05 January 2021 | Story Nombulelo Shange, Mohau Nkutha, and Maria Madiope | Photo Supplied
Dr Madiope and Nombulelo Shange at the APRM/AGA workshop.

The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), in collaboration with the African Governance Architecture (AGA), hosted a two-day validation workshop on 14 and 15 December 2020 in Pretoria. The main goal of the meeting was to draft and adopt the 2021 African Governance Report (AGR). At the February 2019 African Union Assembly, heads of state decided that the APRM and the AGA should draft the AGR and that it should be presented to the assembly for consideration every two years. 

The UFS was involved in this process through the continued work by the Principal of our South Campus, Dr Marinkie Madiope, with the APRM — this invitation came as an extension of her contribution to the December 2019 African Union Campus continental steering group meeting held in Nairobi, Kenya. The APRM extended an invitation to Dr Madiope to contribute to the recent AGR workshop, and in true inclusion and collaboration spirit, she extended this invitation to the office of Institutional Change, Student Affairs, and Community Engagement, headed by Prof Puleng LenkaBula, who recommended academic staff member, Nombulelo Shange, to participate in this process.

Key strategy

The drafting of the AGR is one of the many strategies being explored to help move Africa towards the Agenda 2063 goals to turn Africa into a global powerhouse while achieving the pan-Africanist goals regarding a united, self-reliant, and thriving Africa. 

The meeting took place virtually and on location in Pretoria, where participants representing diverse sectors and countries joined both online and face to face. Some of the organisations in attendance were the APRM Youth Network, Regional Economic Communities, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, National Governing Councils, University of the Free State, Stellenbosch University’s Institute for Futures Research (IFR), various private sector organisations, and even SMMEs. The University of the Free State (UFS) was represented by Dr Maria Madiope, South Campus Principal for Open and Distance Learning; Mohau Nkutha, Academic Literacy Course Coordinator; and Nombulelo Shange, Sociology Lecturer.


The AGR research is being led by Dr Njeri Mwagiru and her team from the IFR and will be launched in 2021. The CEO of the APRM, Prof Edward Maloka, said:

“The AGR 2021 also reveals important ways Africa could change the trajectory of global governance, economic development, and environmentally sustainable practices. Furthermore, technological advances and the rapidly changing political economies of global governance have spurred on a burst of interest in Africa’s futures. Consequently, this AGR 2021 is an invaluable instrument through which multidisciplinary sciences can constructively formulate development plans, perform thorough risk analyses, and steer governance and related institutions toward attaining their development goals.”

The workshop included the IFR’s presentation of their research findings and scenario building for Africa’s future. The workshop also included a virtual launch of the Oxford Poverty Report, which also emphasised the importance of strong governance in tackling poverty in Africa. The APRM selected a drafting committee from the participants in attendance to further fine-tune the recommendations and the AGR as a whole. The UFS was selected to be part of the drafting committee, joining individuals from across the continent in a robust discussion on the future of Africa around some important thematic recommendations, including gender equity, democracy, ecological justice, COVID-19 and possible future disruptions, youth development, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and innovation, leadership, and many others. 

Futuristic research and planning are important for the continent. The global lockdown and the lack of global preparedness that led to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic being more catastrophic is a reminder of the importance of this kind of future research. Not only is it important for addressing current social ills and development challenges, but it can also help us to be better prepared for future public health and environmental disruptions while building futures that encourage social well-being, happiness, and development which is in harmony with the environment.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.