Decentralisation in Commonwealth Africa

Experiences from Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania

image of Decentralisation in Commonwealth Africa
The aim of a well-designed decentralisation programme is to deliver effective services to all citizens and to deepen democracy through active popular participation in local governance. Through detailed case studies of decentralisation policies in five sub-Saharan African countries – Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania – this book examines the challenges presented, lessons learned, and recommends ways to improve policy implementation.

It is clear from the analysis that there is no ‘one size fits all’ design of decentralisation policy. Policy-makers worldwide can use the lessons learnt and good practices presented here to better inform and advance their own decentralisation agenda.




This chapter races the trajPublic sector development is integral to the work that we do at the Commonwealth Secretariat. Through the Governance and Institutional Development Division (GIDD), we support member countries and their public institutions with technical assistance, advisory services and training. The aim is to build institutional capacity to improve governance and public service delivery.ectory of decentralisation implementation in Botswana. It covers the circumstances that led to the adoption of decentralisation; the type of decentralisation being pursued; the main area(s) of focus; achievements so far; and the challenges and suggestions for improvement. In writing the chapter, three datacollection methods were adopted: (a) an analysis of the country report submitted by the Ministry of Local Government (MLG) to the Commonwealth Secretariat; (b) a two-week rapid field survey conducted in Botswana in October 2009 by a consultant hired by the Commonwealth Secretariat to validate the country report; and (c) a regional validation workshop organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat in Gaborone during which comments were solicited from government institutions on the draft country report. The final draft report was further reviewed by the MLG and Office of the President.


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