Kenyan-South African Dialogue on Devolution

Product Attributes

  • Soft Cover
  • 9781485109204
  • 1st Edition
  • 512 pages
  • 2016


Steytler, N (Editor) ; Ghai, Y (Editor)

2016 - 1st Edition

R 709.00


Sponsored by the Unites States Institute of Peace.

About this Publication:

In a radical break with its past, democratic South Africa established a system of devolution that was confirmed in the 1996 Constitution. In reaction to a system of highly centralised government that had seen the abuse of power, spatial inequality and underdevelopment, Kenya has also opted for devolution. This system was embodied in the 2010 Constitution and implemented with the establishment of 47 counties after the general elections in March 2013. Devolution lies at the heart of Kenya’s new constitutional dispensation and provides a means of addressing past injustices.

The Kenyan Constitution largely copied the structure, approach and principles of provincial and local government from South Africa. Since the Kenyan system is still in the process of being fully implemented, Kenyan-South African Dialogue on Devolution compares the two systems with reference to their legal provisions. Comparing how the two systems have functioned is more difficult. However, the principal value of this comparison at this stage lies in the lessons that Kenya can learn from South Africa’s 21 years of experience of devolution as Kenya proceeds with establishing its system: what routes to follow and what pitfalls to avoid.

Kenyan-South African Dialogue on Devolution includes South African and Kenyan chapters on the reasons for devolution; the levels, number, size and character of devolution units; the demarcation of devolution units; political structures; powers and functions; finances; metropolitan governance; intergovernmental relations; marginalised groups; and transitional arrangements.  

This book is the first to discuss and compare the Kenyan and South African systems at length, and will be of value to other African countries that have embarked on devolution or decentralisation with the aim of curbing the centralised abuse of power and promoting political stability and development.

Contents Include:

  • South African and Kenyan Systems of Devolution: A Comparison - Yash Pal Ghai
  • Fudging Federalism: Devolution and Peace-making in South Africa’s Transition from Apartheid to a Constitutional Democratic State (1990-1996) - Derek Powell
  • Devolution in Kenya: Background and Objectives - Yash Pal Ghai
  • Drawing Non-Racial, Non-Ethnic Boundaries in South Africa - Yonatan Fessha, Jaap de Visser
  • Number, Size and Character of Counties in Kenya - Abraham Rugo Muriu
  • Devolved Political Structures in South Africa: A Void Waiting to be Filled by Subnational Politics - Yonatan Fessha
  • Political Structures and Politics of Counties in Kenya - Conrad Mugoya Bosire
  • The Functions and Powers of South Africa’s Provinces and Municipalities - Jaap de Visser, Annette May
  • Powers and Functions of County Governments in Kenya - Conrad Mugoya Bosire
  • South Africa’s Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations System - Bongani Khumalo, Ghalieb Dawood, Jugal Mahabir
  • Financing Counties in Kenya - Njeru Kirira
  • Governing Metropolitan Areas in South Africa - Philip van Ryneveld
  • Governing Metropolitan and Urban Areas in Kenya - Jill Cottrell Ghai
  • National Cohesion and Intergovernmental Relations in South Africa - Nico Steytler
  • National Cohesion and Intergovernmental Relations: The Framework and Emerging Practice in Kenya - Conrad Mugoya Bosire
  • Inclusion of Marginalised Groups through Devolution in South Africa - Zemelak Ayele, Phindile Ntiliziywana
  • Real or Mirage? Devolution as Empowerment for Marginalised Groups in Kenya - Korir Sing’Oei
  • Implementing Provincial and Local Government in Post-Apartheid South Africa - Derek Powell, Phindile Ntiliziywana
  • The Implementation of Kenya’s System of Devolved Government - Peter Wanyande
  • Devolution: What can Kenya learn from South Africa? - Nico Steytler, Yash Ghai

Of Interest and Benefit to:

  • Government officials
  • Practitioners
  • Attorneys
  • Advocates