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close this bookAfrica's Valuable Assets - A Reader in Natural Resource Management (WRI, 1998, 464 pages)
close this folder2. Institutionalizing Environmental Management in Africa
close this folderPolitical Support
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentGovernment Commitment to Process
View the documentUnderstanding the Issues at Stake
View the documentResource Allocation for Institutional Development
View the documentInvolvement of Political Leadership
Open this folder and view contentsConclusions and Recommendations on Political Support


To date, the success of national development plans has depended largely on the ability of governments to raise the resources necessary to implement the plans. But overdependence on foreign development assistance also means that inconsistencies in funder policies and lack of funder coordination can be destabilizing.

The political and economic history of African countries has been characterized by a range of negative attributes, among them instability (frequent military coups), dictatorships, corruption, one-party rule, and great inconsistencies in policies. Such qualities have not nurtured the efficiency, clarity, and consistency of national purpose required to design and implement long-term strategic plans. Although the present proliferation of strategic planning activities is closely linked with general macro-economic reform policies and the emergence of more representative government across Africa, it is too early to judge the ultimate efficacy of these democratic processes. Recent events in Nigeria and The Gambia have proved how fragile and vulnerable elected governments and the overall democratic process in Africa can be and still are.

Political support for strategic planning and the institutional arrangements surrounding it can be viewed from a variety of perspectives. With respect to the NEAP process in particular, it has been established that the national government's commitment to and understanding of the process are crucial to the decisions taken on resource allocation and institutional arrangements.