It is a great pleasure to introduce to you the latest edition of AAPAM’s journal which has for many years served as a forum for debate and information pertaining to public administration and management in Africa. The journal has regularly tried to serve its readers by publishing articles that are a reflection of the changing landscape of public services in Africa. As a journal that is written both for academics and public servants, the journal has been a bridge which links to sometimes unduly separate worlds of government on the one hand and higher education on the other. The journal is firmly aligned to AAPAM’s commitment to promoting research aimed at contributing to solving the development needs of African states.
It is very pleasing that the present volume includes an article by Professor Jide Balogun from Nigeria who has a long association with AAPAM going back to the early days of the journal. He was our first editor. I have in one of my bookcases a copy of the issue of January 1992 which contained five articles by distinguished African academics and public servants. He is ideally placed to write for us an historical piece on state formation in Africa. His article is a reminder of the importance of history and therefore the need to eschew the narrowness of what in some quarters has been termed ‘presentism’. Thank you, Professor Balogun, for your article in this volume and for your pioneering service for AAPAM and its members.
The other articles tackle contemporary themes. This volume includes an article by Mothusi on the inter- related issues of integration and inclusivity in Africa; these are issues of growing importance in debates about development in general as well as emerging as key concerns for Public Administration and Management. For example, such issues were often raised by participants at the 2018 AAPAM Round Table in Botswana. Another theme which is picking up momentum is that of gender. Omotoye looks at the case of Botswana and spells out the implications for policy makers of the ways in which gender and corruption are connected. It is well known that the sustainable development goals are now very much on the agenda for Africa. However, the implications for Public Administration and Management are not always seen as clearly as they need to be. The article by Mpabanga and Seta helps to improve this state of affairs in their article which pinpoints what they see as the 5 ‘Ps’. As we need to give greater commitment to sustainable development, their article is a timely reminder of the need for more effective state action in support of the SDGs. Finally we include a piece from Zimbabwe which is about the Roman Catholic Church. Chikerema, Sithole and Chikwavira have carried out research which reminds us, inter alia that non - government organizations have been of growing importance for some years now. It is hoped that more articles of this sort can be carried in the journal to remind us that the public sector should not be divorced from the important work being done by churches and other NGOs. Also of importance is the article on project management in local government in Uganda by Bwengye which highlights the need for significantly more effective monitoring without which critical data cannot be reliably obtained. The article presents a large amount of information arising from fieldwork undertaken for the author’s doctoral thesis.
I hope you find much to interest you in this volume and that you enjoy reading the articles. I also hope you will continue to support your journal as it strives to deliver on our vision and mission which, in a nutshell, is to promote excellence, professionalism and best practice in African states.
Prof. Malcolm Wallis