Towards a next phase of port reform in Africa: an analysis of context, drivers, performance and options.

Onderzoeksoutput: Poster

Samenvatting

Like their counterparts in other parts of the world, Africa’s maritime ports have been subjected to extensive
reforms in recent decades. These reforms have aimed to increase operational efficiency and the effectiveness of
governance structures; reduce the financial burden borne by the public sector; increase private sector participation;
and improve average port performance. However, the reforms have failed to significantly deliver the lofty ambitions
of the reformers. In some cases, full implementation of the reforms have been stymied by the resistance of
powerful vested interests. As a new phase of African port reforms becomes inevitable, it is pertinent to ask why the
preceding reforms under-performed? What can we learn? And how should these lessons influence the next phase of
reforms? The paper focuses on reforms conducted within the past two decades at the Apapa port of Lagos,
Nigeria, on the West coast of Africa, and the Mombasa port of Kenya, on the East coast. It applies Apply the
theory of political settlements (Khan, 2010) and institutional economics (Williamson, 2000) to examine the impact
of local institutions and political economy on port reform performance. A political settlement (PS) describes a
‘social order’ based on political compromises between powerful groups in a society, that sets the context for the
institutional environment and governance structures in that society. A PS will be sustainable when the payoffs
generated by an institutional rule (or reform) are compatible with the power distribution in the society, and when
these payoffs and power distribution are consistent over a reasonable time horizon. This paper identifies that African
port reforms may be underperforming because the local PS has not been adequately taken into consideration prior
to implementing reforms. A second insight is that where the political context or PS remains exogeneous to the
reformers, and is non-supportive of the reform agenda, it could be advisable to revise reform ambitions to focus on
limited, scaled-down interventions, within ‘islands-of-effectiveness’ - that have a perceptibly higher chance of
success.
Originele taal-2English
StatusUnpublished - 12 dec 2022
EvenementYoung Researchers' Overseas Day, 5th Edition: Organized by the Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences (RAOS), Belgium - Palace of the Academies, Brussels, Belgium
Duur: 12 dec 202212 dec 2022
Congresnummer: 5th Edition
https://www.kaowarsom.be/documents/Conferences/YR2022/PROGRAMME_YR2022.pdf

Conference

ConferenceYoung Researchers' Overseas Day, 5th Edition
Verkorte titelYROD
Land/RegioBelgium
Stad Brussels
Periode12/12/2212/12/22
Internet adres

Bibliografische nota

KHAN, M. 2010. Political Settlements and the Governance of Growth-Enhancing Institutions. (Unpublished) - Monographs and Working Papers, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/9968
WILLIAMSON, O. E. (2000). THE NEW INSTITUTIONAL ECONOMICS: TAKING STOCK, LOOKING AHEAD. JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC LITERATURE, VOL. 38, NO. 3, 595-613.

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