The good, bad and ugly of administrative reforms in Africa: Discourse, policy controversies and policy orientations
The article revisits through a policy analysis the on-going debate on the major structuring of administrative reforms so badly needed to move Africa from a backward to a service delivery society. Critically and analytically it delves into policy orientations over the past decades with the attempt to relate them to the advocacy and strategies developed by different networks and policy communities to craft an administrative structure that adequately respond to the needs of the continent. The analysis reveals in particular the crucial contribution of the “Power of Politicisation” of the administrative structure; and shows how it contributes towards underdevelopment and not the sustainable transformation of the continent to ensure quality livelihood of the citizens. Forje argues that administrative reforms in Africa require comprehensive ‘depoliticisation’ and ‘constructive engagement’ with civil society and the private sector. In order to have a system with proper output functions that signiﬁcantly impacts on the wellbeing of the people as well as moves the continent forward. Politicisation of the administration leads to corruption, poor output services bleeding the continent to death; it prevents other groups or opinions concerned with more intractable social, economic and political issues from engaging successfully in the policy process for meaningfully tailored structural reforms. Good governance and the rule of law are needed for an effective well-functioning administrative set-up.