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Picture: Supplied/sezerozger
Picture: Supplied/sezerozger

SA needs fresh ideas to improve the capacity of a state that is beleaguered by inefficiency and corruption.

Political leaders at present cannot drive and co-ordinate the activities of public institutions to realise the mandate of an elected government.

The Architecture of Government conference, hosted by the Government and Public Policy (GAPP) Think-Tank in partnership with Financial Mail, will explore the potential configuration of government to better realise a democratic government’s goals.

Starting on July 5, this virtual three-day event will feature discussions between prominent international scholars, practitioners and leaders in the fields of governance, politics and public policy. They include Achille Mbembe, Trevor Manuel, Angela Stent, Busani Ngcaweni, Yamini Aiyar, Hsu Huang and Omano Edigheji.

Day 1

July 5 | 12.30pm-4.45pm

There will be two panels on the opening day.

The first will explore historical legacies, colonial and postcolonial, that continue to shape the architecture of government.

The second panel will address the state of executive branch leadership, focusing on the merits and drawbacks of presidential and semi-presidential systems, in post-Soviet states and in young democracies.

Day 2

July 6 | 12.00pm-5.30pm

There will be three panel discussions on the second day.

The first investigates the party-state model in China to see if any valuable lessons can be drawn from its accomplishments.

The second panel discusses the governance of metropolitan regions in Africa, a continent whose population is both growing rapidly and urbanising.

The third panel addresses the challenges of fiscal decentralisation in the global south, and the potential benefits it might bring in terms of reduced spatial inequality, and administrative efficiency.

Day 3

July 7 2022 | 1.00pm-5.00pm

The final day begins with a panel discussion on asymmetric decentralisation, with an emphasis on the experiences of India.

The closing panel will explore the politics of state reform: how can appealing lessons and ideas be turned into action? Here the focus will be on whether and how a political project to improve the organisation and administration of government can be initiated and taken forward.