What is inclusive governance? 

Governance is a term used widely to describe the exercise of legitimate power which guides society’s functions. It enables them to be sustained. Inclusive governance, then, is when national or regional governments enable the input of citizens in decision making processes. For policies regarding said functions. 

When this is done with legal and political honesty, it can help increase trust between citizens and the government. It aid in reaching agreements that are supported more widely. Not only a more impartial governance process but also to achieve more equitable outcomes. 

Representation: from inequality towards equality

Inequalities often undermine wider economic growth and improvements in social conditions. Many groups, including women, youth and ethnic minorities, continue to be marginalised from important decision-making processes.  This look to shape the future of sub-Saharan Africa more widely.

Inclusive governance offers the opportunity to invite different and often excluded views – including those of women, youth and ethnic minorities – to contest policies. An emphasis on increased representation of all population levels would ensure that social, environmental, and economic policies are working towards different aspirations. This is more equally and in a way that the benefits they produce can be shared more fairly. 

Compatible solutions 

Another reason why inclusive governance is so important is how it would enable policies to reflect the material (experienced) and affective(emotional) condition of the everyday. Often there is a separation between what is desired by policymakers versus what is possible and fair ‘on the ground’. 

Enabling citizens to participate in decision-making opens space for more practical and fitting action. Through the inclusion of knowledge of those who perhaps work in that area . Or are more familiar with the internal processes of that particular function in society. In turn, this would help new policies to be compatible with the ideas. Also with knowledge and skills of citizens in these areas and therefore is likely to be more effective and sustainable. 


All members of a population should feel included and empowered to maintain or improve both personal wellbeing and that of their wider community. Justice in its most simple definition is about fairness. 

Here, it is about creating a space for democracy between all stakeholders, citizens included. About reworking policies to ensure the material effects thereafter are fair too. Prosperity should be shared across a population and inclusive governance is in part a way to begin to achieve this. 


Inclusive governance is about ensuring representation and participation in decision making processes for more just policy outcomes. There has been considerable progress in the implementation of good and inclusive governance in sub-Saharan Africa in the past decade. Institutional reforms continue to make this possible.


Continued at Right for Education