A consortium of Civil Society Organisations across eight African countries working together in mobilizing support for the implementation of African Governance Architecture (AGA) after a five-day advocacy mission to the AU Commission has issued a communique calling for a fast track signing, ratification and implementation of the African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance (ACDEG).
The communique commended the AU Heads of States and Governments for developing the Charter as a road map for the promotion of good governance on the continent. It however also bemoaned on lack of urgency in the implementation of the Charter and the continued abuses of democratic rights of citizens.
The advocacy mission was held with AU Commission ahead of the extraordinary summit of AU head of states and governments in Addis Ababa.
Kindly read the full communique below:
COMMUNIQUE ISSUED BY THE CSO CONSORTIUM PROMOTING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AFRICAN CHARTER ON DEMOCRACY, ELECTION AND GOVERNANCE (ACDEG) AT THE END OF A FIVE-DAY ADVOCACY MISSION TO THE PRC AND AU COMMISSION AHEAD OF EXTRAORDINARY SUMMIT OF AU HEADS STATES & GOVTs IN ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA IN NOVEMBER
We, a consortium of Civil Society Organisations across eight countries in Africa including media, youth groups, ActionAid country offices, the Eastern, Western and Southern regional civil society forums working on the project, “Mobilizing Civil Society Support for Implementation of the African Governance Architecture” after a series of engagements with key stakeholders within the AU including the Permanent Representative Council (PRC), Departments of Political Affairs and Legal Council of the AU,
Highly Commend the AU Heads of States and Governments for developing the Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG) as a road map for the promotion of good governance on the continent and for the purposes of improving the democratic dividends and ensuring the attainment of the AU Vision.
Acknowledge that the Charter is indeed a profound commitment which implementation by the member states could lead to the realization of the change envisaged through the transition from the Organization for African Unity to African Union and Agenda 2063 of the Africa We Want.
Observe however, that, while the continent has made progress in the adoption of the ACDEG as a guiding principle, 33 out of 55-member states have signed and ratified, (leaving a total of 22 countries that have still not signed or ratified) and that the lack of urgency in the implementation of the Charter contradicts the rhetoric of moving from an African Union of leaders to an African Union of the People.
Are Deeply Concerned about the continued abuses of democratic rights of citizens, the shrinking civic space for effective citizen participation and the increasing levels of persecutions and prosecution of Human Rights Defenders that inhibit the attainment of the vision of the African Union and the African Citizens.
Are Disturbed about the migration challenges faced by African youths as a result of failures of our governments to deliver development to their citizens and hence the mass exodus of the youth of the continent to perish in the Mediterranean/Atlantic or the Sahara desert. Such that as the AU dedicates 2019 to “Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons in Africa” one key solution is for our governments to deliver development and surely not without fixing the challenges of good governance by implementing ACDEG.
Do Hereby Call on the African Union Heads of State and Governments to:
- Fast track the signing, ratification and implementation of the ACDEG and put forward clear timelines for the fulfillment of this commitment;
- Set up focal offices and capacitate such offices to be able to effectively report on the country’s status on the implementation of ACDEG;
- Collaborate with the Regional Economic Commissions (RECs) for the harmonisation and alignment of the ACDEG within the regional level protocols, policies on democracy and good governance;
- Incorporate standards that guarantee civic space in bilateral discussions and negotiations with governments where civic space is under threat;
- Support the formulation, enactment and implementation of the right to information law in countries that have not done so;
- Address the specific issues of youth migration, inclusive participation of women and the youth in governance, improve domestic resource mobilization such as progressive taxation and combating corruption in order to achieve the aspirations of the development agenda 2063.
The CSO Consortium is implementing a three-year project titled “Mobilizing Civil Society Support for Implementation of the African Governance Architecture” with funding support from the European Commission. The project is being implemented in eight countries across Africa and also within the regional blocs.
This Communiqué is Issued in Addis Ababa on November 9, 2018 and signed by the following organisations:
ActionAid Sierra Leone,
Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA),
Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI),
West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF),
East African Civil Society Organizations’ Forum (EACSOF)
SADC Council of Non-Governmental Organisations (SADC – CNGO)
Centre for Coordination of Youth Activities