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Published on Jul 22, 2011
African countries and their development partners have identified democratic governance as an effective approach to reduce poverty, spur development and guarantee human rights across the continent. From constitutional reform to capacity building, service delivery to devolution, a number of countries have sought to improve institutional performance, promote post-conflict reconciliation and increase government responsiveness to citizens by implementing comprehensive democratic governance reforms. As reforms are implemented, however, countries and their development partners face a number of challenges, including obstruction by entrenched interests, weak rule of law and widespread capacity weaknesses.
Constance Berry Newman, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and Assistant Administrator for Africa at the U.S. Agency for International Development, will address the challenges and opportunities faced by development partners working to promote democratic governance in Africa;
Mark Green, Senior Director of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition in Washington, DC and board member of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, will discuss the linkages between democratic governance and development in Africa;
Ambassador Elkanah Odembo, Kenya's Ambassador to the United States, will speak about Kenya's initiatives in democratic governance, including the constitutional reform process and its ongoing impact in the country; and
John Mcharo, Deputy Mayor of Mombasa, Kenya, will describe the reality of local governance in Kenya, in particular the potential impact of devolution and other reform efforts at the local level.
IRI's Democratic Governance Speakers Series is a public forum designed to bring together policymakers, practitioners and stakeholders to discuss and share experiences in addressing contemporary challenges to governance.