AU Watch

Our Impact

“The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment.”
Tony Robbins, Motivational Speaker and Businessman

We are different in the way we think and do things. We are trusted. Established in 2015, AU Watch is non-partisan, non-profit research and evidence-driven organization. Our thinking and ‘Just Imperative is the cornerstone of our credibility and our success. We have simply refused to accept the status quo. We accept that a huge part of the truth is that, we as Africans have not been kind to ourselves. A better way is possible and doable, because we are not your usual African CSO. We think outside the box, allowing us to develop fresh ideas, challenge orthodoxies and take the risks we need to succeed.

We are innovative in the ways in which we generate ideas, bring people together, communicate our work and increase our influence.  The changes we seek require local knowledge, new relationships and perspectives, and credibility with decision-makers.

AU Watch exists to have real impact for those who need it most. This is at the centre of our thinking about what to do, where to go and how we measure our success.

Our lives are a battlefield on which is fought a continuous war between the forces that are pledged to confirm our humanity and those determined to dismantle it; those who strive to build a protective wall around it, and those who wish to pull it down; those who seek to mould it and those committed to breaking it up those who aim to open our eyes, to make us see the light and look to tomorrow […] and those who wish to lull us into closing our eyes.” 

Ngugi Wa Thiongo

How We Effect Changes?

  1. Bringing the AU to the people: A characteristic of a peaceful state is that political legitimacy is derived from the people, not only through elections, but also good citizen-state relations, national unity, popular ownership of political processes and public goods and services. The people are the sovereign. Excluding people from decision-making processes can perpetuate unjust and unequal practices, which in fragile and conflict-affected countries can fuel or re-ignite violent conflicts. We create impact because, literally, we bring the AU to the people and provide a platform for the AU to explain itself to the people it is supposed to be serving. AU Watch TV and radios will be a major tool to empower people and communities to have the power to claim their basic human rights, to escape poverty, injustice, and misrule. We contribute to changes in policy and practice and helping to shift attitudes and behaviours around issues important to Africa.
  1. What makes AU Watch unique and stands out in relation to other bodies providing policy advice in Africa, is that apart from relying on the informed analytical expertise of our own researchers, who are largely independent about what they write, we are the only organization in Africa and probably in the world that uses outreach services, media and communication in the manner in which we do. AU Watch shall have its own TV and Online radio stations, YouTube channels, blogs etc. Our goal is to liberate viewers from the traditional cable TV model by empowering our Board and staff to deliver high quality AU news content directly to mobile and smart TV devices to a world-wide audience. AU Watch Media Directorate shall guarantee quality, speed, simplicity and freedom with playback quality formatted for clear display on all devices, seamlessly integrating with, for example, Chromecast, AppleTV, Roku and other streaming services to turn any device into a cable box + remote control combo. We understand that media and communication can have a deep and positive result on the lives of people – especially on the poor and vulnerable.
  1. Promoting constructive engagement: We promote constructive engagement with the leadership of the AU. We thus provide an essential forum, through our media and other related activities, for navigating the bewildering world of African politics within the foremost African institution by galvanizing our uniquely influential network of journalists, regional scholars, and leaders to shape the AU we all want – a people-centered Through media and communication and outreach work and through our various activities and interventions on all areas of the AU, and through the papers we write, the ideas we generate and the communities we are building, AU Watch shapes policy choices and strategies to create a more secure and prosperous Africa.
  1. Information dissemination: The objectives, mission, and vision of the African Unionare At AU Watch, we are first-class communicators and convenors, from our expert commentary to high-profile public and closed-door events, in-depth research reports to top-level media interviews. Without the active participation of civil society and other interest groups, it will be impossible for the AU to fulfil their very venerable and esteemed objectives. They need the contribution of all those interested in African affairs. So, our work is important because we work with the AU to strengthen its contribution to attaining the objectives it has set for itself. Our work helps the AU and its Recs increase the impact of their work and avoids inadvertently further alienating the growing dissatisfied mass of young people who do not know what it does, and for those who may have some idea, don’t care about it, or worse who believe it is not fit for purpose. Through our comprehensive media, outreach and education programs and activities, we raise awareness, expand and disseminate information and understanding of AU affairs.
  1. Our advocacy and campaigning strategy: When populations are subjected to arbitrary power, and their demands for fairness and justice are not met, there is always the risk of violence. As a social justice organization working to challenge and combat corruption, poor governance, injustice, inequality and human rights violations in Africa, our work is important because we campaign to change the way the AU and its Members conduct business that has kept individuals and whole communities locked in poverty and injustice. We are convinced that no matter how corrupt or intransigent some regimes are, they ultimately have to listen to the voices of their people. Many times the survival of their regimes and governments will ultimately depend on them listening to the voices of their people and the world, especially if a lot of us are saying the same thing – we urge you to join us to use your voice as well.
  • For some very complex reasons, which cannot be examined here, effecting some types of changes in Africa are herculean endeavors. Apparently simple issue like FGM, child marriages and getting all our children intoschool are riveted with challenges. Now try reasoning with Paul Kagame of Rwanda or Paul Biya of Cameroon, or Yoweri Museveni of Uganda orTeodoroObiangNguemaMbasogo of Equatorial Guinea (and that is true for all the African gerontocracy) to gracefully hand over power to another generation. I think the point has been made. Our work is important because together and continuously – all of us are going to raise our voices and deliver an almighty shout for the changes we want to see in Africa.
  • Our work is important because we take our campaigns to the political seats of governments in the West and in Asia, including the UN and the EU, to assist Africa to bring to book western and Asian multinationals that are involved in the rape of Africa.
  • Our work is important because we take our campaigns not only to the doors of the AU and AUMS, but also to the corridors and board rooms of multinational companies that are colluding with Africa’s leaders to rob from Africa.
  • Our work is important because we take our campaigns to the airwaves of Western radio and TV stations to assist us spread the word that there is no hiding place any longer for Western and Asian multinationals involved in committing crimes against Africa.
  1. International Legal action: Our work is important because we intend to take international legal actions against international financial institutions that have colluded with corrupt leaders in Africa to hide stolen monies belonging to the African people. We intend to get those monies back!
  1. Bolstering the capacity of the AU: International institutions like the AU play an important role in supporting governments and communities. It has great potentials to properly usher Africa into the 21st Unfortunately, the AU’s practical capabilities suffer from a persistent capabilities-expectations gap, falling well short of the ambitious vision and rhetoric contained in many of its documents. The AU is aware that its performance and effectiveness are patchy and, in many cases, not effective. Many of its constituents even doubt its usefulness. But we are of the view that the AU’s shortcomings are not fatal. It remains, in our considered opinion, the best alternative for achieving regional peace and prosperity for Africa. Together we can bolster the AU’s capacity in the near and long terms. In that regard, our projects are rooted in local people’s experiences and understanding – providing insight into people lives to ensure that our projects reflect their needs and circumstances. Underpinning all our projects is the objective of empowering the African citizenry, help them make sense of the socio-economic and political events, within their countries and within Africa’s multilateral organisations. Our progarms engage in dialogue with Africa’s state managers and take action to improve their lives. Consequently, strengthening capacity is key to our work with individuals, communities, media professionals, the AU and its member states, and other CSOs. By sharing skills and knowledge, we improve people’s ability to make informed choices and improve their lives.

Development policy and practice must change in Africa: We reject the popular and conventional paradigm of ‘community development’ as presently conceptualized and executed. You will be hard pressed to find a successful (and now independent) NGO in Africa which has benefitted from community development loans or aid packages. Yet the traditional wisdom by Western donors, the World Bank and other donors is to use the failed community development model. Our development model seeks to assist individuals and, when communities are involved, they must satisfy very stringent criteria. Our work is important because we intend to make a practical difference in the lives of people. We give practical assistance to the most vulnerable members of our communities. Whether we are participating in constructing a library or girls training institute or litigating for the protection of human rights in front of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, or the Ecowas Court of Justice, our intention is to ensure that we make a difference to address regional challenges that demand AU attention and leadership. We provide practical help like grants, loans and technical assistance for projects benefiting the African youth, women, and vulnerable communities. We assist the AU and its Member States to achieve the goal of serving vulnerable communities through sustainable community development. We are also publishing ‘Musical Chairs How Western NGOs are Engaged in a Big Rip Off! It is a story of how big Western aid organizations have received billions of dollars in donation but have spent very little in the target countries. Besides there is very little on the ground to show for the vast amounts of money they claim to have spent. We aim to:

  • Design and develop AU curricula: Working with the AU and other partners, AU Watch ensures that every educational institution in Africa has as part of their studies and training a course on AU affairs. 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 assist the AU to raise their profile and their presence in Member States, so that ordinary Africans not only know what the AU is doing, they can also participate in its activities
  • Project no child left behind:Our work is important because AU Watch is leading a regional project, wherein every child we will be school, and stay in school, till the age of 18, within the next 20 years! AU Watch has developed a teaching programme that makes it possible to teach thousands of children across the region with limited teachers. The project will also ensure that every child have at last a meal in school.
  1. Authoritative research and analysis: Critical thinking, research, evaluation, and analysis underpin all that we do. We carry out authoritative research on the AU in formats accessible to a broad audience, as well as independent and rigorous analysis of critical African, regional and country-specific challenges and opportunities related to the AU, its institutions, and programs. We research the role organizations like the AU and its Recs play in peace, conflict, human rights and development in the region. We advise them on how to reform their policies and practices for working with Member States. We also provide them with context analysis; technical expertise and training on a variety of subjects to ensure their strategies and projects take into account local dynamics. Our research also aims to create an environment for change. We are aware that failure to base policy and programs on sound political, scientific, economic and social analysis can have disastrous consequences for whole communities. Growing inequalities, social deprivation, discrimination, hunger, and disease are all caused by poor decision making and neglecting to implement evidence-based We will be known for our innovative and in-depth approach to research, our high-quality teaching and as a regional knowledge hub that transforms peoples’ lives through our ground-breaking work.
  1. We believe passionately that cutting-edge research, knowledge and evidence are crucial to achieving the transformative changes that will bring about more equal, sustainable and safe societies where everyone can live secure, fulfilling lives free from poverty and injustice.We work with partners to achieve an Africa we all want to see, where inequalities are reduced, sustainability accelerated, and were we build more inclusive and secure societies. We do this by our media and communication practice and by delivering and mobilizing high quality research and knowledge that informs policy and practice.