The Oxford Martin Programme on African Governance

This research programme is funded by the Oxford Martin School.

This programme looks at the current realities of economic, social, and political governance challenges for sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), particularly in terms of decision-making and implementation. It brings together researchers from six departments and several disciplines across the University of Oxford. The programme is led by Professor Stefan Dercon from the CSAE at the Department of Economics and the Blavatnik School of Government; and Professor Ricardo Soares de Oliveira at the Department of Politics and International Relations.

Research Questions

  1. How will jobs be created at scale necessary to deal with the youth bulge, and are recent attempts at industrialisation the solution? Can industrialisation succeed in the economic and political contexts that exist in present-day African states?
  2. How is the current downturn in commodity prices being handled, politically, socially and economically, and what does it mean for the long-term trajectory of affected states, given previous failed attempts to diversify resource-rich economies?
  3. Focusing on infrastructure and social service delivery, is the quality of governance and the basis of political accountability changing? What lessons can be drawn from the experience across various countries?

Collaborating Departments

Department of EconomicsBlavatnik School of GovernmentOxford Martin SchoolDepartment of Politics and International RelationsAfrican Studies Centre, Oxford Department of International DevelopmentSchool of Geography and the Environment

Lead Researchers

Stefan Dercon (BSG and Economics) and Ricardo Soares de Oliveira (DPIR)

Research Team

Chris Adam (ODID), Wale Adebanwi (African Studies), Jo Boyden (ODID), Stefano Caria (ODID), Katrina Charles (Geography), Cheryl Doss (ODID), Marta Favara (ODID), Doug Gollin (ODID), Robin Harding (DPIR), Johanna Koehler (Geography), Pramila Krishnan (ODID), Clare Leaver (BSG), Kate Orkin (Economics), Oliver Owen (ODID), David Pratten (African Studies), Simon Quinn (Economics), Gerhard Toews (Economics), Martin Williams (BSG)

Latest News

Watch Martin Williams, Associate Professor in Public Management at the Blavatnik School of Government, in a mini-documentary - 'Ghana's Infrastructure: The Mystery of Misspending'. This film is a product of a collaboration between the International Growth Centre (IGC) and Ghana's civil service, where they found that 1/3 of local government infrastructure projects that were started were not being finished, and sought policy solutions to fix the problem.


chief wole olanipekun photo

You can also watch Chief Wole Olanipekun, a Senor Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR), giving his lecture on 'Electoral Law, Election Petitions and the Future of Democracy in Nigeria' at the Nigeria in Transition: Panel on Nigerian Elections hosted on 28 February 2019 at the Blavatnik School of Government.

Programmes and projects