SOAS University of London

Centre of African Studies

GDAI 2013 Residential School in Accra Ghana

The Residential School held this year in Accra, Ghana, was an intensive programme of lectures, seminars and workshops organised by the Centre of African Studies, SOAS, University of London, in association with the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Accra, Ghana, and was funded by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation's Governance for Development in Africa Initiative (GDAI).

GDAI 2013 Residential School in Ghana


Over thirty International Development participants including policy makers, academics, government officials and civil society representatives from across Africa and Europe met in Accra in order to explore issues of governance, development and the current situation in Africa.


Among the speakers – representative of different sectors, were:

  • Dr Michael Jennings (SOAS/CAS);
  • Abdoulie Janneh (Mo Ibrahim Foundation);
  • Dr Jonathan di John (SOAS);
  • Dr Funmi Olonisakin (Kings College, London);
  • Prof E.Gyimah-Boadi (CDD Ghana/University of Ghana);
  • Dr Laura Hammond (SOAS);
  • Mr Yao Graham (Third World Network);
  • Dr Carlos Oya (SOAS).

They discussed the themes of governance and development from different perspectives and in relation to different issues, offering both theoretical insights and practical case studies. These themes included the discussions of democratic politics as an asset and a liability for oil/natural resource governance in Africa, Political economy of aid and the good governance agenda in Africa, taxation, state-building regional integration and ethnic division. Participants also took part in small group workshop sessions, in which they discussed a particular topic before reporting back to the group as a whole.’

Throughout the week both speakers and the participants challenged the common understanding of ‘good governance’, as an idea and as a practice, all speakers drawing from their own personal experiences as governance practitioners and experts.

All PowerPoint presentations of the speakers can be accessed on the Governance in Africa website.

Online Links for Further Information

Centre of African Studies at SOAS 
Governance for Development in Africa Initiative
Governance in Africa lectures and radio programmes
Mo Ibrahim Foundation 

The residential school has also seen the launch in West Africa of the Governance in Africa DVD series and the Governance in Africa website and YouTube channel with video lectures and radio interviews with academics and African leaders discussing the challenges for good governance in Africa.

“African citizens are increasingly demanding greater accountability and better governance from their leaders. The Residential School offers a timely opportunity to examine the different pillars that impact governance outcomes, from natural resources to healthcare, and to explore new policy ideas.”
Dr Michael Jennings, Chairman, CAS.