This chapter looks at the regional and continental frameworks for decentralisation in Africa, with the focus being on the African Charter on the Values and Principles of Decentralisation, Local Governance and Local Development (Decentralisation Charter), the first legal instrument of the African Union (AU) that deals specifically with decentralisation. The crux of the Charter can be summarised under eight main themes. The first of these concerns its objectives and values, which include the desire to ‘promote, protect and act as a catalyst for decentralisation, local governance and local development in Africa’, as well as to ‘promote and champion local self-government and local democracy as the cornerstone of decentralisation in Africa’. A second issue with which the Decentralisation Charter deals is the legislative framework for regulating the values and principles of decentralisation. The Decentralisation Charter also addresses issues concerning relations between the central government authorities and the other spheres of government.
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