Africa Working Group

Opportunities and Challenges for Good Governance and Accountability in Africa

Opportunities and Challenges for Good Governance and Accountability in Africa

Moumouni Soumano
Assistant Professor of Administrative and Political Sciences, University of Bamako (Mali)
Former Kellogg Institute Hewlett Visiting Fellow for Public Policy

Rev. Elias Omondi Opongo, SJ
Professor of Peace Studies and Director of the Center for Research Training and Publications, Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR)

In this event, Moumouni Soumano (University of Bamako, Mali) and Fr. Elias Opongo (Hekima University, Kenya) will each present original research on opportunities and challenges to governance and accountability in Africa.  Dr. Soumano will draw on his recent book,  L'intervention internationale à l'épreuve de la crise malienne (Harmattan 2023). His talk will look at current events in Mali and speak to the differences between international community’s standards and the Malian government’s agenda.  His analysis asks us to rethink approaches and mechanisms for collaboration to reinforce the democratic processes in fragile and conflict affected states.  In Fr. Elias’s talk, “Populist Authoritarianism and the Capture of Democracy in Africa: Assessment of Alternative Leadership Deficiency Theory,” he will discuss his theory of alternative leadership deficiency (ALD) to explain the primary drive for legitimized and ‘democratized’ populist authoritarianism in Africa. The ALD theory affirms that populist authoritarian leaders often advance the ideology of absolutism in political leadership with the aim of convincing their citizenry that no other person can lead the country better than those in power. Populist authoritarianism, according to the ALD theory, is sustained by four pillars of state capture: capture of political; capture of economic structures; capture of military infrastructure; and capture of the citizenry.

About the Africa Working Group
The Africa Working Group provides a forum for resident faculty, graduate students, and outside scholars to present and discuss cutting edge research on Africa. Participants, who come from a range of disciplines, share a common interest in investigating Africa’s past, present, and future, as well as Africa’s place in the larger global order. The group also sponsors Africanist events, enriching the study of Africa on campus and building on growing student interest in the region.
Cochairs: Paul Ocobock