AU Watch

Media, Education, Communication & Outreach

“Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Why Media and Communication?

To Reach Out To You

The purpose of our media programs is just that – to reach out to you, to give you news, and analysis on and about the AU and AUMS. Known for its in-depth investigations, its incisive and timely reporting, its innovative and high-profile media advocacy campaigns, and its success in changing the development and human rights-related policies and practices of the AU, our goal is to provide you with current and straightforward information and news just about everything you should know about the AU, its organs, institutions and programs. Our media and communication work are coordinated by the Media, Outreach and Education Directorate.

In an era of sound bites and partisanship, AU Watch remains dedicated to providing clear, thoughtful, and independent analysis on vital public policy issues on the AU. Using all means possible —from social media, adverts, radio, blogs, news and academic journals, Web features, op-eds and TV appearances, 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. An informed population operating within a free and independent media is central to any democratic system. Promoting them is the AU Watch’s mission. We hope to contribute to ensuring that the AU and its Members live up to the high ideals they have set for themselves, and that the African media perform its role in supporting the AU in development and stabilization of peace, good governance democracy and development in Africa.

Helping To Correct Injustices

The importance and role of an informed and educated citizenry and the media to promote democracy, correct injustices and advance human rights cannot be underestimated, especially in Africa where so many people can’t read or write or have limited access to the media.Since it was set up AU Watch has taken a holistic approach to its use and support of the media in its regional and international cooperation efforts. The founders of AU Watch, all former officers of the African Union understood that education, communication, outreach work and the media can be useful and powerful tools not only to confront human rights violations and address issues like corruption, insecurity, governance, democracy, poverty and ignorance, but could also be indispensable mediums in bringing the AU and its programs to the people who need it the most.

Advancing Democracy and an Open Society

Don’t you think that for true democracy and the AU project to work, people need easy reliable access to independent, diverse sources of news and information? Most Africans and indeed the whole world are in agreement that African leadership generally has failed to connectwith the majority of Africans. So, we promote a free and independent media and use the power of the media to monitor and report on the activities of the AU and AUMS, holding them accountable to the standard of the Constitutive Act and the high ideals they have set for themselves.The AU and AUMS leaderships have failed to bring people into the conversation about the destiny of the AU, its Recs, institutions and organs and the manner in which we wish to be governed or not governed

Our outreach programs provides a platform for citizens to join in the AU debate and project, empowering all of us not only to ask questions of our leaders and take control of our own lives, but also to demand social justice and to ensure that all of us contribute to the AU dream of a truly united, peaceful and prosperous Africa. Thus, our scholars and analysts not only conduct independent research and analysis on a wide range of policy and practical issues, our army of youths, volunteers and other experts ensure that practical projects and programs are executed with the aim of assisting the AU and its Members achieve their objectives.

So That You Too Can Participate in the Way You are Being Governed

AU Watch produces TV news and programs, radio dramas, radio call-in, magazine shows, public service advertisements, billboards and interactive content for mobile phones. We make arrangements with national and local radio and TV stations to carry content about AU Watch activities and events. Working in partnership with local media houses AU Watch Studios are of service to the community. We sell our expertise and services to government, CSOs and individuals who may choose to use it. We also cover conferences, meetings, workshops, parties, and other events and activities. In collaboration with our IT and Media Directorates, we provide live streaming and or live broadcast for all AU meetings and events. The goal is simple: if you are in Mars and have internet access, you can still watch an AU event and follow our commentary and analysis, or even take part in our interactive debates.

Our specific media approach includes:

Training and capacity strengthening: This can take a number of forms, from hands-on training and intensive mentoring for media professionals and citizen journalists who work as watchdogs in the society.

Research and Impact: As with all of AU Watch’s programs media research and evaluation are at the heart of what we do as it strengthens our work, helps us to evaluate our impact and reach and contributes to the exchange of policy ideas. We carry out surveys and publish on a wide range of issues, like media indexes, investigative journalism, media law and much more.

Partnerships: By working in partnership with other CSOs, we share research findings and contribute to the exchange of new ideas and best practice about the role of media and communication in development.

Exhibitions and Awards

Exhibitions and awards are also distinctive elements of our media work. We promote (young) human rights activists, and annually award our prestigious Young Persons Inspirational Media Prize. Our media scholarship programs also help young human rights journalists by offering them projects specifically geared to their needs. We award prizes for excellence in local human rights journalism on AU related matters.

Our Other Awards
AU Watch Development Awards recognize the essential role that both non-profit and for-profit developers play in building communities in Africa. The Awards recognize outstanding achievement in neighborhood development and community building. Kwame Award for Human Rights Defenders in Africa, seeks to reward individuals and/or organisations who have contributed immensely to the promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights in Africa.

For more information on the Media, Outreach and Education Services – fact sheets, briefings reports, position and research papers, articles, news reports, op eds, TV and radio broadcast schedules and times, communiqués, press statements and releases, legislative briefs, current laws, soft laws and hard laws, cases and general information on the history and organs of the AU and what you can do to assist the media team, please email [email protected]

We bring the issues you are concerned about and news you want the AU to respond to – to the farms, markets, schools, living rooms and cafes of Africa. Through our television and radio debate shows, dramas, public service announcements, mobile phone services and face-to-face communication we provide individuals and communities a platform to engage their state managers and question them on issues which they are concerned about. Our television, radio and digital programs directly engage people and the AU in discussions, encourage communication across political, ethnic, religious and other social divides.