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Culture, Development, and Public Administration in Africa

Ogwo Jombo Umeh and Greg Andranovich
Culture, Development, and Public Administration in Africa
ISBN: 978-1-56549-201-1
2005/190 pages/LC: 2004027580
A Kumarian Press B2ook
"Offers the reader an overview of the continent, with a particular focus on the countries of the Southern African Development Coordinating Conference. Succinctly, they provide us with a list of the critical issues confronting the administration of those countries, with a particular focus on the range of skills required for the major tasks at hand, constraints, and opportunities. The stress on methodology is particularly well placed in a critical study of culture and a book that wants to avoid dependence on Western models."—Public Administration Review

"Essential reading for students wishing to get a handle on comparative and development administration. Provides readers with a comprehensive, analytically informed, and conceptually sound view of public administration that should open an important window to the reality of developing society."—Administrative Theory and Praxis

This book offers compelling evidence in support of the need for both practitioners and academics to carefully consider the impact of cultural values on public management in countries undergoing democratic transitions."—Richard Vengroff

"This adds to our understanding of the interplay between culture and public administration in Africa. Those interested in comparative administrative studies and cross-cultural research will find the discussion useful."—Derick W. Brinkerhoff


Using southern African nations as an example, the authors argue that emerging societies are poor today thanks to the over reliance on non-local models. Practitioners must consider local cultures—-languages, symbols, customs, and rituals—in developing effective administrative practices. They must absorb the experiences of people who know first-hand the dynamics and conditions in these countries. Otherwise, neither citizens nor leaders will manage their affairs and development processes effectively.


Greg Andranovich is emeritus professor of political science at California State University, Los Angeles.


  • Foreword—Jong S. Jun
  • Introduction.
  • Characteristics of Administration in Developing Nations.
  • The Interpretive Dimension of Administration: Culture and Its Impacts.
  • The SADCC Studies.
  • The Interpretive Framework and Public Administration.
  • Bringing Culture Back into the Mix: Some Reflections.
  • Epilogue: Post-Apartheid South Africa.