What makes good governance? #1 in Series: The different ways to look at governance


The word “Governance” is defined as the actions of those who have power over others. The government has governance over the people of a country. A farmer has governance over his employees.

The word “Governance” can be used to describe ruling or controlling the actions of others. For example, a parent will have governance over their child if they set rules as to what the child can do.


Sub-Saharan African nations have seen rapid changes in their nation’s structures. Many countries have witnessed more democratisation. Democratisation happens when a nation moves towards a government structure resembling a democracy. This means that these nations have seen great changes in governance.

We will look at how these changes in governance can be measured by going through different types of governance. By looking at these changes, we can better understand how governance works and can be used to help us in our lives and work. For example, by understanding how businesses can be protected, a farmer could use this to secure their own livestock or crops.

When looking at how governance has changed in Sub-Saharan Africa, people often look at voting and elections but this is not the only way change can be looked at. One of the biggest and fastest changes Africa has seen is the increase in the growth of mobile phone broadband connections. Mobile phones are predicted to lead to big changes in governance by increasing investment in businesses. Business connected to mobile phones contributed $100 billion to Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy in 2014.


Below are some examples of the different forms governance can take.


Transparency in governance is about how open and visible changes in structures such as government and business are. If a person can easily see how laws are working or how a business makes its money, then it can be said that there is a lot of transparency.


Infrastructure is the material structure available to people in a nation to help them get along with their lives. These can be roads or power lines for the internet.


Banking involves the control of a nation’s money and growth. This can change for every country and can be measured in lots of different ways.

Protection for business

Linking to banking, governance can also be about structures that protect businesses and help them to improve and grow.

Access to media and free speech

Media and free speech is about easily being able to access news on the internet and being able to express ideas about what you read. Education is a big part of the media and free speech.

Protection against violence

Governance can also be about protecting people in a nation and keeping them safe. Protection from violence means people are more likely to get an education and have the ability to set up businesses that last for a long time.

Protection for the environment

Governance can also be about conserving the world around us. This may be because by protecting the plants and animals around them, people can grow the crops they need to eat and sell.

These are just a few ways to look at how governance might change and the different forms it can take. Each of the ways have books that go into greater detail on them which can be accessed.



1 comment

  1. Samson 4 years ago August 14, 2017

    I think all this is turning around human’s rights in short. Because if a country do respect human rights this is a symbol of Democracy and this is builded on people’s willing. Different from other countries where people are obliged to live politicians decisions, embitions an some times fool things from their selfishness.


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