Over the last decade, the important economic growth of the African continent, in terms of significant increase in foreign investments, digitization and domestic markets, is seen with hope. However, there are many countries scarred by permanent conflicts, in others the cultural and educational structures of the State or civil society are weak, while in the more stable countries there are important imbalances and inequalities that clash with the Sustainable Development Goals contemplated by the 2030 Agenda. Within this vast scenario, the role of the state in Africa is hybrid and changing: the tribal system, the chefferie and the relationship between intermediate state powers and institutions are the central theme of this lecture. The focus is on governance models adopted under the aegis of the central state with respect to power systems historically accustomed to nepotism, patronage and clan alliances and their relations with the penetration of the market economy.

Funké Michaels, Mason Fellow at Harvard University (John F. Kennedy School of Government) and Nairobi University