1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Public Policy in Africa

Edited By Gedion Onyango Copyright 2022
    718 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    718 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This Handbook provides an authoritative and foundational disciplinary overview of African Public Policy and a comprehensive examination of the practicalities of policy analysis, policymaking processes, implementation, and administration in Africa today.

    The book assembles a multidisciplinary team of distinguished and upcoming Africanist scholars, practitioners, researchers and policy experts working inside and outside Africa to analyse the historical and emerging policy issues in 21st-century Africa. While mostly attentive to comparative public policy in Africa, this book attempts to address some of the following pertinent questions:

    • How can public policy be understood and taught in Africa?
    • How does policymaking occur in unstable political contexts, or in states under pressure?
    • Has the democratisation of governing systems improved policy processes in Africa?
    • How have recent transformations, such as technological proliferation in Africa, impacted public policy processes?
    • What are the underlying challenges and potential policy paths for Africa going forward?

    The contributions examine an interplay of prevailing institutional, political, structural challenges and opportunities for policy effectiveness to discern striking commonalities and trajectories across different African states.

    This is a valuable resource for practitioners, politicians, researchers, university students, and academics interested in studying and understanding how African countries are governed.


    Peter H. Koehn

    Notes on Contributors


    1. A Public Policy Approach to Governance in Africa: An Introduction

    Gedion Onyango

    Part I: Research, Theory and Teaching African Public Policy

    2. The Social Science Foundations of Public Policy in Africa

    Liisa Laakso

    3. Researching and Teaching Public Policy and Governance in Africa

    Chris Tapscott

    4. Theorising Public Policy in Africa

    Goran Hyden

    5. Public Authority in Africa

    Tom Kirk and Tim Allen

    6. The Institutional Logics Perspective and Policymaking in Africa

    James Hathaway

    7. Pockets Of Effectiveness (POE) in Africa: A Solution to the Policy Paradox?

    Anne Mette Kjær

    Part II: Understanding Policy Framing in Africa

    8. Policy Images in Africa

    Eric E. Otenyo

    9. Reflections on the Political Economy of Public Policy Analysis in Africa

    Michael Kpessa-Whyte and Kafui Tsekpo

    10. The Role and Impact of International Bureaucrats in Policymaking in Africa

    Rosina Foli and Frank L.K. Ohemeng

    11. Traditional Chiefs as Institutional Entrepreneurs in Policymaking and Implementation in Africa

    Salomey K.G. Afrifa and Frank L.K. Ohemeng

    12. Public Participation and Policymaking in Local Governance in Africa

    Emmanuel Botlhale

    13. Framing Political Policy Communications in Africa

    Kobby Mensah, Joyce Manyo and Nnamdi O. Madichie

    14. Policy Evaluation in Africa

    E. Remi Aiyede and Maryam O. Quadri

    Part III: Understanding Policymaking in Africa

    15. Public Policymaking in Africa

    Lukamba Muhiya Tshombe and Thekiso Molokwane

    16. Historical Perspectives of Policymaking and Administration in Africa

    Felix Kumah-Abiwu, James Korku Agbodzakey and Samuel Kofi Darkwa

    17. The Media and Policymaking in Africa: A Comparative Study of Economic Development Policies in South Africa and Nigeria

    Tk Pooe and Sysman Motloung

    Part IV: Understanding Policy Reforms in Africa

    18. Public-Private Partnership and Public Policy in Africa

    Joseph O. Obosi

    19. Rationales for and Policy Implications of Implementing Semi‐Autonomous Revenue Authorities in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Matilde Jeppesen

    20. Evolution and Change of Communication Policy in Postcolonial Africa: From Independence to the Present Day

    Osée Kamga

    21. Multiculturalism and Policymaking in Africa

    John Sunday Ojo and Joanne Clarke

    Part V: Understanding Politics and Public Policy in Africa

    22. The Politics of Public Policy in Africa

    Michael Kpessa-Whyte

    23. Political Parties, Political Change and Public Policy in Africa: A Comparative Study of Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana

    Adams Oloo

    24. Political Transition, Policy Change and Implementation in Zambia

    Musole Siachisa

    25. Executive Policymaking During National Crisis: Policy Responses to Covid-19 Pandemic in Uganda

    Roberts Kabeba Muriisa

    26. Political Leadership and Public Policy in Africa: Thabo Mbeki, the Consummate Policy Entrepreneur

    Ndangwa Noyoo

    27. Public Policy and Election Administration in Africa: A Controlling or Innovative Environment

    Michael Amoah

    Part VI: Policy Implementation Outcomes in Africa: Country Studies

    28. Democratizing Policy Implementation in Africa: Lessons from Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme

    Emmanuel Kofi Ayisi, Justice Nyigmah Bawole and Emmanuel Yeboah-Assiamah

    29. Competing Interests and Lack of Policy Ownership of the Reform Agenda: A Barrier to Uganda’s Reform Success

    William Muhumuza

    30. Public Policy in Cameroon: State-Building Programs under the Influence

    Alphonse Bernard Amougou Mbarga

    31. The Politics of Decentralisation: Policy Reform Design and Implementation in Malawi

    Asiyati Lorraine Chiweza

    32. Indigenization Policy in the Extractive Sector in Zimbabwe: A Critical Reflection

    Kennedy Manduna and Davison Muchadenyika

    33. Policy Learning and Policy Failure in Africa: The Case of Electricity Privatization in Ghana

    Frank L.K. Ohemeng and Joshua J. Zaato

    Part VII: Implementing Education Policies in Africa

    34. Investing in the People? Analysis of Education Policies in Angola

    Francisco Miguel Paulo

    35. Public-Private Partnerships as Predictors of Success: Lessons from the Education Sector in Post-War Liberia

    Samuel G. Toe

    36. Policy Issues in the Harmonisation of Quality Assurance Systems for Higher Education in Africa

    Ngepathimo Kadhila and Eugene Lizazi Libebe

    Part VIII: Understanding Health Policies and Disease Control in Africa

    37. Control Programmes for Africa's Parasites: Unrealistic Expectations, Ignored Evidence, and Troubling Outcomes

    Tim Allen and Melissa Parker

    38. Between Marketization and Public Interest Discourses in Health Policy Delivery: Debating Solidarity and Universal Health Care in South Africa

    Lauren Ela Paremoer

    39. Policy Responses to Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa: Experiences from Sierra Leone

    Lawrence Sao Babawo, Ahmed Vandi and Tommy M. Hanson

    40. Confronting Epidemics: The Art of not Knowing and Strategic Ignorance During Ebola Preparedness in Uganda

    Grace Akello and Melissa Parker

    Part IX: Understanding Food Security And Social Protection Policies

    41. Food and Nutrition Security Policies in Africa

    Anne Siebert and Julian May

    42. Public Policy and Social Protection in Africa: The Rise of Cash Transfers

    Nathanael Ojong and Logan Cochrane

    43. A Genealogy of Policies on Poor and Vulnerable Children and Youth in Kenya

    Elizabeth Ngutuku

    Part X: Understanding Women, Gender and Public Policy in Africa

    44. Women in Policymaking in Africa

    Emmanuel Botlhale

    45. Gender Mainstreaming in Africa: Local Translations and Institutional Challenges in Ghana, Malawi and South Africa

    Diana Højlund Madsen, Amanda Gouws and Asiyati Lorraine Chiweza

    46. Women and Social Policies in South Africa and Sierra Leone

    Ina Conradie and Abioseh Bockarie

    47. Women Legislators in Legislative Policymaking in Africa

    Chiedo Nwankwor and Adedeji Adebayo

    Part XI: Understanding Crisis Management, Migration and Regional Trade

    48. Public Policy and Disaster Management: The Role of Law in International Disaster Assistance in Africa

    María Mercedes Martínez Carrizo

    49. Migration Frameworks in Africa: Nature, Dynamics, and Challenges

    Alemu Asfaw Nigusie

    50. Evolution of Trade Policy and Regional Integration in Africa

    Stephen R. Karangizi and Haruperi R. Mumbengegwi

    Part XII: Understanding Emerging Policy Issues And Challenges In Africa

    51. Open Innovation Systems and Public Policy in Africa: Setting New Boundaries Against Wicked Problems

    Yeboah-Assiamah Emmanuel, Clement Mensah Damoah and Justice Nyigmah Bawole

    52. Africa’s New Megacities: Sustainable Urbanism, Climate Urbanism or Megalopolises of Exclusionary Enclaves

    John Sunday Ojo

    53. Environmental Policies in Africa: The State of Regulating E-Waste Management

    Japheth Otieno Ondiek and Gedion Onyango

    54. Petroleum Extraction in Africa: A Review of the Local Content Policies for the Oil Industry in Selected Countries

    Austin Dziwornu Ablo and William Otchere-Darko

    55. The Unintended Industrial Policy Benefits of the Covid-19 Pandemic in Africa

    Julius Kiiza



    Gedion Onyango is a University Lecturer of Public Policy and Administration at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Nairobi, Kenya.

    "This Handbook is very timely as Africa exerts agency in response to Covid19, global warming, the digital economy etc. It brings together both the old and the new generation of scholars in Africa writing on governance for sustainable development in 2025 and beyond. It treats emerging issues for a public policy like migration, urbanisation, pollution etc. This volume captures contemporary debates and directions and points towards innovative challenges and responses, including the continent's burgeoning diaspora. It comes in handy for Development Cooperation professionals, students, and university teachers interested in developing contexts like Africa."

    Timothy M. Shaw, PhD, Faculty Fellow, Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance; McCormack Graduate School, USA

    "This is an extremely ambitious book dealing with the making and implementation of public policy in Africa over a long time in diverse countries, both in terms of historical heritage and contemporary political regimes. Gedion Onyango does a wonderful job in introducing the theoretical minefield of studying public policy in Africa as a single "problematique". At the same time, the different chapters seek to tell the stories of each nation's experience. As a "handbook", this publication will be a good resource for both students and teachers dealing with any aspect of public policy in Africa. Scholars researching issues of governance in Africa are likely to include this book in their reference menu."

    P. Anyang' Nyong'o, Professor of Political Science, and The Governor, County Government of Kisumu, Kenya

    "Why has social and economic development in Africa been so sporadic and uneven? This volume offers insights in terms of the (mis)governance of public affairs. As a first comprehensive review of the state of the art in public policy studies in Africa, it fills a yawning gap in the research literature. Gedion Onyango has drawn together a powerful team of scholars from within and beyond the continent to make the case that the future well-being of Africa’s people depends in good part on systems of responsive, collaborative, evidence-based decision-making by policy actors inside and outside the state." 

    Michael Bratton, University Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Michigan State University, USA 

    "This volume assembles a multi-disciplinary team of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and policy experts from leading universities and research organisations across Africa and beyond who analyse different public policy ideas and practicalities faced by African nations today. It provides some unconventional but comprehensive insights on the contextual trajectories and commonalities of public policy and governance in theory and practice across different sectors and states in Africa. Undoubtedly, it will serve as a critical resource in years to come for teaching and training on public administration and policy in Africa and similar contexts in the Global South." 

    Kempe Ronald Hope, Sr., Development Practice International

    "This volume is an exceptional contribution to our understanding of the evolution of African states. Its focus on public policy, both with the breadth of topics and depth of coverage, helps the reader understand the challenges and successes of the nuts and bolts of state building in Africa. It takes us from Aristide Zolberg’s metaphor of the state leader with multiple phones on his desk that were connected to virtually nothing, to see how those linkages to core state functions have been gradually built. One of its particular strengths is the comparative analysis among several states of key public policy issues and processes. Another is its focus on the research of African scholars. I recommend it most highly."

    James S Wunsch, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Creighton University, USA

    "Two key challenges have persisted in Africa; first, decision-makers have not understood and implemented sustainable policies at the intersection between politics and policy. Second, the teaching, research, and public policy writing in higher education institutions have been externally-focused, hence difficulties in applying public policy theories to African contexts. This Handbook bridges that lacuna. Many contributions are rich with theoretical and practical insights that provide new policy insights or augmenting existing knowledge bases. I highly recommend it as a stand-alone text for public policy courses and desk reference for African policymakers."

    Kelechi A. Kalu, PhD., Professor, Department of Political Science, University Of California Riverside, USA