The Bane Of Poor Governance In Africa


Governance has increasingly become a major instrument for the successful growth performance and development purposes in the world. Additionally, governance and institutions have also created attention to scholars as well as to international institutions as World Bank and IMF. In Africa, governance has been a concern since 1960s when some African countries got their independence.
There is a strong evidence that governance and institutions affect growth performance of the African. However, there is no set of governance or institution that countries should follow. Thus, it is linked to the country’s specific context. However, there is an agreement that involves the achievement of Millennium Development Goals, the poverty reduction strategy, sustainable development and wealth creation. Nevertheless, successful developed countries is due to good governance. (Peter Edwin 2017).
In Africa, poor governance has led to poor economic growth and it is manifested through corruption, political instability, ineffective rule of law and institutions. Some African countries went through governance failure particularly Nigeria in recent time and corruption at some point, but their governance capacity made some recoveries and ensure the maintenance of rapid growth performance through constant demands to improve government and reduce corruption.
However, this cannot happen if governance capacity is poor and non-sustainable.
The challenge for African countries is to restructure the governance strategy and learn from other countries, viable governance strategies that would be suitable to their own conditions thus, the actual governance system does not sustain good growth performance.
Empirical evidence suggests that there is a weak relationship between poor governance and poor growth performance. Thus, it suggests that there is another important  variable that would improve the growth performance that is not captured by governance. However, good governance is essential for good growth performance.
Research has it that developed countries in the world have better governance and low corruption whereas poor countries have poor governance and corruption. However, this direction of causality is not clearly established. Therefore, it is undeniable that corruption affects to certain extend this growth performance of African nation. It is, however, demonstrated that countries with good institutions or governance tend to have high rates of economic growth than countries with poor institutions.
According to world bank, the challenges facing the African continent towards adopting sustainable governance are as follows; empowerment of the civil service, communication and media, decentralization, leadership building and public administration, parliamentary system, peace and stability and institution and human rights.
Poor performance is a general concern in Nigeria and Africa at large, and is most explained by the persistence of inefficient markets, corruption, poor institutions, low government intervention as well as insecure property rights. Therefore, Africa needs an improved set of policy planning including political and economic reforms to break the persistent poor growth performance. The economic reforms should combine market liberalization, enforcement of property rights, improved institutions as well as credibility and accountability of public servants and leaders.
To eliminate public resources mismanagement and to ensure quality service delivery and effective bureaucracy, strengthen the rules of law as well as promotion of credibility, accountability and transparency, capacity building is also a vital process. Once African countries successfully manage to get rid of the variables associated with poor governance, they will be in a better position to strengthen and boost  growth performance and create opportunities and development in their countries.

Agbadam is a student of Eastern Polytechnic,
Port Harcourt.

Peter Agbadam