizens’ participation and improvements in social services, one can also observe a political class less committed to dispersing power, except for purposes of regime survival exemplified in the need to leverage donors’ ‘largess’ amid dwindling local resources, as well as playing potential competitors such as civil servants, local councils, NGOs and Chiefs against each other. The level of recentralization experienced in the immediate post-Ebola period, illustrates the Government’s lack of ideological commitment to any specific governance configuration including decentralization, and a willingness to preserve its power. This then makes the trajectory of decentralization unpredictable, with adverse implications for medium to long term governance and development planning processes.

Chair: Dr Alastair Fraser (SOAS)

Register here:

More about the webinars:

The aim of this webinars is to reach a wide and diverse audience worldwide. Thanks to our platform BbCollab, anyone interested with access to internet connection (from a computer or a smartphone) as well as via dialling phone will be able to attend the live online seminar. They will have an opportunity to ask questions relative to the lecture topic at the end of the session through the live chat.

Format of the Webinar Series:

The format will be an hour-long-event, comprising of a 30 minutes lecture, 10 minutes for the chair’s question and 20 minutes open Q&A through the live chat.
Most of the webinars will be live at 5pm GMT in order to allow as many people as possible across the African continent and Europe to attend.
The platform we will use is BbCollab (Blackboard Collaboration). Prerequisite is either computer or tablet or smartphone (some might try to join via telephone–audio only)-the session should open in most browsers. More detailed information on how to join will be given when registering on the Eventbrite site of the webinar.
The recorded event will later be available on our Governance in Africa youtube channel and on our Governance in Africa website.

About the series:

The governance and development in Africa webinars are one part of CAS' Governance for Development in Africa programme, supported by and in collaboration with the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. The other activities in this programme are: two annual PhD scholarship programme for African researchers based in sub-Saharan Africa to study at SOAS on governance/development topics and an annual residential school on governance and development.

Contact email: