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Roshni Menon
on Thu, September 20, 2012 at 02.14 am

African Regional Dialogue on Governance and the Post-2015 Framework

Start date: 
Thu, 2012-10-11
End date: 
Fri, 2012-10-12
Venue: 
Pan-African Parliament, Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Details:

The African Regional Dialogue under the theme “The New Development Agenda: Post-2015 Global Thematic Consultation on Governance” took place in Johannesburg, South Africa on Thursday 11th and 12th October 2012. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) are leading the global thematic consultation on governance, with support from the Government of Germany and in association with the Pan-African Parliament.

Absence of rule of law, high levels of corruption, weak capacity in local governments and the exclusion of groups from access to governance institutions are among the key obstacles for sustainable development and to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set out more than a decade ago with targets to be met by 2015.

As the MDG deadline fast approaches, the UN Secretary-General has outlined a UN-led process to determine the post-2015 development framework. Thus national and global thematic consultations on key issues pertaining to the post-2015 development agenda are being held, spearheaded by the UN Development Group. These draw on specialized expertise and a range of stakeholders, predominantly civil society, Parliamentarians, judiciary, think tanks, among others.

This meeting began the process of consultation on how governance, especially accountability, can be integrated future international development commitments-with only three years before the 2015 deadline. The event therefore offered an opportunity to contribute and engage in African viewpoints, experiences and perspectives that reflect the realities of people’s lives and development priorities for the continent.

This dialogue included presentations by the Pan-African Parliament President Hon. Bethel Amadi and Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, Governance Practice Director, United Nations Development Programme. Other speakers included representatives from Trust Africa, Open Society Initiative and the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Archived video from the sessions of the Dialogue are available for viewing here.

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Crispin Swedi Bilombele from
Thu, November 22, 2012 at 01.42 pm
Q) Comment le contexte de la gouvernance, y compris les possibilités et les défis-elles changé depuis les OMD ont été conçus?
R) Les gouvernements reconnaissent qu’un nouvel effort est fait à l’échelle mondiale pour lier les éléments du système économique international et la nécessité pour l’humanité de vivre dans un environnement naturel sûr et stable. C’est pourquoi les gouvernements et les organisations non gouvernementales sont résolus à poursuivre leurs efforts en vue de renforcer les développements des OMD dans les instances internationales de même que dans la politique intérieure de chaque pays.

Q) Comment puis-gouvernance et (in) égalité, y compris l'inégalité entre les sexes, s'influencent mutuellement?
R) Par manque le renforcement des capacités productives dans les structures d’autopromotion comme un moyen d’œuvrer à la suppressions des inégalités dans la répartition des ressources économiques et politiques.
Aussi de l’efficacité de leurs systèmes de gestion, des ressources et l’adaptation et la diffusion d’innovation technique appropriée
Anonymous from
Wed, October 24, 2012 at 06.17 am
Dear Colleagues,
I have been associated with the Bhutanese initiative, trailed below, for about 10 years, is a worthy objective to be followed by the resource poor, hungry and malnourished rural populations in developing countries.

Subhash Mehta

NEW DELHI: The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, famed for seeking "happiness" for its citizens, is aiming to become the first nation in the world to turn its home-grown food and farmers 100 percent organic.

The tiny Buddhist-majority nation wedged between China and India has an unusual and some say enviable approach to economic development, centred on protecting the environment and focusing on mental well-being.

Its development model measuring "Gross National Happiness" instead of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been discussed at the United Nations and has been publicly backed by leaders from Britain and France, among others.

It banned television until 1999, keeps out mass tourism to shield its culture from foreign influence, and most recently set up a weekly "pedestrians' day" on Tuesdays that sees cars banned from town centres.

Its determination to chart a different path can be seen in its new policy to phase out artificial chemicals in farming in the next 10 years, making its staple foods of wheat and potatoes, as well as its fruits, 100 percent organic.

"Bhutan has decided to go for a green economy in light of the tremendous pressure we are exerting on the planet," Agriculture Minister Pema Gyamtsho told AFP in an interview by telephone from the capital Thimphu.

"If you go for very intensive agriculture it would imply the use of so many chemicals, which is not in keeping with our belief in Buddhism, which calls for us to live in harmony with nature."

Bhutan has a population of just over 700,000, two-thirds of whom depend on farming in villages dotted around fertile southern plains near India and the soaring Himalayan peaks and deep valleys to the north.

Overwhelmingly forested, no more than three percent of the country's land area is used for growing crops, says Gyamtsho, with the majority of farmers already organic and reliant on rotting leaves or compost as a natural fertiliser.

"Only farmers in areas that are accessible by roads or have easy transport have access to chemicals," he explained, saying chemical use was already "very low" by international standards.

In the large valleys, such as the one cradling the sleepy capital Thimphu, chemicals are used to kill a local weed that is difficult to take out by hand -- a challenge compounded by a lack of farm labour.

Elsewhere, the fertiliser urea is sometimes added to soil, while a fungicide to control leaf rust on wheat is also available.

"We have developed a strategy that is step-by-step. We cannot go organic overnight," Gyamtsho said, describing a policy and roadmap which were formally adopted by the government last year.

"We have identified crops for which we can go organic immediately and certain crops for which we will have to phase out the use of chemicals, for rice in certain valleys for example."

Bhutan's only competitor for the first "100 percent organic" title is the tiny self-governing island of Niue in the South Pacific, which has a population of only 1,300. It aims to reach its objective by 2015-2020.

Nadia Scialabba, a global specialist on organic farming at the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation, says the organic food market and its premium prices are attractive for small countries and territories.

"This is happening in very small countries that are not competitive on quantity, but they would like to be competitive in quality," she told AFP.

The global organics market was estimated to be worth 44.5 billion euros (57 billion dollars) in 2010, according to figures from the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements.

Bhutan sends rare mushrooms to Japan, vegetables to upmarket hotels in Thailand, its highly-prized apples to India and elsewhere, as well as red rice to the United States.

By shunning fertilisers and other chemicals, the country also stands to gain by reducing its import bill -- a particular concern for a country short on foreign currency.

Peter Melchett, policy director at Britain's organic Soil Association, says the main benefit of becoming 100 percent organic is an assurance of quality to consumers.

"Because there won't be pesticides or other chemicals on sale in the kingdom, they would be able to offer a high level of guarantees that products are organic," Melchett explained.

In countries like Spain, for example, there is a problem of contamination when organic farms are next to highly industrialised producers using large quantities of artificial chemicals, Melchett said.

"It's difficult for organic farmers in those circumstances to keep their crops and supply-chain free of contamination."

Bhutan's organic policy would "start to give the country a reputation of high quality organic food which in the long-run would give them a market advantage and the possibility of price premiums," he added.

Jurmi Dorji, a member of the 103-strong Daga Shingdrey Pshogpa farmers' association in southern Bhutan, says his fellow members are in favour of the policy.

"More than a decade ago, people realised that the chemicals were not good for farming," he told AFP. "I cannot say everyone has stopped using chemicals but almost 90 percent have."

- AFP/al
Anonymous from
Tue, October 16, 2012 at 10.06 pm
How will you help the poor Ugandans who are being oppressed with government that does not give democracy to run its self.
Anonymous from
Tue, October 16, 2012 at 01.40 pm
Alfred Odoch
Anonymous from
Thu, October 11, 2012 at 08.38 pm
I am very delighted to find to get this import very crucial message on the topic “ African Regional Dialogue on Governance and the Post-2015 Framework” especially in this era of world governance, transparency and accountability. This Regional diologue is very important and it can not pass without our comment. When you are talking about the development of people in any country should talk about the right to life, freedom of access to information and communication, the freedom to participate in decision making bodies, the freedom to question the use of resources i.e public funds, minerals, water, forests, etc., Access better service to the community i.e Health and education .We must think women rights and the development of women and children, special needs groups, gender equality, equal distribution of resources i.e ownership of land, capital finance, access to market and technologies etc.

Many African countries, including my country Tanzania, its people are very poor because of poor governance system have attributed to repressive laws that are deprive the citizens, freedom of access to information in order to raise their voices questioning to take action measures to expel the working poor performance who violate the code of conduct responsible for their citizens who serve. The information is power people can use to demand their rights and make the government accountable. Corruption has been a major obstacle to development in many African countries; many leaders are selected because of corruption. And since poor people are forced to choose the people who don’t want them because of corruption they receive bribery. Many development projects that receive billions of dollars from donors community wan does not reach the intended beneficiaries because money plundered and ends a few clever individuals pockets of government officials. In Tanzania we have seen many cases including road projects built to a minimum, and other repeated rejection and rebuilt at a cost of contractors who offered bribes to government officials and failure to build at a standard that makes deserve.

It is estimated that between 20 and 40 billion US dollars is stolen yearly from developing countries through bribery, misappropriation of funds and other corrupt practices. Only five billion US dollars of stolen money has been actually returned over the last 16 years. “According to the World Bank, developing countries could use 20 billion US dollars to finance 48,000 kilometers of paved roads, first-line treatment for 120 million people living with HIV/AIDS for a full year, or some 50 million water connection for poor households”.


The process of deciding how to spend the money and controlling that it goes where it is supposed to go is very difficult for the general public to access. Much of the relevant information is not provided to the public, and much of the information that is available is extremely difficult to understand. Therefore, most citizens do not have the opportunity to engage with the budget or spending priorities. Furthermore, many official processes are closed to the general public.

Despite the good policy on local government reform and decentralization, implementation at the local level particularly in rural areas is constrained by weak local governing bodies, limited citizen participation in governance and development process and lack of accountability to the people. This is due to lack of knowledge and skills of local governing bodies and ignorance of the people on their political, social and economic rights. Consequently, there is lack of sustainable development at the local level.

Corruption has led to poor health care and education, especially in rural areas in Tanzania more than 83% percent of its people live in rural areas dependent on agriculture; many villages have no clinic or dispensary. Other parts citizens walking distance of 9-16 km searching for health facilities or health care. Other areas students are walking distance to 8-19 km searching for primary and secondary education. A poor contracts scandal in mineral and electrical energy is also an area which has been losing huge public money. Speaking to this situation Tanzania poverty achieving the Nationsl Strategic for Growth and Reduction of Poverty famous in Kiswahili MKUKUTA and the MDGs would be a dream and the circumstances of poverty will continue to affect the lives of millions citizens.

Based on the extensive development of people is to enhancing good governance on transparency and accountability among service providers. Fight against corruption in power, stand up and take aggressive action against those who engage in corrupt practices. Donor countries still have a vital role to continue supporting civil society organizations rather working only and support the governments. Donors should take role to build financial capability and technical for NGOs to be able to influence and a strong advocate of education governance to the people so they can take steps that hold leaders and government accountable to the people, not reasonable to continue to provide funding through the government alone is wise to give money through civil society NGO which have a great faith make to reach the intended beneficiaries and educate the public on a large scale and bring new economic, political and cultural.

SEGP with 10 experience working on governance issues think that in order to achieving sustainable development and to eradicating poverty we need to enhancing good governance ,promoting transparency and accountability ,strengthening rule of law, combating corruption, empowering people to know, protect and demand their rights, and building capacity for government service delivery and supporting independent institutions of accountability. These could be achieved through 1.e (i)strengthening the capacity of local governing bodies and elected leaders(ii) The pro-poor orientation of local government needs to be further developed.,(iii)to strengthening the participatory orientation and promote accountability and transparency in service delivery, and control corruption?(iv) capacitating social accountability.

Others we recommend the following:
Some of these recommendations focus on legal and regulatory framework
while others focus on policy, rules and regulations, yet others target changing the mindset of service providers including those in service delivery and administration. It is emphasized that these recommendations should be viewed/considered in their holistic framework in which each aspect, player, actor and stakeholder, in their positions/locations play their active role in an effective collaborative partnership. For instance macro-economic stability is as strategically important as micro-economic stability in which citizen’s economic well being is seen and felt to be improving while at the same time both at macro and micro level, individual citizens actors and players understand their basic civic rights and have the courage to demand them but are also conscious of their obligations to the State, Local Government Authorities (LGA), civic society and other individuals.

1. There is need to strengthen the public’s resolve to resist corruption; encouraging an active and sustainable engagement and participation of all stakeholders: Government, LGAs, civil society, private sector, religious institutions and individuals. However in order for this to happen deliberate strategies and achievable action plans must be in place in terms of enhancing and sustaining civic education, service delivery, transformation of governance institutions to enable them become more responsive to people’s needs, including having a voice in determining their affairs.

2.To be effective, efforts geared toward combating corruption (and perception of it) must depart from the traditional approach that views corruption as a mere individual problem and/or simply emphasizing internal causes alone instead of viewing the pandemic vice in a wholistic manner in which the focus should be on internal, external, individual, petty and grand corruption and indeed articulating it as a systemic problem.

3.It is worth noting that social action through cooperation and collaborative
partnership among the Government, LGAs, private sector, civil society and individuals can be more effective in fighting corruption and result not only in reduction of corruption but also can facilitate good governance in the country in general and within LGAs in particular.

4. In addition, the exchange of experiences between all these stakeholders, actors
and players can improve the effectiveness of anti-corruption strategies and actions at community, LGA, and even international levels.

5.It should also be emphasized that openness, transparency and accountability (at levels) are crucial to good governance. This means conducting all Central Government, LGA, civil society and private sector activities with greatest honesty, integrity and humility so as to eliminate corruption and/or perception of it. On the other hand there is need to empower those groups which are both marginalized and remain victims of the vice who continue to absorb the bitter costs of corruption. This could be an important strategic step toward reducing the pandemic vice in the country. In practical operational terms this requires commitment on the part of top leadership and major actors and players in LGAs as well as well as conscious efforts to empower the local communities to fight corruption without fear or favour.

6. With intensified civic education ordinary citizens will know and demand their basic rights and accept their obligations. It is important that citizens understand what constitutes public property and the linkage between their taxes and public property and that they should feel obliged to take responsibility to discourage public officials from using their positions and offices for individual/private gain.

7. On the other hand a flexible, effective and known mechanism for protecting
whistle blowers should be instituted including embedding it in the legal/regulatory framework. This is because the social pressures to remain silent for real fear of retribution from the rich and powerful in society.

8.In our view citizen empowerment and engagement should entail the strengthening of the civil society that are willing to confront the evil practice head on and take on the institutions and individuals that maintain and sustain it. This is possible if LGAs and civic groups establish on effective collaborative partnership that ensures that combined efforts are in place to arrest the situation.
9. In addition citizen empowerment and engagement should entail the strengthening of civil society groups by widening and protecting its political and economic resources in order to enhance its political and economic vitality. Indeed empowerment and engagement should also provide the citizens increased access to state and LGAs and lay down rules of interaction between LGAs and society.

10.The Government and LGAs should ensure better salaries to raise the income of local government servants, especially those at the grassroots levels e.g. of Ward Executive Officers(WEO), Village Executive Officers(VEO) etc. Their current allowances should be paid to avoid frustrating them and tempting them to engage in corruption. The Government and LGAs should intensify efforts to channel more resources to the grassroots level to improve service delivery provision, especially by providing and maintaining sufficient and reliable service delivery e.g. water, health, education, land allocation, justice in primary courts etc.

11. It is recommended that the Local Governments establish special office bureau that could listen to sexual harassment complaints experienced by women in work places. The measure may vary from counseling to conducting investigation and even taking disciplinary actions against alleged offenders depending on the nature of the cases reported. Such bureaus could also organize civic education prgrammes to encourage victims to report any form of harassment against them. This could add strength in combating sexual favours as corruption in LGA offices than merely depending on such cases to be reported officially in departments or Prevention Corruption Bureau (PCB), which sometimes demands legal evidence which is difficult to obtain.

12.We recommend that LGAs should take actions to enable people discuss such issues from mtaa(street) /village levels at least by having a strategy that directs for and provides for the need to explore, document and report complaints regarding corruption allegations. This can be operationalized by forming anti-corruption committees at village and mtaa levels.

13. It is recommended that procedures including disclosure provisions especially for top technical and political staff at LGA authorities be strictly complied with by all relevant officials without exception.

14.LGA strengthens the existing community committees to become avenues where people could complain when they are discriminated against or marginalized. Education should also be given to public by LGA so that they may register their complains.

15.Publications or declarations on permits licenses, plots and tax assessment be placed in ward and village offices, so that they may be accessed by required members of public who should have a right to demand an explanation.

16.Training and awareness on the use of judiciary power at the LGA is also important to be provided by judiciary itself. Some NGOs and ombudsman need to play a more significant role of advocacy and activism in this area.

17.More efforts be directed towards entrenching and strengthening Prevention Corruption Bureau (PCB) to the basic levels of administration at village/mitaa. PCB’s legal framework should also be reviewed in line with ,local government reform Program ( LGRP) to empower it to deal with corruption in LGA, more efficiently and effectively.

18. Although efforts to establish tender boards are commendable and may be a step further to curb corruption, the public at grassroots level is not yet capable and competent to participate actively and get information on tendering issues.At council level some researches say that some of the councilors in district have been involved in lobbying for tender. Participation and involvement of grassroots people that is important to enable the public to play a more effective oversight watchdog role against corruption. The researches recommends that LGA take initiatives to deliberate and promote the Procurement Act at grassroots levels through training, information in simple ways such as fliers, etc.

19.Need for LGA to promote public awareness on financial management through sensitizing the public to deliberate on audited reports. The LGA should ensure some components of the report relevant to specific wards/villages are made public in such localities as a way to promote public interest on the report. Also the report should be user friendly accessible to low income people and not be in technical language

20.More detailed dialogue on allocations be made to LGA by the central government. There is need of careful dialogue on how much goes to the central government and that which goes to LGA, taking into consideration that the public in reality is in demand of more services at the local level which is the responsibility of LGAs.

21.Political competition is further taking roots in Tanzania, it is important to give attention to serious monitoring of the grassroots elections to reduce corrupt practices or mere perceptions of it.

22.The importance of training at the grassroots level by both the Central and LGA to ensure empowerment of people through their understanding of LGR process. That will enable them to demand accountability and participation in decision making and resource control from district/municipal council levels/down to the village/mtaa levels.

23.WDC & VDCs, there should be representation of disadvantaged groups, especially those with special needs such as the blind, deaf,youth crippled, etc so that their needs may be represented through ward plans and incorporated in the council plans.

24.Financial expenditure and revenue reports/statements be placed not only at the district and regional notice boards but also at ward, village and mitaa notice boards with components showing revenues, allocations and expenditures for such levels. Ombudsman and judiciary services should be improved at LGA basic administrative levels.

25. It is important that PCB at Regional and district levels focus more attention on mobilizing for establishment of grassroots oriented and locally based strategies to combat corruption from the basic levels. That should go hand in hand with providing education on how/role of individual people at basic levels in combating corruption. Checks and balances against PCB staffs/allegedly participating in corruption must be in place and be known to citizens. This is important to avoid monopoly of power by PCB in regard to anti-corruption measures. One way to achieve this besides serious monitoring by PCB itself, is to mobilize coalition approach in anti-corruption process by cooperating with civil society, private sector and other government departments/sectors.

26.Ward Tribunals be strengthened and well established where they are not because they are more efficient in settling common disputes which are not complex but also less costful to operate where they are well planned. That is because unlike most magistrates at primary level whose necessary support for efficiency demands better salaries, transportation, security and other allowances for housing, etc. the ward tribunal teams in most cases just require reliable subsistence allowances. To ensure efficiency of ward tribunals it is important that their members be monitored and that they should not have too many other responsibilities which make them under perform. Also they should be people of reputable integrity in the community.

27.Central governments focus attention to improve working conditions at the basic levels of the judiciary system [primary and regional courts]. That should include promoting and enforcing adherence to professional ethical conducts at this basic level and ensuring competent, reliable and effective human resource, conducive working environment and attractive remunerations.


THANK YOU

Lumona Kibore/Secretary General
P.o.box 4114,Dar es salaam,Tanzania
Tel:+255 22 2400708/9
+255 745 689451/255 684 234665
Fax:+255 22 2112753/4
E-mail:segpcentre.org
Web:www.segpcentre.org
New User from
Sat, October 6, 2012 at 07.44 pm
Good Day Roshni,

Will any of these Regional Governance sessions take place in Cape Town, South Africa?
Roshni Menon from
Wed, October 10, 2012 at 11.03 pm
Hi there - We plan on having several regional dialogues. But these will occur around the world. The first one - the African Regional Dialogue - is set to occur in a few hours in Johannesburg. The next dialogue in advance of the main thematic global consultation on governance and the post-2015 framework will take place in another region (i.e. Asia, Latin America, etc.). However, the main thematic global consultation is slated to take place in South Africa (likely Johannesburg) in the first quarter of 2013. Hope this has answered your question.
Mulumba Mathias from
Wed, December 5, 2012 at 01.53 pm
I want to attend all, kindly invite me to give the Ugandan perspective
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