What we do
Corruption. Violence before and after elections. Lack of youth access to political institutions. Suppression of freedom of speech in the media.
There are many issues to tackle when it comes to ensuring well-functioning democracy across the African Union.
So where to begin?
This project has determined that education, knowledge dissemination and advocacy are the most effective tools.
More specifically, a generation of young leaders will be trained on the issues that this project focuses on.
This will enable them to organize local initiatives, push for media attention and engage in high-level political advocacy to ignite democratic debate on the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.
What is going on?
There are a range of concrete activities running across partnering countries and elsewhere. Here are some examples.
Civil Society Organisations working on the project “Mobilising Civil Society Support for Implementation of the African Governance Architecture” on February 1-2, 2019 held an AU Pre-Summit Event in Addis Ababa to hold Heads of State and Governments accountable for the slow implementation, ratification and reporting on the African Charter for Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG).
From country to region to continent
The project scope goes all the way from local ward to continental conference room. Here is an example of how it works:
A young person is trained at one of the local ActionAid youth hubs called Global Platforms.
This person goes on to organize a localized group to push the democratic values of the ACDEG to the front of local citizens’ as well as politicians’ agendas.
This grassroots political work empowers and enables this young person - and their local partners - to now participate in meetings and political debates at the Regional Economic Committee (REC) level.
When policy goes from REC-level all the way to African Union (AU)-level, this one young person’s commitment and push for democracy ends up influencing policy at the highest levels - or perhaps they go themselves to engage in person at the AU-level.
Multiply this by thousands of youth across the continent, and the end result will be increased continent-wide political consciousness of the values of the ACDEG at the AU-level.
And in turn, this continent-wide consciousness will influence policy at the REC-level and policy at country-level, where politicians will feel the increased continent-wide push for the values and principles that they, as nation-states, agreed to pursue more than ten years ago in Addis Ababa.
The project partners seek to strengthen democracy across the African continent through a consistent push for the values of the African Governance Architecture, focusing on the African Charter for Democracy, Elections and Governance.
It does so through three main types of activities:
- Development of knowledge products (reports, advocacy strategies, training curriculum)
- Civil society outreach and campaigning such as trainings and citizen surveys
- Strategic advocacy efforts
Knowledge products inform civil society organization activities which in turn provide popular support for advocacy efforts.
At the same time, advocacy efforts serve to create visibility that then also make outreach more effective and create more well-rounded knowledge products with input from a wider range of people.
In this way, the different activities affect one another in a positive feedback loop.