Wole Babatunde Soyinka: Nigerian Nobel Laurette, Playwright, Poet and Essayist
We take it upon ourselves to ensure that the AU is not only known in every corner of the continent, but that every African in some way is involved in its programs and activities. We intend to embark on an AU information blitzkrieg of the continent with the objective of bringing all of us into the AU conversation. It is our mission to force such changes by information, media and communication and empowering all of us to influence AU policies and practices.
Through our vigorous and tireless media and advocacy programs, we aspire to change not only the image of the African Union, but also its practices – to the point where their policies and programs have a lasting and beneficial effect on the African citizen. It is also our dream to change the views, mindset and practices of the average African citizen about the AU and its Members. But such changes can only happen when all of us are reliably and sufficiently informed about what the AU is, empowered and enabled to influence its policies, and practices and are able to use our voices, institutions and legal instruments to hold our state managers accountable.
Service: All of us can be great, because all of us can serve. All you need is a heart full of grace and a soul surrounded by love.
We are dedicated to the cause of Africa and absolutely determined to achieve what we have set for ourselves. We are results oriented.
Innovation: There must be another way of achieving the objectives of the AU. We refuse to accept the status quo of poverty, inequality, economic stagnation, conflicts, bad governance and human rights violations in Africa. The African condition is not fatal. If there is an ‘x’ way of doing something, there must be a ‘y’ way of doing the same thing. We believe that best practices are never static; and as such, are open to innovative and cost-effective approaches that can improve the quality of our programs.
Sharing: We cherish the exchange of knowledge, experience, ideas and skills among ourselves, with our partners and other stakeholders – Africa needs to share all what it has. You cannot call yourself a rich and successful person if the people surrounding you are poor and live on your goodwill and handouts.
Our chapters are the engines of AU Watch. They are highly autonomous.They do all of the practical work of implementing the in-country projects and programs of AU Watch.
A major task of our chapters is to ensure that our activities are effectively publicized in-country. Such publicity involves, for example and where appropriate, organizing interviews with leading AU and UN personalities that visit the country. They are involved in organizing seminars, workshops, press conferences and briefings and various types training on AU related issues. Many of our chapters also organize schools’ athletics, football and other sports competitions on key regional dates to commemorate those dates, like Africa Human Rights Day. Some of our more established chapters are also involved organizing debating and moot court competitions for schools and colleges; spelling competitions for junior and senior schools, and radio and TV debates on AU matters.
Some of our chapters have an AU Watch radio and studio sourcing and providing content for that chapter. Theyare also able to provide audio-visual and print materials for use by community groups or outreach workers and work with local community organizations to convene discussion groups, road shows, street theatre and community events on issues that affect their daily lives and that are important to AU Watch.
The objective is to reach people who might not ordinarily have access to mass media and facilitate more discussion, deepening our impact and providing vital opportunities for audiences to input into program-making.
The full quote from Martin Luther King is “All of us can be great, because all of us can serve. You don’t need a university degree to serve; you don’t even need to know the second law of thermo-dynamics in physics to serve, all you need is a heart full of grace and a soul surrounded by love”.
Mandate of the Chapter Committee (CC)
The mandate of the SC is to oversee and evaluate the work of its Directorate and its various Sections. The Committee will set policy for its corresponding Directorate and engage in strategic planning and development of the work of its Directorate and Sections. The Chapters take responsibility of all the in-country projects and programs of AU Watch, ensuring that:
Can you help? Take part in ‘Project Understanding the Work of the AU.’ The project involves developing courses on the AU, its institutions and its Member States
Directorates of AU Watch are the secretariat and administrative arm of the organization. The Directorate of the Chapters Program is based in Banjul, The Gambia.
There are eleven Directorates. Working with its Supervisory / Advisory Sub-committee, each Directorate ensures that policies are translated into practice. In other words, in conjunction with the various Chapters, governments, partners (local and international) and our thousands of volunteers, field operatives and other experts, the Directorates knuckle down and do the day-to-day work of AU Watch. The Directorates translate policies of the Governing Council and Strategic Leadership Group into action.
The main task of the AU Watch chapters is to ensure that AU Watch’s activities are effectively publicized in-country. Such publicity shall involve, for example and where appropriate, organizing interviews with leading AU and UN personalities that visits the country, seminars, yearly schools athletics, football and other sports competition, 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.
Research, Evaluation and Analysis
AU Watch has twodedicated Research Units at the Policy Programs and Administrative Directorate (PPAD) and the AU Organs Policy Directorate. So, in addition to the massive amounts of research and analysis connected with these two programs, the organization is mandated to carry out or commission research and analysis at the country level that strengthens the field and shapes its operations.
These researches target a variety of audiences, including law and development practitioners, policymakers, national and international organizations, academics, students, media professionals and grass root communities. The objective is for such projects to produce a variety of outputs, including edited volumes, policy and research briefs, guidelines and principles, and reports of different kinds.
The chapters carry out projects in collaboration with local colleges and universities that are comparative in nature, (sub) regional in scope, and on topics which the PPAD or the other AU Watch directorates do not have the resources to do. These projects are designed to be policy friendly, and at the same time normatively rich, so as to contribute to giving content to issues AU Watch is promoting.
Policy and Media Relations
The chapters work with local media organizations and policymakers to change attitudes and mindset and to bring about practical help on the ground. We use the power of media and communication to help people understand the AU and participate in its activities. The chapters are involved in development and poverty alleviation projects. The objective is to empower individuals and communities to understand and claim their rights. Through our advocacy campaigns, lobbying and practical programs, we aim to influence local and national policy makers to adopt policies and positions that will advance human rights, democracy, good governance, sustainable development, regional integration and much of the objectives of the AU.
Sharing Knowledge and Experiences
Our Sections provide advice and analysis, share knowledge and experience to help local policy makers formulate policy. They offer training, organize briefings, seminars, and conferences to inform policy on a variety of AU matters. Attendees will include local and national politicians, local and international journalists and media organizations in the country, local and international CSOs, officials from the AU, UN, EU and others. The Sections provide advice and recommendations on constitutional matters, guidelines, principles, and other foundational documents in local justice, governance, human rights and related fields.
AU Watch Chapters are also involved in the following:
1. Promoting active citizenship activities, including building the capacities of individuals and communities to understand the African Union and effectively engage with it, providing policy analysis, financial and logistic support to enable all Africans to participate in its activities and participate in influencing the decision-making process at the local level. They collaborate with local media organizations in various projects and programs including training aimed at increasing advocacy, media and communications capacity of our partners. This includes covering and celebrating key AU dates (like African Human Rights Day 16 October, AU Day, UN Human Rights Day, 10 December etc) by the media.
2. Working with the various ministries of education, schools, colleges and universities to include in their curriculum a study of ‘Understanding the Work of the AU’ including the African Human Rights System.
3. Ensuring that headquarters gets a compilation of an up-to-date directory / analysis of the various indices of that country.
4. The Chapters supplies headquarters with an up-to-date address list, telephone and fax numbers and email address of all the relevant CSOs in that country. The Chapters assists CSOs that do not have a web address to acquire one. AU Watch will look into the possibility of paying for such a web presence.
5. The Section supplies headquarters with a monthly compilation of an up-to-dated address list, telephone and fax numbers and email address of all police stations, prisons and detention centers in that country.
For more information on the Chapters Program – fact sheets, briefings reports, position and research papers, articles, news reports, op eds, TV and radio broadcast schedules, communiqués, press statements and releases, legislative briefs, and general information and what you can do to assist the team, please email [email protected]
Central African Republic
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo
Sahrawi Republic (Western Sahara)
São Tomé and Príncipe