African School on Decentralisation 2022

Focus: Good Governance in African Cities
Venue: Cape Town
Date: 30 May - 10 June 2022

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African School on Decentralisation

The African School on Decentralisation establishes a platform for knowledge-sharing on the vast issues affecting decentralisation in Africa. Creating a positive footprint in the continent is what the school aims to do in order to meet today's global challenges. To do this, the school focuses on increasing the knowledge, research outputs and innovation in the field of decentralisation. During the 2022 course, the theme "Good Governance in African cities" will be explored, that concerns spatial equity and urban informality, sustainable cities (climate change responses), cities and public finances, and central and local governmental relations.

2021 Inaugural Programme (virtual programme)

The Inaugural African School on Decentralisation was held during 16-27 August 2021 where 21 participants from different countries in Africa participated and qualified with a postgraduate certificate in Decentralisation in Africa.

To see the programme click on this link.

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Postal Address

South African Research Chair in Multilevel Government, Law and Development
Dullah Omar Institute for Constitutional Law, Governance and Human Rights
University of the Western Cape
Private Bag X17

For any queries please contact

Dr. Michelle R. Maziwisa |
+27 (0)21 959 2950 / 51

Course Description

The 2022 course shall be based on the theme “Good Governance in African Cities”. This theme was chosen in light of the fact that Africa is urbanizing at a higher rate than any other continent. Indeed, more people are moving to cities, attracted by economic and job opportunities – this is a global phenomenon, and Africa is no exception. Yet, despite being drivers of growth and development, the position of the city is regarded as marginal to current debates and good governance controversies in Africa. For example, the negative impact of overurbanization is often over-emphasised such as the concentration of poverty, slums and social disruption in developing cities. This course aims to illustrate the central role of cities as engines of national economic development.

The sheer complexity of African cities challenges both traditional urban understandings and normal development policies. Indeed, the diversity of African cities is difficult to comprehend, thus the first step toward solving the urban development quandary. However, cities do represent the best hope for growth and opportunities.

The programme will be structured towards the multidimensional measures of good governance, namely, the rule of law, participation, transparency, accountability, responsiveness, equity, effectiveness and efficiency, and strategic vision. African cities have diverse governance structures, and powers and functions to drive the key aspirations listed in the Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) as set out in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Report (2015). Without good and inclusive governance, African cities will not achieve their social and economic targets.

The course will be presented by leading experts in the field from an international and regional perspective. It offers a platform in which African state practitioners, academics and activists can be educated and encouraged to innovate and experiment, and to learn from one another in order to address the challenges brought about by rapid urbanization. The course will include lectures, interactive discussions, case studies and study visits dealing with the selected thematic areas. Also, it will focus on the literature pertaining to the different continents and use comparative case studies to deepen the knowledge on and understanding of the challenges confronting the African region. The ultimate goal is to advance good governance in African cities.


The working language will be English.

Assessment & Certification

The African School on Decentralisation offers a postgraduate certificate to be awarded to successful applicants who meets the academic assessment criteria.

Costs for the 2022 Course

Costs covered by the organisers

  • Accommodation and meals

Costs not covered by the organisers

  • Travel expenses to and from Cape Town
  • Visa fees
  • Health Insurance
  • Personal travel expenses within Cape Town
  • Personal expenses during stay in Cape Town


  • A limited number of bursaries will be awarded, based on need, to cover an economy class return ticket to Cape Town.

Key dates

The deadline for submission of applications is 31 JANUARY 2022.

Activity Due Date
Submit Online Application 14 February 2022
Notification of Acceptance 29 March 2022
Registration and Confirmation of participation 7 March 2022
Course to be convened 30 May to 10 June 2022

Venue: What to expect in Cape Town (2022)

Cape Town is a beautiful coastal city in the south west of South Africa that lies at the southern-most tip of Africa. The city is both a vibrant metropolitan hub and a retreat. Large shopping malls such as the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront Mall offer a vibrant shopping experience with both locals and tourists.

The nearby Table Mountain and game reserves offer a wide range of outdoor activities from hiking to dirt-biking and safari tours. From the top of Table Mountain one gets a breath taking view of the city, and busy harbour. Under clear blues skies, Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela and countless other freedom fighters were held during apartheid) is clearly visible from the top of the mountain, and only a boat ride away.

For more information on Cape Town tourism, click here Click here to view some drone footage of Cape Town

Addis Ababa 2023

The next African School on Decentralisation will take place in 2023 in Addis Ababa.

Over 6700 km away from Cape Town, lies Addis Ababa, in the Horn of Africa. Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia, which has been described by some as the ‘lively city of contrasts’. A rapidly developing infrastructure and services sector, which is home to numerous international organisation’s headquarters including the African Union and United Nations.

Home to the 3.2 million-year-old skeleton, ‘Lucy’, Addis Ababa is rich in history and culture, with numerous exotic restaurants for the curious food lovers. Music and dance echo into night, while spicy flavours waft in the air. Injera (flat bread made with teff flour), and doro wot (spicy stewed meat), and kifto (seasoned ground beef served uncooked) are not to be missed. These dishes are filled with flavour and made the traditional way. One cannot miss the buna (road side coffee stalls), and coffee ceremonies with freshly ground beans grown and roasted in Ethiopia.

For more on Addis Ababa tourism, click here

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