Skip to main navigation

Dynamics - September 2011 - Growing international development brick by brick - Why governance matters in Africa - EY - Global

Growing international development brick by brick

Why governance matters in Africa

  • Share


"We believe that the relationship between donors and Africa needs to change, and it will only change if Africa develops greater capacity," says Kate Gross, chief executive of AGI.

Tony Blair's Africa Governance Initiative (AGI) is designed to help governments develop the capacity to meet the rising expectations of their citizens. Its chief executive, Kate Gross, tells us about their work.

AGI's mission

Three years ago, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair founded the Africa Governance Initiative to help improve African governments so they can sustain private sector development and economic growth.

The AGI's approach is somewhat unique. Its teams are deployed to work side-by-side with counterparts in Presidential Offices, ministries, investment promotion agencies and think tanks, to provide strategic advice and support and to develop capacity among the next generation of public service leaders.

"We believe that the relationship between donors and Africa needs to change, and it will only change if Africa develops greater capacity," says Kate Gross, chief executive of AGI.

Improving health care in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is a country on the move. AGI's work, which began in 2008, has focused on improving the tracking and implementation of President Ernest Bai Koroma's top priorities such as health care.

AGI's team in the Ministry of Health helped Koroma's government to develop a clear plan for abolishing user fees, to align donors behind it, and to make sure the necessary reforms to drug supply, hospital infrastructure and health workers' salaries were undertaken.

Launched in April 2010, the program has doubled the number of women giving birth in hospitals, and seen recorded deaths among children treated for malaria fall by more than 80%. Results like these show why improving government effectiveness can have such an impact on people's lives.

Strengthening intellectual and physical infrastructure in Liberia

In 2009, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf invited AGI to support wide ranging reforms to the Office of the President to improve government coordination and the tracking and communication of her top priorities: roads and electricity.

One area of focus has been the Cabinet process. Dr. Momo K. Rogers, Director General of Cabinet, believes the partnership with AGI has enabled him to develop tools to make Cabinet more effective.

"Working with the AGI Governance Advisor," he says, "we have managed to prepare a Cabinet Manual and tracking templates specific to the Liberian Cabinet."

Johnson Sirleaf rejects the idea that a stronger center undermines capacity elsewhere in government; on the contrary, she argues, "a well performing Presidency enhances the work of all of our other sector ministries."

Eyeing economic growth in Rwanda

The Government of Rwanda knows that to continue on its path to becoming a middle-income country, it needs to unlock the potential in agriculture, energy and other sectors that could drive Rwanda's economy for a generation.

That's why, with support from AGI, it has developed the Strategic Capacity Building Initiative (SCBI).

This innovative program began with the Government defining a game-changing goal for each sector, and then identifying the capacity needs that stand in the way of achieving it.

Long-term capacity assistance will now address the gaps the Government has identified while training 150 young Rwandans to do the job — and preparing them for future leadership roles.

For example, SCBI will help the Ministry of Infrastructure implement a program to double the number of households with mains electricity.

Building on AGI's successful partnership with the Government to date, the SCBI will, uniquely for an initiative of its type, include support to the center of government institutions responsible for setting priorities and coordinating delivery.



<< Previous | Next >>

Content

Related content

Download


Growing international development brick by brick 


Contacts



Back to top