The state of good governance practices in African countries
Good governance has become a crucial topic for debate around the globe. Thus, there is a growing need to define the concept and the principles related to it. Africa has always been associated with negative connotations when it comes to governance, and it is characterised by words such as poverty, corruption, famine and civil war, which suggests that there is no order or equality on the continent. The need to comprehend what African countries have achieved and what the main challenges are is critical in determining the way forward for the continent to improve on its good governance practices. Past work done on the concept has proven valuable to this study; however, there remains a gap in determining how and why the continent is battling with implementing efficient and effective measures to improve good governance. The aim of this study is to analyse Africa as a whole, using practical examples from African countries that lead in both good governance and bad governance practices. This study first attempts to understand and define the concept of governance and aspects related to it; in addition, the elements of good governance are unpacked. Case studies that are applicable to the continent are utilised as they serve to underlie the weaknesses and strengths of governance across Africa. Renowned organisations and institutions that contribute significantly to governance practices are recognised and examined for further understanding; thus, determining the methods that could be used to measure governance. Hence, the purpose of the study is to contribute to understanding governance on the African continent; it will also make recommendations on how to improve governance practices in a manner that is suited to Africa. Governance in Africa should be distinguished from governance around the world. The history of African countries is different when compared to Western countries. The ideal is to find solutions for Africa in an African context, without neglecting the values that are characterised as good governance practices worldwide. The study therefore assesses the theoretical perspectives of governance, as well as African countries, including South Africa, Nigeria, Botswana and Zimbabwe. The assessment recognises that Africa has the potential to achieve greater benefits from good governance practices, including investments that will significantly improve economic growth and development. Botswana will be utilized as an example of a leader in good governance practices. The countries in Africa, which are characterized by bad governance practices, can be improved either through better leadership or by society standing up against foul practices. The latter option normally results in further destabilization; therefore, it is recommended that enhanced leadership should be promoted through good governance practices.