AU Watch

Democratic Governance & Accountability

Among the seven key aspirations listed in Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want the AU’s shared 50-year development and transformation program for realizing the full potential of the continent—one stands out in its interconnectedness: “[a]n Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law”. The key to Africa’s political and economic transformation in the next decade is found in this aspiration. Indeed, as former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said, “Good governance is perhaps the single most important factor in eradicating poverty and promoting development.”

AU Watch works to support an accountable AU, accountable AU Member States and institutions that are responsive, effective, and transparent. We advocate, promote and campaign for the rule of law; institutional strengthening and reform; public financial management; local governance and decentralization; transparency and accountability; anti-corruption efforts; legislative strengthening; citizen advocacy and engagement for improved governance and service delivery; and media strengthening for government oversight.

AU Watch’s work on democratic governance is anchored in the standards that AU Member States have agreed, including political pluralism, institutional accountability and responsiveness, an active civil society, human rights, the rule of law, and democratic elections.

AU Watch makes governance work by helping:
• The AU and its Members provide information about what they are doing so that citizens can effectively participate in their activities and for them to better respond to citizen demands.

• Citizens become consumers of information and advocates for democracy, human rights and rule of law.

• AU lawmakers and civil society create sustainable reforms through positive feedback mechanisms and systems effects.

• Designs and implements programs to assist AU Member States to improve laws, institutions and democratic processes, with a focus on strengthening parliaments and ensuring pluralist political party systems.

AU Watch makes governance work by helping:

  • The AU and its Members provide information about what they are doing so that citizens can effectively participate in their activities and for them to better respond to citizen demands.
  • Citizens become consumers of information and advocates for democracy, human rights and rule of law.
  • AU lawmakers and civil society create sustainable reforms through positive feedback mechanisms and systems effects.
  • Designs and implements programs to assist AU Member States to improve laws, institutions and democratic processes, with a focus on strengthening parliaments and ensuring pluralist political party systems. Read More
  • Supporting the efforts of participating States to improve democratic governance by increasing the level of women’s participation in politics. Read More
  • Working in partnership with African local civil society organizations, encouraging them to contribute actively to debates on democratic governance both at the AU and nationally. AU Watch strengthens their ability through training, education and advocacy to contribute to these debates and by providing logistical and financial support to these organisations.
  • Working with The Gambia Chapter, we are working with the Banjul City on a thematic programme “Strengthening institutional frameworks for local governance.”

    Our work involves us directly working with the municipality supporting the mayor in promoting more ethical and transparent governance, and using tools and techniques which will foster active citizen participation in local decision-making processes. Working with a range of local experts and practitioners in the fields of local governance and ethics, representatives of national associations of local authorities and civil society, we are providing specific regional and international expertise on citizen engagement and participatory democracy.

Over arching aims

Strengthen capacity of civil society to monitor the local government institutions and officials, and to promote effective accountable and participatory local governance aiming to increase the level of awareness of citizens about municipalities work, and provide technical means to facilitate communication between the municipality and the public.

Specific Objectives
1. To increase transparency and accountability of the Banjul Municipality through modern communication methods that promote and improve citizen and civil society participation, and to make community related information accessible for all.

2. Developing a communications plan for the municipality and make citizen engagement continuous. We implement innovative technologies that will increase citizen awareness on municipal services and participation opportunities; establish participatory and partnership-based relations between citizens and civil servants through social media.

3. By assisting, through training, to improve the work of local civil servants and thereby improve the quality of municipal services, and assisting the council to develop community involvement in a participatory budget process, and producing a transparent personnel policy which includes, recruitment, training, publishing vacancies through the platform and showing competitive selection on-line.

Want to know more or take part in our democracy project? Write to us.