International Meeting Process for Debate and Proposals on Governance

Polokwane-Pretoria meeting

South Africa, June 2008

Partners : Institut français d’Afrique du Sud, Programme des Nations unies pour le développement (Division gouvernance démocratique et division de la société civile), Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer, Alliance pour refonder la gouvernance en Afrique, Association Modus Operandi, University of Limpopo, South African Institute of International Affairs, University of South Africa, Action for Conflict Transformation, ACTION Support Centre

Beyond the couple « tradition-modernity », which sources of power legitimacy are at work in a country? How are they linked? What are the questions and proposals that can be drawn in order to better understand real, actual governance processes in societies and to promote the elaboration of more legitimate and thus more effective public policies? Lying at the heart of governance in Africa, these questions are the core issues of the African stages of the International Meeting Process for Debate and Proposals on Governance, coordinated by the IRG.

Following the 2007 Bamako meeting, the four days of debate which composed the Polokwane-Pretoria colloquium, driven by a very diverse group of actors, where clearly destined to answer the above questions for the five countries (South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, and Mozambique) which make up the Southern Africa sub-region.

Some of the major issues addressed revolved around the questions of: how are tradition and modernity connected in this specific sub-region? Is their inclusion in the constitutional process enough to secure a social ancrage of state power legitimacy in this sub-region? Concretely speaking, what are the other sources of legitimacy at play in this sub-region? Constitutionalism, liberation movements, religion….?