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2012-2015: Africa takes control of its destiny

Destinies of Africa

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Following the military coup of March 22, 2012, 40 political parties and all the important organizations of civil society in Mali produced a Manifesto for safeguarding democracy and the republic : Manifeste du Front Uni pour la sauvegarde de la démocratie et de la répuplique

Thank you to all who participate in its dissemination.

Corporate social responsability in French-speaking african countries 

Requirements regarding corporate social responsability (CSR), nowadays embodied by the ISO 26000 standards, seem likely to fit Africa, as any other part of the world. But it that really the only way to consider the ethical developement of a company ? Could there be a mode of governance universal enough to express the diversity of cultural values, in Anglo-saxon, European, as well as African firms ?

Refering to a common standard for CSR issues doesn’t solve the problem of its application. In order to be implemented efficiently, CSR requirements should be adapted to the different national or local forms of corporate governance – otherwise they may remain abstract for stakeholders and co-workers, and alien to their expectations.

By taking into account both international or national regulations as well as costumary codes, a firm expresses its will to interpret CSR international requirements in order to adapt them to the local cultural environments, leadingh to the success of its initiatives.

The White Papers Corporate social responsability in French-speaking countries, through the analysis of the CSR current situation in French-speaking Africa, as well as the description of ethically responsible practices in African corporate organizations, administrations and management, highlights that there is already an « African CSR » which isn’t called so. This « African CSR » does exist, along with CSR international requirements, but isn’t always taken into account when implementing such requirements - which makes the actual application of ISO 26000 Standard uncertain in view of African economic realities.
Resulting from a project led by the Institut Éthique et diversité – « Research and prospective » part of Les Jardins de la Cité – the White papers’ contribution can be summed up into seven practical proposals :

  • 1. Putting African Diasporas in charge of transmitting Western ethically responsible practices throughout Africa, as well as African responsible practices to Western countries.
  • 2. Developing with Africa-based African and Western managers some new processes easing the adaptation of Western CSR requirements to African cultural environments.
  • 3. Defining, with the help of consultants, training specialists and quality experts implementing CSR projects in Africa, an intercultural approach to the ISO 26000 Standard.
  • 4. Promoting on an international level, together with the African entrepreneurs involved in CSR initiatives, African forms of corporate organization, administration and management.
  • 5. Basing the intercultural approach of the ISO 26000 Standard on the expertise of African and Western Researchers specialized in CSR and interculturality fields in Africa.
  • 6. Increasing Africa-based International company managers’ awareness of the stakes of a necessary hybridation of African and Western CSR.
  • 7. Informing African civil societies of the progress regarding CSR in Africa, through mobilizing African and Western media on intercultural and ethically responsible initiatives in the corporate world.

You can dowload the Livre Blanc (only in french yet) : http://www.dialoguedesethiques.org/LJDLC_Responsabilites_societales_des_entreprises_en_Afrique_francophone.pdf

  • Editors : Les Éditions Charles Léopold Mayer
  • Date of publication : November 2011
  • Authors : Alexandre Wong, has a PhD in Social Sciences, and is a researcher in Philosophy, associated to the CNRS (UPR 76, THETA group), and a consultant (Les Jardins de la Cité). Urbain Kiswend-Sida YAMEOGO is currently writing a PhD (coordinated direction of UQAM and Paris-Est Universities)
Reconstructing AfricaToward a new governance based on local dynamics

Ousmane Sy is one person modelling the destiny of Africa today. One of many who dream of a continent reconciled with itself, capable of imagining its future in an autonomous way in an interdependent world. He describes here his experiences as a go-between: between action and reflection, Africa and the world, the past and the future.

In this incisive and decisive work, based on personal experience, Ousmane Sy sets out true alternatives: authentic decentralisation, radical reform of the State, regional integration constructed by peoples, the rebuilding of international aid.

What he proposes here is nothing less than a true project for Mali and indeed for all of Africa.

Ousmane Sy is a doctor of economic and social development. He was responsible for Mali’s UNDP program and later directed the “Decentralisation and institutional reforms mission” before joining the government. Since 2002, he has been the regional coordinator of the Alliance for Rebuilding Governance in Africa (ARGA).

See the information sheet on the book « Reconstruire l’Afrique » on the ECLM site.

The book is also available in Dutch. See the information sheet of the book on the Horlemann site .

For a new institutional engineering that codifies multiple legitimaciesProposals for rebuilding the State

How can the African State be rebuilt using lessons that have been learned about the blinding temptation to uniformly apply the model of the imported Nation-State, the weaknesses of the State set up by colonisation and imposed by post-colonial powers and international financial institutions, and the consubstantial weaknesses in the design of decentralisation policies in the 1990’s? How, in fact, can the State be institutionalised in Africa? This proposals booklet aims to answer those questions.

In the booklet, the Alliance for Rebuilding Governance in Africa explains its vision of the identity of the African Nation-State: a community of citizens yet also a community of peoples; a State necessarily crisscrossed by socially diverse groups that have always rebelled against the borders of postcolonial States. This diversity dictates that pluralism be the organising principle in the search for unity, and diversity is expressed and flourishes primarily on the local level. The identity of the Nation-State, the principle of pluralism and local territories are brought together in an approach to governance that hopes to rebuild the African State through three major proposals: accept pluralism and translate it into a new engineering of local institutions that reflects the diversity of powers and their foundations; accept pluralism and allow the diversity of local territories and powers be reflected in a reconstructed constitutionalism and, finally, put pluralism to work organising law and justice by creating bridges between State and extra-State normative orders. In particular, and by way of example, social mediation could be accepted as an official system for resolving conflicts.

Full document: Proposals booklet on pluralism: For a new institutional engineering that codifies multiple legitimacies Proposals booklet on multiple legitimacies

  • Author: Booklet written and coordinated by Assane Mbaye, member of the Alliance’s Resource Center.
  • Proposals booklet n°2010-04
Governance and public servicesNot giving up on the dream of development

Despite the commitment of many actors and multiple initiatives at all territorial levels, the provision of public services is still unsatisfactory on a continent that holds the sad record for world poverty. Arguments associated with institutional capacities and administrative meanderings are often put forth. At heart, however, it is the link between governance and public service that is to blame.

In attempts to reinforce and improve services provided to populations, vital questions are avoided, or their importance is but dimly perceived. Isn’t it time, for example, to doubt the ‘absolute truth’ that a good decentralisation policy must be accompanied by a good deconcentration policy? Don’t we need to re-examine the approach used to divide competencies between the State and local communities? Might it not be useful to take a fresh look at the frameworks and mechanisms used for negotiations between the State, local communities, populations and development partners?

We urgently need to renew our thinking about and approach to public services, to rethink public services as part of the issue of governance in Africa and to integrate governance in the operation of public services.

Full document: Governance and public services: Not giving up on the dream of development

  • Author: Booklet written and coordinated by Falilou Mbacké Cissé, member of the Alliance’s Resource Center
  • Proposals booklet n°2010-05
Democratic governance A new paradigm for development?

Governance is a popular word in the field of international relations and development cooperation. Having become a synonym for ‘public management reform’, the concept has also experienced the latter’s ups and downs. The French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs has now proposed an original vision of governance that goes beyond language and issues agreed by the development sector and international forums. In fact, many innovative ‘governance’ strategies have been introduced recently. This work, which brings together contributors from diverse horizons in the North and the South, bears witness to the change that is in the air.

  • Under the direction of Séverine Bellina, Hervé Magro, Violaine De Villemeur
  • Publisher: Karthala
  • Publication date: November 2008
  • Collection: Hommes Et Societes (People and societies)
  • Format : 16 cm x 24 cm
  • ISBN: 2811100180
  • Number of pages: 608