Ivor Chipkin addresses the OGP Summit on Channel Africa: The African Perspective podcast


On 19 September, Ivor Chipkin, Executive Director of the New South Institute, was a guest on the Channel Africa: The African Perspective podcast. He reflected on his participation in the recent Open Government Partnership (OGP) Summit held in Tallinn, Estonia from 5 to 7 September.

The OGP Summit brought together global leaders, civil society representatives and policymakers. Its core objective is to prioritise democracy, democratic participation and the principles of open government. Chipkin highlighted that while the OGP provides an alternative platform beyond the dominance of wealthy countries, the wave of technological advances, particularly in Estonia, is reshaping the landscape of government operations.

Significantly, African countries, particularly Nigeria and parts of East Africa, are actively engaged in open government efforts and have made notable progress in adopting technology and improving government transparency. However, Chipkin noted that South Africa still lags behind its continental peers in integrating open government practices. While constitutional institutions such as Chapter 9 bodies have a role to play, more pressure and commitment is needed to make data accessible and remove institutional constraints.

Chipkin emphasised the need for a broader conversation about transparency in South Africa. It’s not just a mechanism for accountability; transparency is central to increasing government efficiency and promoting better governance. The synergy between open government systems, he argued, was also critical to promoting intra-African trade and cooperation.

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