Responding to seemingly intractable economic problems, the Africa Governance Inventory accepts that good and effective governance is a necessary pre-condition for development.
In the 1990s, several international events have turned the focus of development strategies in Africa to the issue of good and effective governance as a pre-condition for fostering economic and social development. These were:
As a result, some Governments have started adopting policies and strategies which mitigate the deepening economic problems and restart economic growth through the consolidation of political and administrative institutions and the creation of partnerships with the private sector and the civil society.
To respond to these global challenges and to assist African Governments in the area of governance, the Regional Bureau for Africa (RBA) of UNDP has launched the Africa Governance Forum (AGF) process, a series of annual conferences on the emerging governance issues. This process provides a platform for African policy-makers, international organizations and Africa’s development partners to engage in a dialogue on the state of governance in this continent, to examine emerging issues and share experiences in building and promoting good governance at national and regional level. Within this framework, the Division of Public Economics and Public Administration of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs was invited to formulate and execute the Africa Governance Inventory project.
This project is based on the findings of the one-year pilot SPPD Inventory of governance programmes in Africa executed in 1998 by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in 14 African countries, as a follow up of the First AGF held in Addis Ababa in 1997.
The Africa Governance Inventory (AGI) project expanded both the spatial dimension and scope of the pilot project by adding 24 additional African countries to the original exercise and by including capacity building on data collection and management at national level into the Inventory process. The overall objective of this project is to: - Strengthen national capacities to establish priorities and to identify financial gaps and urgent needs among different areas of national governance programmes - Strengthen national capacities of recipient Governments to mobilize and coordinate internal and external resources to be channeled into governance initiatives in the context of national frameworks - Strengthen national capacities to manage and monitor national and external resources allocated to governance programmes and projects, as well as to program resources at sub-regional level.
The expected output of the AGI includes: - National databases on governance projects and programmes managed by government units trained in data management and analysis; - One regional database on governance initiatives accessible through the Internet to Governments and development partners; - Manuals and training material on data collection and management; - Country and sub-regional reports on governance by theme and sub-sectors.
The project is expected to impact on the capacity of Governments to co-ordinate the interventions of donors, specialized agencies and multilateral organizations and on the capacity of development partners to monitor their activities and to identify financial gaps within national governance priorities. In this sense, the Inventory of governance programmes is an integral part of the Africa Governance Forum process.