May 25 every year is observed as African Union Day (Africa Day). On this day in 1963, the African Union (formely Organisation of African Unity) was formed. This year’s celebration of the Africa Day is under the theme: “Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa.”
The Africa We Want Civil Society Alliance on African Governance Architecture (AGA) and African on Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG), a group of CSO (Civil Society Organisation) partners across Africa working on the project “Mobilizing Civil Society Support for Implementation of the African Governance Architecture” have shared solidarity messages and thoughts on the theme for the Africa Day 2019 celebration.
“African Leaders have the moral obligations to provide services and opportunities for young people that will enable them to be innovative and productive within their own countries instead of embarking on life-threatening journeys. The call for the implementation of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG) therefore is a step in the right direction.”
–Mohamed Sillah, Executive Director, ActionAid Sierra Leone
“As we celebrate another “Africa Day’’, Africans must begin to elect leaders who have genuine patriotism, self-sacrifice, service, generosity and compassion. Africans should embrace leaders who are committed to the eradication of poverty, hunger, illiteracy, unemployment and provision of decent work for economic growth. Africans must choose leaders that can promote justice, fairness and equal opportunities for all citizens. We must also hold those in government accountable and demand they implement and domesticate the African Charter for Democracy, Election and Governance (ACDEG).”
–Godwin Kingsley Obinna, Programme Officer, West Africa Civil Society Forum (WACSOF)
“This year’s #AfricaDay19 is another time for us to address beyond rhetoric the migration of Africans within and outside the continent by using the African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance (ACDEG) as a basis. The ACDEG provides a framework that if implemented will promote human security relevant for transforming the refugee, returnee and displacement crises into a sustainable development one.”
–Daniel Nii Ankrah, ActionAid Ghana.
“The focus of this year’s #AfricaDay Celebration on migration is judicious and reflects the challenges of many African societies. The theme calls for commitment and concerted efforts by governments, civil societies and citizens. Governments, particularly, must address the push factors that ignite forced migration by making deliberate efforts to develop policies that address increased youth unemployment and conflicts.”
–Precious Gombera, Programmes and Policy Officer, ActionAid Zimbabwe
“If governments fail, if the spaces for political and civic spaces shrink, if there’s continuous violence and conflicts in society, if youth unemployment rate is high; migration is likely to be very high. As we celebrate #AfricaDay, let’s stand against the factors that cause forced migration, and let’s implement the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG).”
–Mataje Mawazo, ActionAid Tanzania
“While it is natural for humans to move around, the migration situation in Africa is alarming as it is disturbing. I have observed that in many cases the migration challenge is largely as a result of governance failure and lack of democratic space for citizens. The incidence of forced migration is high. As we celebrate #AfricaDay, Gov’ts in Africa must implement and domesticate the the African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance (ACDEG), as it’s critical in stemming the migration challenge.”
–Kwaku Krobea Asante, The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)
“When young people in living in rural areas in Sierra Leone leave for the urban cities and beyond to other nations through dangerous routes, it tells us all is not well in the country. Africa can do better than forced migration if we are determined to implement all the provisions of the African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance (ACDEG) but more specifically Chapters 9, 4, 5& 6.”
–Aminata Ruth Samulla Kelly-Lamin, Policy and Advocacy Manager, ActionAid Sierra Leone
“Every year, Africa loses dozens of its brilliant and strong minds to diverse migratory factors due to lack of good governance practices. Women and children are mostly at the receiving end of these negative effects. The AU framework African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG) presents a remedy to the migration menace and the onus lies on African leaders and citizens to implement and domesticate the Charter as well as demand for its implementation for #TheAfricaWeWant.
–Selorm Adzimah, Activista Ghana
“Building the Africa we want would require us to change the current narratives; ‘African being the theater of war’ ‘Africa, the poverty Capital of the world’ ‘the dark continent’. Changing these narratives, therefore, is a collective responsibility of Pan Africans who believe in the African ideals; that begins with every young person whose future is unsure because of the lack of commitment of some our African Leaders.”
–Agenyi Arome, ActionAid Nigeria
“I should be able to migrate at will, and not by forceful means, if democracy is stable, and standard of living is good.” #ImplementACDEGAriticles 2, 3&5.”
–Henry Brainard Gomer, Youth Activist and Civic Ambassador, African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance (ACDEG), Sierra Leone
“I believe the #AfricaDay offers an opportunity to speak on the migration of African youth to other continents through whatever means, no matter how dangerous it seems. The greater focus should be on the leaders of our African States to create an enabling environment where the youth can start their own enterprises, receive support and be encouraged to stay and develop their respective countries. People must migrate not because conditions force them to. And with the African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance (ACDEG) offering a solution blueprint, I believe when ratified and implemented will help the continent. Let’s implement ACDEG!”
–Maxwell Kojo Xonu, Activista Ghana
The Africa We Want Civil Society Alliance on African Governance Architecture (AGA) and African on Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG) is made up of 14 civil society organisations – ActionAid Ghana, ActionAid Nigeria, ActionAid Sierra Leone, ActionAid Zambia, ActionAid Zimbabwe, ActionAid Tanzania, ActionAid Uganda, ActionAid Mozambique, ActionAid Denmark, Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI), West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF), East African Civil Society Organizations’ Forum (EACSOF) and SADC Council of Non-Governmental Organisation (SADC – CNGO). The project, “Mobilizing Civil Society Support for Implementation of the African Governance Architecture” is being implemented with funding support from the European Commission.