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Working Paper 82 - Public Sector Management in Africa

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    Even though the public sector in African countries was expected to spearhead socioeconomicdevelopment to reduce poverty, it has proved largely ineffective in performingthis task. Some of the reasons for this ineffectiveness are excessive politicization, lack ofaccountability and representation, inability to promote the public interest andauthoritarian tendencies. The ineffectiveness has led to the call for a redefinition of therole of the public sector. As a contribution to the debate over the proper role of the publicsector and how it has coped with the New Public Management reforms, this paperassesses the state of public sector management in Africa by focusing specifically on thestrengths and challenges facing the state and its bureaucracy in relation to socioeconomicdevelopment and how the challenges can be addressed.Some of the issues the paper examines include:• the existing and/or evolving theoretical paradigms and their relevance to thepublic sector management;• the inability of the African state to promote development in comparison to theAsian “developmental” state;• various public sector reforms (civil service, decentralization, privatization,deregulation, co-production, public-private partnerships, judicial, tax) initiated toimprove state capacity and their outcomes;• the effectiveness of strategies implemented to promote accountability andminimize corruption; and• the issues and problems in aid management and coordination in Africa.In addition to these issues, the paper also highlights possible policy options for the futureand their relevance in addressing the challenges facing public sector management.

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    Paper provided by African Development Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 217.

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    Date of creation: 16 Dec 2005
    Handle: RePEc:adb:adbwps:217
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    1. Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, 2000. "Taxation, coercion and donors. Local government tax enforcement in Tanzania," CMI Working Papers 7, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    2. Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, 2002. "Fighting fiscal corruption: The case of the Tanzania Revenue Authority," CMI Working Papers WP 2002:3, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
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