AU Watch

About Us

“If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed, the vision pulls you.”

Steven Paul Jobs, CEO and Co-founder of Apple Inc.

AU Watch is a non-partisan, non-profit, research and advocacy think-and-do tank on the AU and AU Member States. AU Watch monitors the AU by the standard of its Constitutive Act and the standards of the legal instruments of its various institutions. It challenges and holds to account the AU and States Parties to the Constitutive Act to live up to those standards and ideals they have set for themselves. We believe AU leadership is essential in the regional struggle for security, development, and human rights, so we press the AU and its states managers to respect the laws they create and the treaties they sign. When they fail, we step in to demand reform, accountability, and justice.

AU Watch believes that inspiring and empowering Africans to know and claim their rights can have a significant impact in the struggle for the Africa we all want to see. It believes that if citizens know and are able to claim such rights it can assist in addressing inequality, lead to increased prosperity and a just, peaceful and secure Africa. We believe that good governance, social justice and respect for human rights are key requirements for regional stability and achieving Agenda 2063. We also believe that the AU, as the most important multilateral forum for Africa, has an indispensable role in achieving such goals, and that Africans, wherever they are, should be able to contribute to a more effective AU.

We believe in tackling issues and crisis from all angles, and campaign to make change happen for everyone everywhere. We deliver knowledge and expert guidance to the AU and AUMS for the resolution of political, economic and social problems through advocacy, research and analysis.

Our head office is located in Banjul, The Gambia, with other offices in Sierra Leone, Senegal, Canada, Germany and the UK.

AU Watch is governed by a 15-member Council of Governors, whose Chairperson reports to the Annual General Meeting.

At AU Watch, we have earned our distinction for effecting change through our focus on:

Use of Media for Social Justice, Human Rights and Development

The media and communication are powerful tools to hold power to account. No matter how thick skinned a government is, no government loves to be in the cross hairs of negative publicity. So, we use the power of media and communication to hold the AU and its Members to account. Our aim is to inform, connect and empower all of us people around the world.

We harness AU Watch’s creativity on TV, radio, the press, online and new media to understand what the AU and its Members say they are doing on our behalf. We support and work in partnership with local media and creative industries to create content to give marginalised groups a stronger voice. We do this by promoting capacity building for media houses and journalists, empowering budding journalists with the skills and knowledge to work in the media industry, and facilitating constructive multi-stakeholder dialogue and collaboration. We conduct research to inform, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of our work. Read More

Leadership spotlight

Hon. Bahame Tom Mukirya Nyanduga, Chairperson of AU Watch

Hon. Bahame Tom, Mukirya Nyanduga is the Chairperson of AU Watch. He is the UN Independent Expert on the Human Rights Situation in Somalia, since May 2014. He was the Chairperson for the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance of the United Republic of Tanzania- appointed in January 2015. Hon. BTN Nyanduga was also the Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. He is one of the leading human rights defenders in the continent and has been for over forty years.

Dr Feyi Ogunade,  Executive Director

Dr Feyi Ogunade was previously a Senior Legal Advisor at the African Union leading work on the promotion and protection of human rights in Africa. In his 30 years as a (motivational) speaker, journalist, human rights activist, political commentator, international lawyer, university lecturer, fundraiser, and consultant, Feyi has taken CSOs of all sizes to new heights – and earned an international reputation for excellence in the process. Feyi serves on several company boards and advisory committees for non-profit organizations, and is actively involved in numerous development initiatives across Africa.

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AU Watch Policy Currents

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    We also effect change effecting change through:








A Rights Based Approach

The equal and inalienable rights of all human beings provide the foundation for freedom, justice and peace in the world, according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948. Achieving equality and dignity of all also underpins the Constitutive Act and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights which guides our work. Taking a human rights-based approach is about making sure that people’s rights are put at the very centre of policies and practices.








Outreach Services

Allied with our advocacy work, is our work with communities to tackle the causes of social injustice through outreachand education. We,especially, give women and disadvantaged people a voice to speak out against the laws, actions and policies that keep them in poverty. We work with the AU and its Member States to listen and take action!








Advocacy & Campaign

Through our media and communication work, we provide a platform for citizens to be a meaningful part of the AU project, empowering all of us not only to demand accountability from our leaders, but also to ask questions and demand social justice. We provide a space for all Africans to contribute to the AU dream of a truly united, peaceful and prosperous Africa, including acting as a forum for the AU to reach the masses. We offer Africa’s women, youths and especially some of Africa’s most excluded communities a space to question the AU and be part of the discussions about the type of AU ‘we’ want (that is, if we want an AU at all!) and how the AU and AUMS can create effective institutions in Africa that allows meaningful participation by the populace.

Countering the Fake News Syndrome

Through the use of new media and communication,we bolster citizen engagementto challenge the manipulation of public opinion over social media platforms. We harness new disruptive digital technologies toanalyse and examine the AU’s governance, democratization and human rights architecture, with the goal of transforming the way the AU and AUMS serve and engage with their citizens. We provide a platform to connect, empower and encourage government reformers, media practitioners, citizen mobilizers and activists committed to transforming government and society through openness.








Research & Analysis

Research and evaluation in formats accessible to a broad audienceunderpins all that we do at AU Watch. We also carry outindependent and rigorous analysis of critical African, regional and country-specific challenges and opportunities related to the AU, its institutions, and programs. Research strengthensour work, helps us to evaluate ourimpact and reach, and contributes tothe exchange of policy ideas.








Critical Thinking

At AU Watch we proud ourselves with critical thinking – which we describe as the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking. Our Experts and Researchers rigorously question ideas and assumptions always, seeking to determine whether the ideas, arguments and findings represent the entire picture. By basing our adaptation on insights and evidence gathered through a broad, empirically driven process, we are able to continually optimize the impact of our interventions.








Strategic Patnering

We promote constructive engagement with a vast array of actors, including the AU and AUMS. We understand that in today’s interdependent world, no single sector or force is responsible for creating the challenges we all face. We also understand that no single sector or organisation can address these problems alone. Especially in Africa, we understand that real solutions require deeper integration and coordination of actors, including the AU and its publics, working together to apply their unique and specific skills, talents, and advantages. In this way, creating and supporting strategic partnerships, coalitions, and networks is a core part of our strategic approach.








Conflict Analysis

Today’s conflicts have mutated into complex systems that are driven by multiple and competing interests. Our conflict prevention and risk analysis helps prevent such conflicts in the region by assisting the AU and AUMS improve the understanding of the latest human security developments on the continent. Our conflict analysis provides an evidence base to enable strategic and targeted responses to better manage new forms of transition and turbulence, and reduce the likelihood of a (re-)emergence of violent conflict.








Policy Analysis

To engage with our leaders AU Watch organises policy seminars at the margins of key meetings of the AUC and its institutions. For example, it organises the ‘NGO Forum on the Summit of Heads of State and Government,’ at every Summit, and for two days before the policy organs meet – to strengthen cooperation on democratic values, defend common interestsand debate the major issues facing the continent.The events, which comprise of keynote speakers and open discussion, help to frame topics, generate ideas and support programming.Our policy and analysis are based on lessons learned from years of working with the AU and with our communities in Africa.








Leverage

By galvanisingour exclusively influential network of regional leaders, researchers, journalists, analysts and scholars, we provide a platform for understanding and addressing many of the challenges faced by our communities. To also meet the opportunities and threats of the future a new approach is needed that gives greater freedom and responsibility to our communities. We believe that civil society is central to our approach of using leverage – particularly the resourcefulness and energies of our women and our youth.We use our army of young people a space to question the AU and hold those in power to account.








Strengthening Capacity

We support training and capacity building in many areas of AU related programs like human rights, education and social justice. We design and develop curricula and teaching materials on the AU for primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, military and police academies and technical and vocational schools.We provide practical help like grants, loans and technical assistance for projects benefiting the African youth, women, and vulnerable communities. The aim here is to assist the AU and its Members to achieve the goal of serving vulnerable communities through sustainable community development.








M&E

To achieve the greatest possible impact, AU Watch engages in evidence-based work. We, therefore, evaluate every initiative in terms of effectiveness, relevance, efficiency, sustainability and impact, with a strong focus on generating key lessons and identifying promising practices for learning.  We track and measure the progress of individual programs and projects against specific goals and outcomes to ensure that they are delivering the desired outcomes. This helps usto take correctivemeasures as needed. It also ensuresparticipation, transparency and accountability in how our work is designed and implemented.








Mobilization of the Masses

Our strategy is what we would love to refer to as the “mobilisation of the masses” – a kind of ‘voxpopuli!’ The manner in which the AU and AUMS are structured make the masses the only force capable of challenging the status quo. The mobilisation of the masses and the release of their ‘combative potential’ is a basic necessity for effecting change at both the macro and regional level. When enough of us shout from our roof tops, the AU and its Members have no alternative but to listen!








Consultancy Services

We provide consultancy in many sectors and themes, including tailored guidance, frameworks and technical advice for partners, donors, businesses, governments, and institutions. We help them implement policies and interventions which promote social justice, good governance, sustainable development, security, human rights and peace.








AU Watch Chapters

The heart-beat of AU Watch is our chapters which perform a variety of roles in advocacy, campaigns and delivering programme objectives.They take responsibility for all in-country projects and programs of AU Watch, ensuring that all our activities are effectively publicized. Such publicity shall involve, for example, organizing interviews with leading AU personalities that visit the country, organising seminars, press briefings and other local activities. Our chapters are responsible for supplying the latestinformation of the various human rights and development indices of that country – information that will be part of the development or human rights entry of that country in our Yearbook, ‘State of the Union: Development.’ Do you want to get involved with AU Watch or want to start an active AU Watch chapter in your area? It’s not difficult. Here’s how to get one started.








Organising  Events

Using a variety of channels – from radio, blogs, news, academic journals, Web features, op-eds and TV appearances – to conferences, workshops and roundtables, research reports, speaking engagements and books, AU Watch works vigorously to present citizens with incisive and understandable analysis of its own work and the work of the AU. We run hundreds of private and public events –, interviews with leading AU and AUMS personalities, press conferences / briefings, radio and TV dramas, on stage performances, films, documentaries and various types of seminars.We also run various schools’events, including sports competitions, debates, moot court competitions, spelling competitions for junior and senior schools, schools’radio and TV debates on AU matters.

How AU Watch Makes the Difference

Over its short history, AU Watch has continuously demonstrated that media and communication, rigorous research and analysis can help address some of Africa’s most challenging problems.

 

How We are Funded

AU Watch benefits from a wide range of philanthropic, research-related and membership support. This diversity of global support is critical to the independence of the organization

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