Constitution-building in Africa: Decentralisation and constitutionalism in Africa

Under the broad theme of constitution-building in Africa, the focus of this project will be on the issue of decentralisation and constitutionalism in Africa. One of the important aspects of the transition to multi-party democracy grounded on fundamental principles of modern constitutionalism has been the efforts towards formal and substantive decentralisation in all African countries. The form and objectives of decentralisation has varied from country to country. Given that one of the main objectives of decentralisation is to enhance the chances of inclusive and greater local participation in governance, the critical question that will be examined is the dialectic between decentralisation and constitutionalism. To what extent are they mutually reinforcing processes and what are the imperatives for these processes to succeed?

This research will prepare the way for the Fourth Stellenbosch Annual Seminar on Constitutionalism in Africa (SASCA 2016) during which scholars and researchers on this topic will meet to critically examine and interrogate, from a comparative perspective, the different patterns of decentralisation in Africa and the extent to which the current practices are contributing towards the entrenchment of an ethos of constitutionalism.

Project leader(s):
  • Charles Fombad (Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa (ICLA), University of Pretoria)

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