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Public Humanities – Thinking Freedom in the African University

“This is a major intellectual intervention since the neo-liberalisation of our universities which has had devastating effect on intellectual freedom, critical thought and creativity. It is my hope that the essays in this book will rekindle the debate on the University as a public space and reignite the struggle to reclaim education as the commons and not a commodity for sale.”

Issa Shivji, Professor Emeritus, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

“The essays composing this book are an excellent illustration of how, through an exercise of interdisciplinarity, it is possible to combine theory and practice in the analysis of the context of knowledge production on the continent, addressing themes that are fundamental to African academics. The questions raised become more important in the context of an uncertain future generated by the threats
from COVID-19, which force us to rethink our institutions and their role, but also to permanently find alternatives to produce scientific knowledge from within.”

Professor Teresa Cruz e Silva, Centro de Estudos Africanos,

Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique

Reforming the African Public Sector, Retrospect and Prospects (Printed)

Reforming the African Public Sector, Retrospect and Prospects (Printed)


Reforming the African Public Sector: Retrospect and Prospects is an in-depth and wide-ranging review of the available literature on African public sector reforms. It illustrates several differing country experiences to buttress the main observations and conclusions. It adopts a structural/institutional approach which underpins most of the reform efforts on the continent. To contextualize reform of the public sector and understand its processes, dynamics and intricacies, the book examines the state and state capacity building in Africa, especially when there can be no state without an efficient public sector. In addition, the book addresses a number of theories such as the new institutional economics, public choice and new public management, which have in one way or another influenced most of the initiatives implemented under public sector reform in Africa. There is also a survey of the three phases of public sector reform which have emerged and the balance sheet of reform strategies, namely, decentralization, privatization, deregulation, agencification, co-production and public-private partnerships. It concludes by identifying possible alternative approaches such as developing a vigorous public sector ethos and sustained capacity building to promote and enhance the renewal and reconstruction of the African public sector within the context of the New Partnerships for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), good governance and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).



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