Accountable Government in Africa

Accountable Government in Africa
26 Jul 2021

About this publication:

In the early 1990s, a wave of democratisation swept the African continent, resulting in a flurry of constitution-making and constitutional revision which entrenched human rights and established various institutional mechanisms to hold governments to account. After two decades of constitutional changes and other developments affecting governance in Africa, it is now time to take stock and assess to what extent accountable governance has taken root there.

Combining insights from public law and political studies, this edited volume looks at various institutions and mechanisms of accountability – national prosecuting authorities, the judiciary, human rights commissions, political parties and informal mechanisms. It assesses their effectiveness in holding African governments to account and how these institutions themselves are being held accountable.
The book brings together a number of leading experts in the fields of public law, political science and democratisation and presents new knowledge about legal and political developments in a number of African countries (South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and Mali), knowledge that is relevant to the policy goal of developing and deepening democratic governance and accountable government on the continent.


  • Chapter 1: Accountable government in Africa: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: Post-Apartheid Accountability: The Transformation of a Political Idea
  • Chapter 3: The Politics of Constitutional Reform in Zambia: From executive dominance to public participation?
  • Chapter 4: Judicial Independence and the Judicialisation of Electoral Politics in Malawi and Uganda
  • Chapter 5: From parliamentary supremacy to Judicial Review: Relations between Parliament and the Judiciary in Tanzania
  • Chapter 6: Judicial Review of Parliamentary Actions in South Africa: A Nunanced Interpretation of the Separation of Powers
  • Chapter 7: Prosecutions, Politics and the Law: The Way Things Are
  • Chapter 8: The Civilianisation of Prosecutorial Services in Tanzania
  • Chapter 9: Accountable Governance and the Role of National Human Rights Institutions: The Experience of the Malawi Human Rights Commission
  • Chapter 10: Balancing Independence and Accountability: The Role of Chapter 9 Institutions in South Africa’s Constitutional Democracy
  • Chapter 11: Accountability Compromised: Floor Crossing in Malawi and South Africa
  • Chapter 12: Democracy within Political Parties: The State of Affairs in East and Southern Africa
  • Chapter 13: Political Parties in Malawi: An Accountability Analysis
  • Chapter 14: Family Matters: The Interplay between Formal and Informal Incentives for Accountability in Mali’s Local Communities
  • Chapter 15: Understanding Local Forms of Accountability: Initial Findings from Ghana and
  • Chapter 16: External Accountability Meets Accountability Assistance with Reference to Legislative Strengthening in Africa

Interest/benefit to:

Academics, students and practitioners in the fields of public law, public administration, political studies and African studies. Anyone who has an interest in developing and deepening democratic governance and accountable government on the African continent.

General information:

  • Format: Ebook
  • Extent: 320 Pages
  • ISBN: 9781920541637
  • Language(s): English
  • Published: 2012
  • Category: Law, International Law, Private and Public, UCT Press
  • Retail price: R555 (Print), R504 (Wed PDF) and R504 (ePub)

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(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
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