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JASCNET Leadership and Governance Seminar 2014



                                          JESUIT AFRICA SOCIAL CENTERS

Press Release

A Response to Leadership and Governance Deficit in

Post-Colonial Africa

Even after celebrating 50 years of independence, many African countries are grappling with leadership and governance challenges. Some countries on the continent are qualified as weak while others as failed. Based on this reality, Jesuit African Social Centers Network (JASCNET) organised from March 23-27, 2014, a training workshop on leadership and governance in Africa, for Jesuit social centres and their partners. The training is aimed at strengthening the social centers in promoting leadership and good governance in Africa today.

The training took place at Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR), Nairobi, Kenya. It brought together representatives from Arrupe Social Center (CSA, Madagascar), Jesuit Center for Theological Reflection (JCTR, Zambia), Groupe Jérémie (GJ, DR Congo), Center for Research and Action for Peace (CERAP, Ivory Coast), Silveira House (Zimbabwe), Rwanda-Burundi Social Apostolate Office, Jesuit Hakimani Center (JHC, Kenya), a student from HIPSIR and a Sister of Mercy.

On the first day, participants were guided through the Post-colonial African leadership and governance crises by Fr. Kifle Wansamo, SJ, lecturer of Political science at HIPSIR. The working groups that followed this presentation discussed two major themes:

  1. Interrogating the failure of the post-colonial state system. What parameters should be included in the system to enhance good governance in Africa.
  2. How can Africa invent state institutions that combine the wisdom of the past and the current realities of globalisation?

On the second day, the participants explored experiences of guiding civil societies and promoting civic education in schools and tools developed for the same. There were case studies from CERAP in Ivory Coast, and from Réseau d’Organisations des Droits Humains et d’Eduction Civique d’Inspiration Chrétienne (RODHECIC) and Groupe Jérémie in DR-Congo. The final day saw participants working on developing tools for enhancing social-political awareness, leadership and good governance, strengthening civil societies and promoting civic education. These tools developed will be shared among the JESAM social apostolate, social centres and their partners.

The following are some of the challenges that were identified by the participants:

-          Africa is still bedevilled by its colonial history. Most African states are still grappling with how to implement governing structures handed down from the colonial era,

-          Lack of post-independence visionary leadership and good governance,

-          Challenges of globalisation,

-          Lack of adequate material for civic education, especially for schools,

-          Civil societies in Africa are not well coordinated and this pose challenges for advocacy for good leadership and governance in Africa.

-          The education systems in Africa are not holistic; they lack vital information on leadership and good governance,

-          Some sectors of civil society lack originality, transparency, and accountability,

-          Civil societies in Africa still need to scale up their advocacy beyond their local confines i.e. lobby at regional, continental and internationals levels,

-          For governance to be improved on the continent, one needs to build strong and legitimate state institutions. And these must be respected. 

Participants of the workshop have committed to continue the conversations on these matters. Two working groups have been formed to work on two modules:

-           Training citizens in leadership, social-political awareness and good governance and

-          Strengthening Civil Society through Promoting Civic Education

The final document will be made available to social apostolate centres, social apostolate members, churches and civil society organisations, to be used as a training module that addresses the deficit of leadership, good governance and participation in post-colonial Africa.


Nairobi, 27 March, 2014

Rigobert Minani, S.J.

                                    JESAM Social Apostolate Delegate and Director of JASCNET

JESAM Social Apostolate

260 Dagoretti Rd.

P.O BOX 1540-00502,

Karen- Kenya

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+254 203 884 528

+254 20 202 5692





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