Issue areas: Human rights, rule of law, citizenship, gender justice, transitional justice, political participation, public accountability
Politics in Africa remains unstable as arbitrary constitutional changes weaken democratic practice and new laws limit civil society activities in several countries. The need to promote citizen participation in the deliberation of public affairs – at local and national levels – is more pressing than ever. This culture of responsible citizenry must be met by improved performance by public officials and respect for human rights. We see an opportunity to encourage policymakers to draw on the considerable expertise of African researchers, advocates, and civil society to address these challenges.
Some results of this work:
- At the continental level, we helped set up the Centre for Citizens Participation at the African Union (CCP-AU) to observe and track the implementation of AU resolutions.
- In Liberia and Zimbabwe, we provided support to civil society groups at crucial political moments in each nation. We sought to ensure that citizens have the capacity to exercise their right to hold leaders to account for public policy choices, especially governance reforms.
- We have built the capacity of those working in the international criminal justice field, including in Francophone countries such as Mali and Côte d’Ivoire, and helped victims of atrocity crimes become involved in important dialogue processes for restitution.
- In order to instil confidence in Africa-led criminal justice processes, our support ensured that the recent trial of the former president of Chad in Dakar was properly observed and communicated across the continent and globally.