Over the past 15 years, policy-makers have increasingly focused on the importance of effective institutions and governance as critical determinants for stable economic growth and poverty reduction. This focus on institutions has been especially marked in Africa, where anti-corruption and governance projects are targeted to improve overall institutional capability as a key catalyst for better development outcomes. But, are institutions, such as judiciaries, legislatures, and audit agencies, functioning as credible accountability mechanisms or do they remain de facto enablers of corruption?
On October 22, Brookings hosted a panel discussion to assess the impact of these efforts on Africa’s governments. Brookings’s David de Ferranti, chaired the session and shared conclusions from the recent research. He was joined by John Johnson, director of Governance Programs at the National Democratic Institute (NDI); Brian Levy, public sector governance advisor at the World Bank; Peter Lewis, director of African Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS); and H. Kwasi Prempeh, professor of law at Seton Hall University.
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Africa is the world's breadbasket—or should be. It has vast arable land, grows a wide variety of crops and has vast irrigation potential with seven major rivers. Yet, Africa imported $43 billion worth of food items in 2019. Digital technologies ... are eliminating the traditional inefficiencies of smallholder food production and helping to close the yield gap.