AU Watch

Programming

Eradicating extreme poverty and its related nemesis, conflicts, remains two of the AU’s most pressing challenges. Addressing these twin evils requires our AU Member States to address the rising economic, social and political inequalities. 

As a non-partisan centre for promoting Agenda 2063 our sustainable development programs helps our communities and AU Member States meet the challenges of the 21st century. We work with regional partners to generate new knowledge and evidence to identify the underlying causes of inequalities and poverty in all their dimensions and the progressive policies and practices that can help bring about transformative change.We work in particular to attract thoughtful young men and women to lives of public service, helping the expand their knowledge of policy processes at the AU, and developing their skills as future leaders.

AU Watch is playing a prominent part in promoting a development approach that puts power at the heart of development analysis and contributing to strengthening understanding of the relationship between power, empowerment and poverty.

We will continue to provide new analysis on inequalities and poverty trends, particularly in relation to the vision of Agenda 2063. We work with governments, civil society, businesses and many others to help ensure this analysis shapes policies and programmes at the AU and AUMS.

More About Our Community Development Programs

The mission of our community development programs is to assist vulnerable and excluded people and communities in the Africa to achieve sustainable economic and social progress, strengthen their communities and civil society, promote democratic participation and inclusion, and prepare for and respond to natural disasters and other humanitarian crises, there by advancing the principles of the AU and its Nepad program. Through our commitment to engaged excellence we work towards transformations that reduce inequalities, accelerate sustainability and build more inclusive and secure societies. We do this neither as an advocacy NGO nor a think tank, but by combining elements of both in a unique mix that is articulated in our engaged excellence approach. 

 

 

 

Our Approach and How We Make a Difference

AU Watch empowers disadvantaged people and communities in Africa to achieve sustainable economic and social progress, strengthen their communities and civil society and promote democracy and governance.

With that objective in mind, we carry out a wide range of programs that enhance prosperity for millions of vulnerable and excluded people in the continent. We do this by engaging Nepad, community-based groups, other non-governmental organizations, national and local governments, multilateral organizations, and the private sector in the process of implementing appropriate solutions for sustainable development.

We work with partners to reduce inequalities, accelerate sustainability and build more inclusive and secure societies. We do this by delivering and mobilising high quality research and knowledge that informs policy and practice, and through our world-recognised training and professional development services.

We believe that our approach will generate thousands of jobs, save lives and property, protect vital natural resources, upgrade skills training and improved conditions for thousands of people.

Our programs are designed to:

  • Create Eliminate Poverty and Create Economic Opportunities
  • Reducing Economic Inequalities
  • Expanding Financial Choices and Promoting Social Progress
  • Strengthen Communities and Civil Society
  • Promote Democracy and Governance
  1. Eliminate Poverty and Create Economic Opportunities

The key to development is self-sufficiency. AU Watch focuses on generating livelihoods and improving incomes among disadvantaged people.AU Watch believes that the key to development is self-sufficiency. We are programs focus on generating livelihoods and increasing incomes for disadvantaged individuals and families through microenterprise development, skills training, agricultural improvements, natural resource conservation, and expansion of community infrastructure.

Disagree? Show us a better way.

2. Increasing Jobs And Reducing Inequalities

Reducing inequalities – including economic, social and political inequalities – that intersect and threaten to undermine future progress in reducing poverty, and ensure that the benefits of global economic growth more evenly contribute to the improved livelihoods and wellbeing of communities everywhere.

Youths account for 60% of all of Africa’s jobless, according to the World Bank. In North Africa, the youth unemployment rate is 25% but is even greater in Botswana, the Republic of the Congo, Senegal, and South Africa, among others. With 200 million people aged between 15 and 24, Africa has the largest population of young people in the world.In most African countries, youth unemployment “occurs at a rate more than twice that for adults,” notes the African Development Bank.Young women feel the sting of unemployment even more sharply than young men.

3. Expanding Financial Choices and Promoting Social Progress

Across Africa people living in poverty are disproportionately excluded from the formal financial system. They have to depend on informal means to manage their day-to-day expenditures, save, and borrow which is risky, unreliable and expensive.

Strong communities are an essential part of the social fabric. AU Watch helps build resilient communities from where prosperity can grow.Working with the AU, its Members, other civil society actors and the local community we provide the tools, technologies and methods that enable communities to become strong and dynamic and creating a platform on which human development and social progress can happen.

Our customised and diverse range of products also support families to access financial services, manage and build assets, invest in small enterprises, access employment opportunities and cope during emergencies. Complementing this, we also build financial literacy and have instituted courses and classes were people are able to learn.

4. Strengthen Communities and Civil Society

Strengthening civil society and increasing citizen participation in the manner in which we are being ruled is a fundamental objective of AU Watch. We demand a say in the manner in which the AU and its Members work on our behalf. Throughout the region, though grassroots democracy is expanding, many states in the region are constricting space for civil society. To foster resilient communities and engaged societies, AU Watch partners with civil society organizations to strengthen their capacity to better respond to community needs. We believe that addressing community needs and increasing citizen participation in civic and business matters are fundamental for a healthy democracy

  1. Promoting Education, Governance and Human Rights

Since 1948 the global community has developed an extensive body of international law and principles to protect human rights. But the development and implementation of these standards has always faced opposition. There remains a gulf between human rights rhetoric and the lived experience of so many people. We seek to close that gap. To expose the injustice of poverty in Africa. AU Watch is of the view that the unacceptable levels of poverty we see in Africa demands a powerful, unequivocal and practical response both from the AU, its Member States and the combined efforts of CSOs to address both its causes and its impact on peoples’ lives. It also means that we need to empower people and communities to in situations of poverty, illiteracy, disease and social injustice.

 

What We Do

  • Supporting On-the-job apprenticeships
  • Supporting hands-on apprenticeships
  • Business incubation support
  • Developing business and management capacity through public-private partnerships and technical consulting.

 

What We Offer
• Enterprise Grants and Loan
• Grants and Loans For Women
• Agriculture Loans
• Savings Schemes
• Micro-Insurance
• Digital Financial Services

How We Do It
• We inspiresocial and political changes by addressing social injustice through research.Through research and innovation, we continuously develop and improve our product offerings to meet emerging needs.

• Our tailored financial services try to meet the varying needs of people living in low-income communities.

AU Watch’s development programs conduct rigorous research and engage citizens, businesses and policy-makers in the shared goal of developing sustainably.

RESILIENCE

From economic shifts, fragile economies, food insecurity, housing challenges, migration flows, insecurity and political instability,environmental challenges, climate change (droughts and rising sea levels)people in many places in Africa are increasingly threatened by destructive and natural disasters that impacts on them negatively.

As the AU and its Members work to realise Agenda 2063, they have emphasized that increasing resilience and disaster risk reduction are central to alleviating poverty and boosting shared prosperity.At AU Watch we believe it is possible to help make communities around the world more resilient to the physical, social, and economic challenges of the 21st century.

What is resilience?

Resilience is the capacity of a social-ecological system to absorb or withstand perturbations and other stressors such that the system remains within the same regime, essentially maintaining its structure and functions. It describes the degree to which the system is capable of self-organization, learning and adaptation.

Systems with high adaptive capacity are more able to re-configure without significant changes in crucial functions or declines in ecosystem services. A consequence of a loss of adaptive capacity, is loss of opportunity and constrained options during periods of reorganization and renewal.

How we make a difference

• Our Sustainable Development Program is committed to solving many of Africa’s development challenges. We understand that it this will require creative, blended capital solutions to address at scale. Our resilience initiative identifies, designs and supports opportunities that increase climate and resilience capital flows into financial solutions, companies and projects that have a positive impact on the lives of vulnerable people. We are strategically applying our knowledge, experience, and convening power to help ensure that the Agenda 2063 Goals are aligned and include disaster risk management targets.

• In places, like the Sahel, Great Lakes Region, Northern Nigeria, where instability is rife, stability can only be achieved if the AU and its Members can move beyond counter-terrorism and divert a greater share of resources toward reconciliation, dialogue and tangibly improving vulnerable people’s livelihoods. We run advocacy campaigns for our States Managers to pragmatic strategies to address such pressures.

People are part of the natural world. We depend on ecosystems for our survival and we continuously impact the ecosystems in which we live from the local to global scale. Resilience is a property of these linked social-ecological systems. When resilience is enhanced, a system is more likely to tolerate disturbance events without collapsing into a qualitatively different state that is controlled by a different set of processes. Furthermore, resilience in social-ecological systems has the added capacity of humans to anticipate change and influence future pathways.
Reduced resilience increases the vulnerability of a system to smaller disturbances that it could previously cope with. Even in the absence of disturbance, gradually changing conditions, e.g., nutrient loading, climate, habitat fragmentation, etc., can surpass threshold levels, triggering an abrupt system response. The new state of the system may be less desirable if ecosystem services that benefit humans are diminished, as in the case of productive freshwater lakes that become eutrophic and depleted of their biodiversity. Restoring a system to its previous state can be complex, expensive, and sometimes impossible. Research suggests that to restore some systems to their previous state requires a return to conditions that existed well before the point of collapse (Scheffer, M. S, Carpenter, J. A. Foley, C. Folke and B. Walker, 2001: Catastrophic Shifts in Ecosystems. Nature, 413: 591-596

• Strengthening the capacities of human and natural systems to cope, adapt and reorganize. Our multidisciplinary team of policy researchers work with Member States, civil society, communities and businesses to help them manage climate- and conflict-related risks.


By identifying, implementing, and scaling solutions to the urgent crises of climate change, migration, and security, we seek to enhance the resilience of millions of people by 2063.

• On the small matter of the Sahel, (Africa’s next sub-regional conflict, if the AU and its Members don’t act) the FAO reports that over 80% of the region’s land is degraded. By 2050, writes Malcolm Potts of the University of California–Berkeley, with greenhouse gas emissions rising, temperatures will be warmer by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius and extreme weather events will have become more common. We believe irrigation could allow the Sahel’s agriculture to overcome the challenges posed by a hostile environment and produce more food for its people. Although desert and aridity define the Sahel, its vast water resources remain untapped. In a region where farming is the predominant economic activity, sadly, only 20% of the Sahel’s irrigation potential has been developed. Worse still, one quarter of the area equipped with irrigation lies in a state of disrepair.”So, we campaign for more publicity about what is happening in the Sahel and for collective action to be taken

Read: The Sahel is engulfed by violence. Climate change, food insecurity and extremists are largely to blame. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/all-the-warning-signs-are-showing-in-the-sahel-we-must-act-now/

Attend AU Watch’s Resilience Summit

AU Watch’s Resilience Summit is taking place during the October 2020, 67th Session of the African Commission in Banjul, The Gambia. By sustaining and expanding global commitments to bring disaster resilience to scale, the development community has the potential to make real, sustainable change in the lives and futures of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable.
We have developed the event with a continental perspective, sprinkled with current debates and trends. The Summit will share best practices and draw from the global experiences of the speakers to address the multiple challenges faced across Africa. Of particular interest will be what the AU is doing is improve resilience. In the face of so many serious events across the continent, this timely meeting will complement current training and preparedness activities being done across Africa but identify locales where great strides are being made.

More Information coming soon. ​

 

AGENDA 2063 KNOWLEDGE

Providing information and analysis in support of the Agenda 2063 and the Africa we all want to see.

We provide information and analysis that supports the AU’s 2063 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Our Sustainable Development Goals Knowledge Program seeks to enhance SDG implementation through our information sharing and dissemination work on the Agenda 2063 Knowledge Hub and by convening and enabling 2063 practitioners in the AU system. We work at the local level to establish community indicator systems and assess how various AU Member States are organising themselves in readiness for 2063. In addition, we have specific initiatives aimed at understanding the costs of action and inaction including, analysing the cost to end poverty and conflicts.

For more information click here.

Our work includes four main steps:

Listen: We listen to our communities. Yes, many of us are from those communities and we know the challenges and the struggles. But we still listen, but we see more. We see possibilities that exists.

Develop: Next, we work with individuals and communities to develop doable action plans that address the root causes of their poverty and help bring fullness of life for all.

Act: We put our money where our mouth is. We act. We work with individuals and the community to empower e work with their existing leaders and empower new ones, bringing the community together to address the needs they’ve identified. And if the action plan isn’t working as well as it should, we go back and revise it. This helps communities get what they need such as healthcare, education, clean water, nutritious food, and economic opportunity.

Train: We also train them so they know best how to care for and grow these new resources for years to come. When the community has grown healthier, safer, and more self-sustaining, then we transition out and move on to the next community in need. By now, the community is a better place for children to live and grow, they are more equipped to handle emergencies, and they can help their neighbours.

Our interventions focus on:

  • Advice on the design and development of capacity development programmes, including: strategies for reaching a range of individuals and civil society groups; political economy analysis; design of M&E systems and methods and approaches for impact assessment; and new approaches to supporting capacity development and programme design.
  • Developing the skills of civil society actors to carry out evidence-informed programming and advocacy, including use of theories of change and action research.
  • Online and face-to-face training and mentoring for civil society in our key themes of monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment, organisational and capacity development, and programme design.
  • Delivering high-quality scoping studies and contextual analysis.
  • Conducting evaluations and impact assessments.
  • Development of programmes of training and mentoring of consultants and trainers to improve high-quality capacity development support in the region.
  • Collaborating with research institutions, capacity building organisations, development funders, and civil society networks to promote joint learning and collaborative research on key issues such as governance, CSO forms and functions, aid and sustainability
  • Promoting publication and dissemination of learning by practitioners from the region.