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Reforming Africa's Institutions

Ownership, Incentives, and Capabilities


There is not a single African country that did not attempt public sector reforms in the 1990s. Governments no longer see themselves as sole suppliers of social services, frequently opting for partnerships with the private sector. Efficiency and choice have entered the language of the planning and implementation units of Africa's line ministries, while privatization is no longer the controversial subject it was a decade ago. There have also been moves towards more open and democratic governments. Reforming Africa's Institutions looks at the extent to which reforms undertaken in Sub-Saharan Africa in recent years have enhanced institutional capacities across the breadth of government. To what extent have reforms been internalized and defended by governments? The authors also look specifically at the impact of public sector reforms on these economies and pose the question whether 'ownership can be attained when countries continue to be heavily dependent on external support. The volume is presented in three parts. The first focuses on the issue of reform ownership; on the issues of governance, the political economy of reform ownership, and the contradictions inherent in using aid as an instrument for enhancing domestic reform ownership. Part two examines the nature of incentives in the African civil service and the reforms undertaken in recent years to raise public sector efficiency in Africa. The third part discusses issues related to institutional capabilities in Africa and how they have been affected by the reforms undertaken in the 1990s, including privatization and movement towards political pluralism.