Who said most of founding African presidents were not educated? Why has Africa not developed as fast as it should have done? The answer is lack of democracy, good governance and rule of law. Former president of the Republic of Senegal, the late Leopold Senghor, generally respected as the most scholarly African Head of State is attributed to have observed in a keynote speech at an international conference in1960s that the desire by westerners was to superimpose a European civilization in Africa in the name of universality. And this view was clearly demonstrated after African countries embraced principles of democracy.
Although the African continent has hostile living conditions for westerners, it is endowed with strategic resources necessary for continued development of the western countries. This is the reason it was imperative for countries in Africa to embrace democracy, rule of law and good governance. These conditions were necessary for the western capitalist to be assured of control of movement of the strategic resources I Africa. It is the question of dog eating another dog.
In spite of the differences in application of democracy what mattered most was control as there cannot be democracy without rule of law and governance. Of interest in this article is good governance. The World Bank sees governance as the traditions and institutions by which authority in a democracy is exercised for the common good. This means authority by government in a democracy derives from the people which must be exercised with the aim of promoting the common good for every citizen. Governance means the processes by which those in authority are selected, monitored and replaced. It also includes capacity to effectively manage public resources, implement sound policies, respect of citizens and administration of institutions that deliver justice.
Government of Uganda defines good governance as the efficient, effective and accountable exercise of political, administrative and managerial authority to achieve society’s objectives which include welfare of the whole population, sustainable development and personal freedoms. After comparing the interpretations of the two definitions, the question is who measures results of good governance? To whom is government accountable for good governance?
In a democracy it is citizens and civil society not government who measure good governance. This is because government cannot assess itself for the way it is running the country. This is where animosity with Non Governmental Organizations such as churches begins to develop. Those in government believe the mandate to rule was derived from the ballot box. The churches speak for the voiceless. It is the duty of churches to speak against bad governance as good governance entails transparency and accountability.
Donors normally ask for good governance as aid conditionality to ensure social and intellectual dominance in the country. Moore is on record in his book; Political Underdevelopment, what causes bad governance; that underdevelopment in developing countries is caused by a disconnect between government and its citizens as the government has access to unearned incomes from donors to which citizens do not have bargaining power for its distribution. In away poor governance is exacerbated by donors when they give aid to countries not respecting human rights. Vasquez in his book; Making Aid Work , thinks the World Bank is culprit as it may not always behave in the most transparent and accountable manner which it expects from its clients.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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