Pixley Ka IsakaSeme, Pan Africanist and Freedom Fighter, South Africa
AGENDA 2063 is Africa’s blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future. It is the continent’s strategic framework that aims to deliver on its goal for inclusive and sustainable development and is a concrete manifestation of the pan-African drive for unity, self-determination, freedom, progress and collective prosperity pursued under Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance. The genesis of Agenda 2063 was the realisation by African leaders that there was a need to refocus and reprioritise Africa’s agenda from the struggle against apartheid and the attainment of political independence for the continent which had been the focus of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the precursor of the African Union; and instead to prioritise inclusive social and economic development, continental and regional integration, democratic governance and peace and security amongst other issues aimed at repositioning Africa to becoming a dominant player in the global arena.
As an affirmation of their commitment to support Africa’s new path for attaining inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development African heads of state and government signed the 50th Anniversary Solemn Declaration during the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the formation of the OAU /AU in May 2013. The declaration marked the re-dedication of Africa towards the attainment of the Pan African Vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens, representing a dynamic force in the international arena, and Agenda 2063 is the concrete manifestation of how the continent intends to achieve this vision within a 50 year period from 2013 to 2063. The Africa of the future was captured in a letter presented by the former Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.
Agenda 2063 seeks to deliver on a set of Seven Aspirations each with its own set of goals which if achieved will move Africa closer to achieving its vision for the year 2063. These 7 Aspirations reflect our desire for shared prosperity and well-being, for unity and integration, for a continent of free citizens and expanded horizons, where the full potential of women and youth are realised, and with freedom from fear, disease and want.
Why Is Agenda 2063 Important?
Changing Global Context
According to the AU, Agenda 2063 is an approach of how the continent should effectively learn from the lessons of the past, build on the progress now underway, and strategically exploit all possibilities available in the short, medium and long term, so as to ensure positive Socio-economic transformation within the next 50 years.
Globalization and the information technology revolution have provided unprecedented opportunities for countries and regions with the right policies to make significant advances and lift huge sections of populations out of poverty, improve incomes and catalyse economic and social transformation.
Agenda 2063 is both important and timely for a number of reasons:
A More United and Stronger Africa
Pan-Africanism remains a topical subject. But what is Pan-Africanism, especially within the context of Agenda 2063? Broadly, it is the movement for the social, economic, cultural and political liberation of Africa and African peoples, including those of the African diaspora. This movement can be thought of as a river with many different streams and currents.
What underlies the manifold visions and approaches is a belief in the unity, common history and purpose of the peoples of Africa and the diaspora and the notion that their destinies are interconnected. Much of this is defined by the need to oppose Eurocentrism and reclaim Africa’s rightful place in history.
Africa today is more united, a global power to reckon with, capable of rallying support around a common agenda and speaking with one voice with demonstrated strong capacity to negotiate and withstand the influence of forces that would like to see it divided.
Strong and Well-Functioning Regional Institutions
Africa’s regional institutions are the building blocks have been rationalized and the eight officially AU recognized Regional Economic Communities – Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CENSAD), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC), Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS),Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Arab Maghreb Union (UMA) are today strong development and political institutions that citizens’ can count on and Agenda 2063 can stand on.
New Development and Investment Opportunities
Africa today is faced with a confluence of factors that present great opportunity for consolidation and rapid progress. These include:
• Unprecedented positive and sustained growth trajectory of many African countries;
• Significant reduction in violent conflict, increased peace and stability, coupled with advances in democratic governance;
• A rising middle class, coupled with the youth bulge, which can act as catalyst for further growth, particularly in the consumer sectors and services;
• Changes in international finance architecture, with the rise of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and improved flows of Foreign Direct Investment.
The Need to Align Continental Frameworks, Improve Coherence and Synergy
At the continental level, the AU has endorsed several frameworks to advance the integration agenda, promote social and economic development, peace and security and democracy. In many cases, these remain isolated from each other and sectoral in approach. Agenda 2063 is an important opportunity to harmonize these continental frameworks, improve coherence and synergy and lay strong foundation for their full implementation.
The Need for Africa To Develop Its Own Long-Term Strategy To Regain Its Own Destiny
Several regions and countries reflecting on their long-term strategies see Africa as an important continent for their future prosperity and security. Africa must therefore develop its own long-term strategy based on African aspirations as well as its people’s ingenuity, creativity and hard work to regain its own destiny. The factors outlined above constitute a unique opportunity for Africa to capitalize upon. However, success depends upon acting in unity, transparency, willingness and capability to assess performance and correct mistakes and build on successes, placing citizens’ first, and sound governance and values. The desire to chart a new chapter in Africa’s development and the realization of the aspirations for a better future must be matched by renewed and sustained political commitment as exemplified by the 50th Anniversary Solemn Declaration.
This can be further strengthened through:
At AU Watch, we support the vision and dream of Agenda 2063.
Hon. Bahame Tom MukiryaNyanduga, 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. BTM 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, Chief Executive Officer
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’s Contributions To Agenda 2063
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By Dr Feyi Ogunade
In January 2014, the Chairperson of the AU predicted in “an Email from the Future”, written to a fictional Kwame what Africa will look like in 2063, at the time of the 100-year Anniversary of the OAU / AU project. It was a bold, positive, optimistic and confident message. With an ‘Email from the Future’ she had the audacity to light the flames of hope in a continent plagued with self-inflicted wounds. She made us hopeful. She asked us to keep the faith and hold the fort. As Harriet Tubman said, she dared us to dream, to “remember, that we have within us the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” She dared us to believe in a resurgent and reformed AU, to be optimistic that, even if not in our time, that better days are ahead for our children. Hope was reborn. Delivering her pitch from a comfortable hotel in Ethiopia’s Bahir Dar, she painted a vision too good to be believable – an Africa flowing with milk and honey. It seemed to be a vision straight out of the fabled Judeo-Christian philosophy and tradition. Like Eleanor Roosevelt she wanted us to embrace hope, to believe that “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” She wanted us to dream of a better tomorrow.
‘Hope’ is a good thing – such a beautiful word!
By then South Sudan, and Big Sudan Libya, Mali, the Great Lakes Region and their likes, and the endless Boko Haram’s of the continent would have beaten their swords into plough shears, the Confederation of African States will have been established in 2051, with integration driven by the African youth. By then we suppose, Africa would be enjoying visa-free travel to many places around the world and no more perilous back way travel to Europe by our youths in search of greener pastures. And why not? As a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council and the third largest economy, we would be the envy of the world. Monies in our wallets and purses to burn in Europe and America! Inter-African trade would have grown to nearly 50% by 2045 (from 12% in 2013) and business would be booming and dominated by Pan-African commercial giants in banking and finance, mining, food and beverages, tourism, construction, fisheries and ICT. We suppose, Africa might even be loaning out monies to countries in Asia and the West and those less fortunate than us! The magic would be in the masterful handling of our economies, as we would have consigned greed, corruption, inequality, human rights violations, poor governance and the ‘Tower of Babel’ languages to the dustbin of African history. With our very own lingua franca – KiSwahili, we would even be more loving as we spread our chocolate-like affection all over the place. We suppose even the lame would be made to walk, the speechless talk, the deaf hear as African medicine and pharmaceuticals would be second to none in the world. Shangri-La? She said it! With our expert analysis covering a wide range of issues, you be the judge!
If Only there were positive signs and movements from the AU and its Member States, that we could end the senseless fratricidal conflicts of South Sudan and their likes;
If Only there were positive signs and movements from the AU and its Member States, that we could get our ‘girls and boys back from the malevolent clutches of the Boko Harams menace;
If Only there were concrete signs and movements from the AU and its Member States for seriously addressing the defining challenges of our time –lack of opportunities for our youths, poor governance, extreme inequality, injustice, insecurity, corruption, climate change and human rights violations;
If Only the AU can get its Member States to start living up to their broken promises by signing, ratifying, domesticating and implementing the plethora of brilliant legal instruments they have passed within the last 50 years;
If Only the AU can get its Member States to lead by example, by paying fully for all its programs and activities, instead of being donor dependent – sending the wrong message to our youths that the West has money, and they should give it to us;
Then maybe an African Shangri-La is a possibility. Then maybe, we can dare to believe, we can dare to be optimistic and do a jig in the comfortable embrace of hope!
But until then, if like us you are disappointed and simply feeling let down by AU state system and the OAU/AU project;
If you are tired of the broken dreams and promises;
If you are tired of the lies and deception;
If you are tired of seeing your children go to bed hungry every day;
If you are tired of seeing your loved ones die because your government has failed to provide the necessary health facilities;
If you are tired of seeing the millions of children out of school, many of them forced to be beggars;
If you are tired of seeing our youths die in the Mediterranean Sea or North African desert;
If you are tired of senseless conflicts, tired of insecurity;
If you are tired of being afraid of the ever-present terrorist menace;
If you are tired of greedy and corrupt politics;
If you are tired of the loot by big business and corrupt state leaders;
If you are tired of climate change and its effects and the lack of response from our managers;
If you are tired of poverty, lack of opportunities, lack of education, social injustice and exclusion;
If you are tired of human rights violations, injustice, poor governance and corruption;
If you are tired of ……. (fill in the blanks as it affects you);
Then come join our cause. Simply put, the way the OAU /AU project works is just unacceptable. Come join us to overthrow the system, turn it upside down and inside out. Come join us to reclaim the OAU/AU project and make 2063 a living reality.
Come join us to declare poverty, lack of opportunities, lack of education, social injustice and exclusion, crimes that a state could be guilty of!
Come be part of a momentous and historic organization that seeks to hold the AU and its States Managers’ feet close to the fire.
Borne out of the frustration with the ineffectiveness of the OAU / African Union project and the broken promises of our AU Member States, some concerned citizens of Africa felt the need to assist the AU, its institutions and its Member States to live up to the endless promises they’ve made to us, which they have unashamedly broken over the last five decades.
AU Watch is a unique organization. It is unique in a number of ways.
• It is the first Pan-African organization set up solely to monitor and audit the activities and performance of the AU and AU Member States by the standards they have set for themselves. We challenge the AU and its States Parties to live up to those standards and ideals. When they fail, we step in to demand reform, accountability and justice.
• AU Watch is committed to advancing the wider understanding of the AU, its RECs, institutions and programs. It seeks to disseminate and expand information and understanding of AU affairs. Using media and communication it leads cutting edge and effective advocacy campaigns to ensure that decisions taken by the AU and its Member States are understood, publicized and implemented.
AU Watch recognizes and accepts that the AU is an organization that Africa and the world needs and is here to stay. It further recognizes and is convinced that the AU is the best political forum Africans have for multilateral dialogue and concerted action. We Africans should not only treasure it, but wherever we are should assist it in ensuring that it fulfills its mandate for the greater good of the continent and the entire world.
We invite you to explore our website. Call us. Write to us at any of our addresses below. This is your organization. Without your support it will not work. There is a role for everyone.
Go through our handbook and see how you can participate in delivering justice for Africa’s poor and marginalized communities! We mobilize people around the continent for change, and act in solidarity with other CSOs advocating and campaigning against injustice, poverty, human rights violations, corruption, poor governance, insecurity and inequality.
At AU Watch we are convinced that a democratic, human rights compliant, secure, forward looking, transparent Africa is possible. We are aware that the AU Watch project is a huge under takings, a task we simply cannot do without you.
How We Work?
Since it was set up in 2014 /15, it has taken a holistic approach to advocacy and campaigns.
The founders of AU Watch, all former officers of the African Union understood that the media can be a useful and powerful tool not only to confront human rights violations and address issues like insecurity, governance, democracy, poverty and ignorance, but can also be an indispensable medium in bringing the AU and its programs to the people who need it the most.
The importance and role of the media to correct injustices and advance human rights cannot be underestimated. We use the power of the media to monitor and report on the activities of the AUand holding it accountable to the standard of the Constitutive Act and the high ideals it has set for itself. In the process, we seek to advance the wider understanding of what the AU is, what it does and how it does it. Through our comprehensive media, outreach and education programs and activities, we raise awareness, expand and disseminate information and understanding of AU affairs.
In an era of sound bites and partisanship, we remain dedicated to providing clear, thoughtful, and independent analysis on vital public policy issues on the AU and its Member States. Using all means possible — from social media, adverts, AU Watch Online radio, blogs, news and academic journals, Web features, op-eds and AU Watch own TV, to seminars, conferences, research reports, speaking engagements and books — we work tirelessly to present citizens with incisive and understandable analysis of the work of the AU, its institutions and programs. In the 54 African countries, we run hundreds of private and public events – conferences, workshops and round tables, interviews with leading AU personalities, seminars, yearly schools athletics, football and other sports competitions, press conferences / briefings, schools / colleges debating competitions, moot court competitions for schools and colleges, spelling competitions for junior and senior schools and radio and TV debates on all AU matters.
Come Join Us!