Promoting good governance in Africa: The role of the civil society as a watchdog

Victor H. Mlambo, Sphephelo P. Zubane, Daniel N. Mlambo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Corruption, maladministration, nepotism, and poor accountability have reached unprecedented levels within the African continent. Consequently, this has impeded the successful and adequate provision of public services and by extension, hampered socio-economic development and good governance. Undeniably, the entrenchment of civil society is vital for democratic purposes and the consolidation of good governance. For the purpose of this study, Africa is regarded as a unitary entity composed of synchronized autonomous states and governments. As a result, a strict examination of available and relevant literature on the provision of civil society in Africa was applied (were a systematic review of literature irtes was undertaken). The study was able to comprehensively understand the dynamics, challenges, and benefits related to the increasing rate at which is participating in Africa's governance related issues and their overall impact. The study was also able to understand how civil society in Africa has contributed to promoting good governance. It is, however, apparent that the increasing involvement of civil society in governance issues relates to transparency, upholding the rule of law, human rights, and the fight against corruption inter alia. The study also uncovered that the increase in the participation of civil society organizations will have a positive impact on governance as they will have the capacity to act as watchdogs to ensure that governments are effective and serving the needs of the public. Going forward, it will be imperative for civil society to work hand in hand with democratically elected governments in not only fighting corruption and promoting good governance but to also ensure that there is a socio-economic and by extension political development within the African continent.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1989
JournalJournal of Public Affairs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Administration
  • Political Science and International Relations


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