ASD 2023

Applications for 2023 are closed!

Course Description

The theme for the 2023 ASD is 'Giving effect to the African Charter on the Values and Principles of Decentralisation, Local Governance and Local Development'. This ASD will take an in-depth look into the Charter and examine what the Charter requires from states in terms of implementing decentralisation. It compares the African Charter with other continental charters on decentralisation and local government, including the European Charter on Local Self-Government. Furthermore, the 2023 ASD will examine how African states are implementing the Charter.

Flowing from the charter, the ASD 2023 will cover themes such as

  • recognition of local governments and their boundaries
  • local democracy and participation;
  • accountability and transparency in local government
  • meaningful powers for local governments
  • local fiscal powers and revenue sharing
  • intergovernmental relations and supervision

Given that the African Union (AU) has its headquarters in Addis Ababa, the 2023 ASD will include engagement with the AU desk responsible for the Charter on Decentralisation.

The course will be presented by leading experts in the field from a regional and international perspective. It offers a platform in which African practitioners, academics and activists can be educated and encouraged to innovate and experiment, and to learn from one another in order to address the challenges in the implementation of decentralisation. The course will include lectures, interactive discussions, case studies and study visits dealing with the selected thematic areas. Also, it will focus on the literature pertaining to the different continents and use comparative case studies to deepen the knowledge on and understanding of the challenges confronting the African region. The ultimate goal is to advance good governance in local government in Africa.

Costs for the 2023 Course

Costs covered by the organisers

  • Accommodation and meals

Costs not covered by the organisers

  • Travel expenses to and from Addis Ababa
  • Visa fees
  • Health Insurance
  • Personal travel expenses within Addis Ababa
  • Personal expenses during stay in Addis Ababa


  • limited number of bursaries will be awarded, based on need, to cover an economy class return ticket to Addis Ababa

Location: What to expect in Addis Ababa (2023)

This year's African School on Decentralisation will take place in Addis Ababa.

Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia, which has been described by some as the ‘lively city of contrasts’. A rapidly developing infrastructure and services sector, which is home to numerous international organisation’s headquarters including the African Union and United Nations.

Home to the 3.2 million-year-old skeleton, ‘Lucy’, Addis Ababa is rich in history and culture, with numerous exotic restaurants for the curious food lovers. Music and dance echo into night, while spicy flavours waft in the air. Injera (flat bread made with teff flour), and doro wot (spicy stewed meat), and kifto (seasoned ground beef served uncooked) are not to be missed. These dishes are filled with flavour and made the traditional way. One cannot miss the buna (road side coffee stalls), and coffee ceremonies with freshly ground beans grown and roasted in Ethiopia.

For more on Addis Ababa tourism, click here

Key Dates

Activity Due Date
Submit Online Application 30 April 2023
Notification of Acceptance 16 June 2023
Registration and Confirmation of participation 7 July 2023
Course to be convened 3-16 September 2023


The working language will be English.

Assessment & Certification

The African School on Decentralisation offers a postgraduate certificate to be awarded to successful applicants who meet the academic assessment criteria.

Apply for the 2023 course

Click here to apply.

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