Manara - Qatar Research Repository
10.4324_9781003143840-18_chapterpdf.pdf (178 kB)

Public policymaking in Africa

Download (178 kB)
submitted on 2023-09-12, 07:21 and posted on 2023-09-13, 07:28 authored by Lukamba Muhiya Tshombe, Thekiso Molokwane

Government decisions are realised through public policy as designed for diferent sectors of the economy. Public policymaking and analysis validate the state’s role in solving wicked problems like poverty, unemployment, housing, social insecurity and related political complexities. Following independence, many African nationalists delved on the need to develop their countries with government decisions and actions that considered the collective good of society. In this manner, local policymakers have always made such decisions on behalf of and for state development. Yet, 60 years later, poverty prevails, and countries still depend on external aid. This, however, does not mean that there have not been relative performances across Africa, with some countries and policy sectors performing better than others (see, for example, Chapter 7 of this volume). Notably, at independence, African countries adopted Import Substitution Industrialisation (ISI) as a development strategy to reduce their dependence on former colonial masters. Even so, sustained experiences of policy failure and underperformance remained and continue to manifest among the key features of governance across Africa, making the region relatively one of the poorest globally. The main reason for this includes the minute and nugatory African markets and the high cost of purchasing the required technology for most African countries (Ikome 2004). Moreover, the ISI policy did not achieve the goals planned by the African leaders. As demonstrated in this chapter, the problems with the market (including market failures) and technological advancements remain despite eforts towards regional integration (see, e.g. Chapter 49).

Other Information

Published in: Routledge Handbook of Public Policy in Africa
See chapter on publisher's website:



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2021

License statement

This chapter is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • College of Public Policy - HBKU

Geographic coverage


Usage metrics

    Manara - Qatar Research Repository


    Ref. manager