Political parties in Africa have traditionally not been the hubs of in-depth discussions on public policy.
Political parties in Africa have traditionally not been the hubs of in-depth discussions on public policy.

Public policy: The missing link in African political parties

IN the political landscape of Africa, the primary focus of political parties, whether in power or in opposition, has consistently been centred on elections. This election-centric approach has led to a significant oversight in an area crucial for the continent's development: public policy.

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Political parties in Africa have traditionally not been the hubs of in-depth discussions on public policy. This trend has had a profound impact on the type of expertise and talent that these parties attract.

Subject matter experts, who are vital for the formulation of informed and effective policies, often find themselves alienated from the political process. The absence of their insight in policymaking underscores a missed opportunity for political parties and the nations they serve.

The current political paradigm in Africa emphasises electoral victories as the end goal, often at the expense of sustained governance and public service delivery. This short-term view neglects the importance of good governance and effective public service, which are fundamental to the welfare of the populace and the overall progress of a nation.

Imagine a scenario where public policy becomes the cornerstone of political party agendas in Africa. By prioritising policy over politics, parties can transform themselves into platforms for meaningful change.

This shift would not only attract a diverse pool of experts in various fields but also foster an environment where informed decisions are made for the greater good.

The integration of public policy into the heart of political party agendas can lead to several positive outcomes. First, it ensures that governance and public service delivery are enhanced.

When policies are crafted and implemented with expertise and foresight, the quality of life for citizens improves. Secondly, this approach can lead to political longevity. Parties that deliver tangible results and improve the daily lives of their constituents are more likely to earn the public's trust and support.

Innovative solutions

The focus on public policy also has the potential to change the political culture in Africa. Instead of being arenas for power struggles, political parties can evolve into incubators for innovative solutions to the continent's myriad challenges.

This shift could usher in a new era of politics in Africa, where the success of a party is measured not just by its ability to win elections, but by its impact on society and its contribution to the nation's progress.

In conclusion, the prioritisation of public policy in the agenda of African political parties is not just a necessity but an opportunity.

It is an opportunity to attract a wider range of expertise, to enhance governance, to improve public service delivery, and ultimately, to ensure the stability and prosperity of African nations.

The time has come for political parties in Africa to look beyond the ballot box and embrace their role as architects of the continent's future.

The writer is a Public Policy Analyst

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