AU Watch

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CLIMATE CHANGE CENTRE – AU WATCH CLIMATE PROJECT

We care About Human Rights: Climate change and human rights – we care about them both, but we often think of them separately. We usually associate violations of human rights with brutal regimes, but climate change is just as brutal and unjustified. Nothing can be more inhumane than man-created famine. As temperatures rise, extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and more severe. Farmers are struggling to cope. It is the worst form of violation, as nearly a billion of the world’s poorest people – people who did the least to cause climate change – are the ones suffering the worst from it, as more and more of them are finding it even harder to feed their families. Never before has humanity been forced to grapple with such an immense environmental crisis. If we do not take urgent and immediate action to stop global warming, the damage to Man could become irreversible.

Objectives of the Project

(a) To use radio, TV, films, social media, newspapers, advertisements, blogs, news and academic journals, web features, op-eds, conferences, workshops, research reports, speaking engagements, and books, to lobby AUMS, to address the urgent issue of Climate Change and how it is impacting on the lives of people.

(b) Once a week, AU Watch TV shall host an interactive debate on the effects of Climate Change

(c) AU Watch is rolling out a A Student’s Guide to Global Climate Change to learn more about the science and impacts of climate change. The site shall provide videos, animations, and interactive expeditions where students can explore and learn how climate change is affecting places around Africa and the world. The site helps students, their parents, and their teachers learn about solutions and the actions they can take to reduce greenhouse emissions.

 

To learn more about AU Watch climate change, please Click Here. But get connected, Have your say. Discuss what Africa should look like in 2063. Share a multimedia and become a participant by logging on  www.agenda2063.au-watch.org

PARTICIPATING IN AFRICAN GOVERNANCE ARCHITECTURE

The African human rights system is composed of four pillars: Norms; States Parties to the African Charter; the Supervisory human rights bodies and Non-governmental Organizations / African citizenry. The overall political and institutional framework for the promotion of democracy, governance and human rights in Africa is the African Governance Architecture, (AGA) established during the 16th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government in 2011. The AGA is composed of three principal pillars: (i) norms; (ii) organs and institutions and (iii) oversight mechanisms

Why the AGA?

Objectives

The African Governance Architecture (AGA) is inspired by the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU) that expresses the AU’s determination to ‘promote and protect human and people’s rights, consolidate democratic institutions and culture and ensure good governance and the rule of law’. The principle objective is implementation of AU Shared Values and in particular the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG).

 

  1. Accelerate the ratification, domestication, implementation and monitoringof African Shared values instruments.
  2. Deepen synergy, coordination, cooperation and harmonisationof shared values instruments among AU organs, institutions and RECs on democracy, governance, human rights and humanitarian affairs.
  3. Enhance the capacity of AU organs, institutions and RECs tosupport Member States to strengthen governance and consolidate democracy through implementation of shared values agenda. 
  4. Enhance popular participationand citizen engagement in attainment of democracy, governance and respect for human and peoples’ rights.
  5. Coordinate evaluationand reporting on implementation and compliance with AU norms on governance and democracy as envisaged by article 44, 45 and 49 of the ACDEG.
  6. Foster dialogueand share comparable lessons on trends, challenges, opportunities and prospects for improving governance and democracy among Member States.
  7. Generate, manage and disseminate knowledgeon African shared values agenda, good governance and democracy in Africa.
  8. Facilitate joint engagement and deepen synergywith the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) in strategic interventions: preventive diplomacy, conflict prevention and post-conflict, reconstruction and development in Africa.

Guiding Principles

The following principles are derived from AU Shared Values particularly the Constitutive Act and the African Charter on Elections, Governance and Democracy.

  1. Effective participationof the African peoples in strengthening and consolidating democratic governance in Member States and continental affairs;
  2. Respect for democratic principles, human rights, the rule of law and good governance;
  3. Holding of regular, transparent, free andfair elections;
  4. Promotion of the principle ofseparation of powers;
  5. Promotion ofgender equality and youth empowerment;
  6. Promotion oftransparency and fairness in the management of public affairs;
  7. Condemnation andrejection of acts of corruption, related offenses and impunity;
  8. Condemnation andrejection of unconstitutional changes of governments.
  9. Strengthening political pluralismand recognizing the role, rights and responsibilities of legally constituted political parties, including opposition political parties.

Mandate of AGA

The African Governance Architecture (AGA) is inspired by the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU) that expresses the AU’s determination to ‘promote and protect human and people’s rights, consolidate democratic institutions and culture and ensure good governance and the rule of law’. This determination is buttressed by related objectives and principles contained in Article 3(g and h) and Article 4(m) of the Act on the promotion, protection and respect for human rights, democratic principles and institutions, and good governance. These ideals are further reinforced by norms, pronouncements, decisions and instruments adopted by the AU in particular the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG).

The mandate of AGA stems from the Decision of the 15th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government (AU/Dec.304 (XV) held in July 2010 which recalled the decision adopted by the 16th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the AU and endorsed by the 14th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government to dedicate the theme of the 16th Ordinary Session of the African Assembly to the Shared Values of the AU, that was held in Addis Ababa in 2011 and provided a mandate for putting in place a ‘Pan-African Architecture on Governance’. In order to give effect to the Assembly decision on the Establishment of the Pan-African Governance Architecture, the African Union Commission (AUC) established AGA as a “platform for dialogue between the various stakeholders” who are mandated to promote good governance and strengthen democracy in Africa, in addition to translating the objectives of the legal and policy pronouncements in the AU Shared Values.

Introduction

AU Watch shall host a two-day colloquium in Addis Ababa, from on 11- 13 February 2017, on “Participating in the African Governance Architecture.”

Overall Objective of the project is to bring together Experts from the AU, regional CSOs, the regional media, and international organizations to brainstorm on the numerous vexing issues surrounding the AGA.

Specific Objective of the project is come up with concrete proposals and policy recommendations as to how AUMS and the AU can:

  1. Involve the ordinary African citizen in the activities of the AGA
  2. Achieve the aims of the AGA with the involvement of civil society and ordinary people.

Outcomes of the Two-day Colloquium

The colloquium will document all the efforts, achievements and challenges of the AU since its establishment in 1963 to promote and protect human and people’s rights, consolidate democratic institutions and culture and ensure good governance and the rule of law in Africa. The principle objective is how can the AU implement the AGA, its Shared Values and in particular the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG), whilst involving the civil society and the ordinary citizen.

 

The colloquium will come up with concrete recommendations:

  • How the AU can involve civil society and the ordinary African in the activities of the AGA.
  • The colloquium will also come up with different publications – reports, books, policy papers, news and a journal, DVD’s and news reports and news releases.
  • A direct outcome of the planned colloquium will be a continental advocacy campaign strategy to get civil society and all of us involve in the AGA.

Use of Media and Communication in Implementing the AGA Objectives

Media and communication can inform, connect and empower. They can help people, institutions and even governments bring about critical and lasting changes. AU Watch uses mass media and outreach services to achieve impact at scale. The colloquium will be streamlined live through Youtube, Facebook, and other social media platforms. The goal will be to have it covered in the daily news bulletins in every country in the region.

Creative, informative and entertaining media outputs are at the core of our approach. AU Watch Chapters will make arrangements with national and local radio and TV stations to carry the story about the colloquium. Working in partnership with local media houses AU Watch will produce TV news and programs, radio dramas, radio call-in, magazine shows, public service advertisements, billboards and interactive content for mobile phones.

AU Watch shall establish a bi-weekly interactive TV and online radio program on the AGA: ‘Miatta Fambulleh’ in Answer the Question’

Advocacy and outreach activities form a key part of our comprehensive communication approach. We 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. This helps us 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 programme-making.

To learn more about the AGA and the work of the AU Watch, please Click HereBut get connected, Have your say. Discuss what AU and civil society should be doing to   ‘promote and protect human and people’s rights, consolidate democratic institutions and culture and ensure good governance and the rule of law’. Share a multimedia and become a participant by logging on www.agenda2063.au-watch.org