Afrika-kommissionen: En diskursteoretisk analyse af de nye udviklingsprioriteter indenfor dansk udviklingsbistand

Thea Marie Lüttichau

Student thesis: Master thesis


In 2008, the Africa Commission was formed by the Danish government. The objective of the Commission was to investigate how Denmark‟s development cooperation with Africa could be refocused to become more efficient when providing development assistance. In May 2009, the Commission recommended a shift of focus towards private sector driven growth and increased employment. The recommendations of the Commission had great impact on the new Danish development assistance strategy published in May 2010 where the recommendations formed one of five areas of focus. The large influence of the recommendation of private sector development put forward by the Africa Commission occurred despite massive criticism from other development assistance influencers who appeared very critical towards the idea that private sector development should be used to combat poverty. Using a discourse-theoretical analysis inspired by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, this thesis therefore seeks to analyze how the Danish government, through use of the Africa Commission and despite massive criticism, succeeded in hegemonizing private sector development. Through different analyses of articulation it will be analyzed how the forming of the Africa Commission resulted in an increased focus on private sector development at the expense of the traditional understanding of development assistance. The fact that traditional development assistance was questioned entailed a dislocated situation where the term „efficient poverty combating‟ was emptied of meaning. Subsequently, a discursive struggle arose between the Government and its surroundings to ascribe meaning to „efficient poverty combating‟. It was concluded that the Government, through use of the Africa Commission as a management tool, succeeded in legitimizing private sector development in a poverty combating context with tacit accept from the Government´s surroundings.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2010
Number of pages83