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African Governance Institutions: Accountability Mechanisms or Enablers of Corruption?

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.


Introduction and Moderator



John Johnson

Director of Governance Programs, National Democratic Institute


Brian Levy

Public Sector Governance Advisor, World Bank


Peter Lewis

Director of African Studies, The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

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(202) 797-6105

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