MA Governance and Development

Program level: 

Credits (ECTS): 



Program starts every semester.



Duration in semesters: 

4 semesters


The Africa Institute of Governance and Development (AIGAD) prepare to offer a two-year master’s program in Governance and Development. The program is designed for candidates from East African Countries (i.e. member states of IGAD). It aims at becoming a center of academic studies, research and documentation dealing with migration and development centering on Africa but also encompassing broader concerns. The course work of the MA in Governance and Development Program consists of nine modules which are offered in two semesters during the first year. In the second year, the first semester students of this program will do preliminary research as part of a seminar accompanied by rigorous presentations on specific areas related to Governance and Development. Concurrently, the students shall prepare a proposal for the thesis required before graduation. Finally, during the second semester of the second-year students shall write up their theses, submit reports and present as part of the thesis defense.

Prerequisites & Requirements

The establishment of the Africa Institute of Governance and Development (AIGAD) shall endeavor to help address the multifarious issues of good governance and development afflicting nations, nationalities and peoples in countries of the Horn of Africa. The Horn of Africa region has, until recently, been experiencing, both natural and human-driven catastrophes of horrendous proportions. The complex nature of calamities unequivocally urges academics, states and all concerned citizens to thoroughly rethink for better socio-economic development strategies bring about peace, security and holistic regional transformational sustainable development to the region. Towards this end, several initiatives are already underway at regional (inter-governmental) levels to promote multi-faceted regional co-operation in addressing roots problems as well as facilitate mutual effort to eradicate poverty and attain good governance. Initiatives efforts have been undertaken by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) and the Comprehensive Framework Agreement (CFA) signed by the riparian states of the Nile River. Therefore, there has been greater need more than ever before to establish committed public sector management and leadership as well as institutions and institutional capacity to ensure the delivery of socio-economic development premised upon good governance and sustainable public sector management. This necessitated establishing AIGAD as a regional academic study and research institute to develop higher-level intellectual capacity to drive a universal, visionary, inspired regional good governance and development agenda based on the aspirations, and will of the citizens of the Horn of Africa.

The establishment of AIGAD by ECSU is designed to leverage Ethiopia’s capacity building in governance and development through best practices and in the process, produce more practitioners highly schooled in public service servants of higher level as well as meet region’s good governance, sustainable development and regional integration aspirations. Besides, AIGAD should leverage and nurture the development of that able and versatile corps of public servants sharing a universal vision of a prosperous Horn of Africa, distinguishable by and conspicuous for good governance, peace, prosperity, mutual understanding, social justice, optimism and completely liberated from chronic intolerance, poverty, peace lessness and other forms of human misery and deprivation.

 Program objectives

The governance and development program will give the students an opportunity to achieve the following:

  • Good governance at institutional, federal, national and regional level;
  • Sustainable holistic and transformational socio-economic development ;
  • Peace building, ensuring security and intercultural collaboration
  • Delivery of efficient and transparent public services supported by the information and communication technologies.
  • Empowerment and mobilization citizens
  • Engagement in academic research and publication focused on governance and development in the Horn of Africa.

Exit Level Outcomes

At the end of the program graduates of governance and development are expected to have the following knowledge and skills:


  • Knowledge of theories of governance and development
  • Understanding the nexus between development, governance and democracy.
  •  analyze conflict resolution and prevention; security and peace building issues in the Horn of Africa,
  • Knowledge of data sources on development and governance
  • An awareness of the main international institutional responses (analytical, policy and political) to governance and development issues.
  • An ability to critically analyze case study data using relevant theoretical approaches.
  • A specialized knowledge and understanding complementing that provided by the core courses by researching for and writing the thesis.

Intellectual Skills

  • An ability to be precise and appropriately cautious in their assessment of evidence, and understand the strengths and weaknesses of different datasets, of claims made on the basis of various kinds of evidence, and of methodologies used to arrive at substantive claims.
  • A tendency to question interpretations, however authoritative, and reassess evidence for themselves.
  • The ability to engage in contemporary academic and policy debates in relevant fields including the governance-development nexus; Peace and security; regional integration, development policies and strategies; Gender, skill development and entrepreneurship, leadership and change management and pastoralism and socioeconomic transformation..
  • The ability to demonstrate an interest and confidence in thinking in interdisciplinary ways, drawing insights, questions and evidence from a variety of perspectives.
  • Familiarity with how to formulate research questions and to work independently towards addressing those questions.

Subject-based Practical Skills

  •  Research techniques in using specialized research libraries, institutes, and databases, and drawing on data and analysis available on the web.
  • A developed initiative and capacity to define one’s own thesis research question/hypothesis, and to adjust hypotheses and approach in the light of work undertaken for the thesis.
  • The ability to read regularly and rapidly a variety of types of reports, papers, articles and books, incorporating different types of evidence, methodology and disciplinary perspectives.
  • An understanding of unconventional ideas and the ability to question common evidence-based claims about social and economic development and especially about the relationships between migration and development.
  • An ability to engage in debate and discussion in seminars, including presenting seminar papers and listening to and discussing ideas introduced during seminars.
  • Project management and strategic planning techniques to transfer research and theoretical content into programs and services.
  • How to use data, including:
    • Awareness of data problems in the Horn of African countries.
    • -Awareness of different research methodologies, including case studies, qualitative and quantitative analysis, surveys.
    • Development of skills in asking critical questions of commonly used datasets and evidence-based claims.
    • Understanding roots of conflicting estimates and interpretations.
    • Knowledge of main relevant data sources.

Transferable Skills

  • Ability to structure and communicate ideas effectively both orally and in writing:
  • Knowledge of how to retrieve, sort, select, analyze and synthesize information from a variety of sources.
  • Familiarity with working effectively in and contributing to groups to marshal and present evidence in both oral and written arguments.
  • Ability to engage in meetings by presenting, discussing, and constructively critiquing ideas introduced during meetings.
  • Ability to develop project plans and strategic plans for programs and services.

Individual Clients

Clients come from diverse professional backgrounds and work experiences specifically from civil service sector.

Other stakeholders

Employees of the regional and international organizations and such as the IGAD, the African Union (AU), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the COMESA and similar organisations. Besides, since Addis Ababa is a diplomatic hub for embassies of several countries of the world, including almost all the fifty-four African nations, the program may attract many other organizations.


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