The aims of the seminar were twofold. First, the preliminary findings from an 18-month project at UNU-WIDER, which has looked at whether and how foreign aid has impacted Africa’s democratic trajectory, were presented. This research already has been presented in a variety of fora, including to the Danish and Swedish donor community in Stockholm and at the Overseas Development Institute in London. The Accra event offered an additional opportunity for some of the researchers involved in the project to obtain feedback from an audience that works very closely on issues of democracy, governance, and development in Africa.
The second and related aim of the event was to focus more specifically on the Ghanaian experience. Ghana was one of the case studies in the UNU-WIDER project and, as E. Gyimah-Boadi explains in the video, it has experienced much progress since transitioning to democracy in the early 1990s. However, it still has a long way to go to firmly consolidate these democratic gains. The discovery of oil, and Ghana’s recent re-classification as a middle-income country, will undoubtedly redefine the relationship of the country with the donor community, as well as present important accountability challenges between the Ghanaian government and citizens. These issues are particularly salient in 2012 as Ghana faces its sixth round of multiparty elections in December.
In order of appearance;
Professor Mamadou Gazibo (University of Montreal) - Benin case study
Professor Carrie Manning (Georgia State University) - Mozambique case study
Dr Gyimah Boadi (Director of the Centre for Democratic Development, Ghana) - Ghana case study
Mr Benjamin Kauffeld (Democracy and Governance Officer, USAID Ghana) - Democracy, Governance, and Ghana’s 2012 Elections - a view from the USAID country programme
Videos of the seminar can also be found from the Media section.
More about the project.
- Lessons from Africa's Democratic Upheavals
- Foreign Aid in Africa: Implications for Democratic Transitions and Consolidation
- Democratic Transitions in Africa: the impacts of development aid and democracy assistance