AU Watch

Sustainable Development Program

“Africa will not be a museum of poverty. Not on my watch. …We have to be impatient in moving Africa forward.”

Dr Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina, President, Africa Development Bank

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Contemporary Africa confronts multiple development challenges: from mass impoverishment and food insecurity,human rights violations, unbridled corruption, identity-based violence and mass atrocities, to destitute or failed institutions, compromised elections and authoritarianism and now use of social & New Media to manipulate its citizens and close civil society space.

That is not so say that Africa has not been investing to reverse many of its self-created challenges. In recent years, Africans have been working to reclaim the narrative of an ‘Africa rising’ that had come under sustained criticisms. There are many reasons for optimism: the continent is home to some of the youngest populations in the world and it promises to be a major consumption market over the next three decades. Advocates of the ‘Africa rising’ narrative have also highlighted the continent’s vast potential of attracting investment and deepening regional and global engagement. In truth, we have much to boast about. All 55 African nations are signatories of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA) which came into force on 30 May 2019, with a market of more than 1.4 billion people, with a combined GDP of more than US$ 3.4 trillion.

We are told that six of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies are in Africa; for the period 2014-2050, AU Watch projects that Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt will remain in the top ten. Many African governments are working to develop the required infrastructure and institutions. Political leaders are implementing reforms aimed at improving business conditions. In the World Bank’s 2019 ‘Doing Business Index’, five of the ten most-improved countries are in Africa, and one-third of all recorded reforms occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. Across the continent, efforts are underway to improve education and foster a culture of innovation.The potential for success is staggering.

But challenges persist. They are real and palpable. The promise remains unfulfilled.

We understand that for the AU and AUMS to deliver on their promises, political solutions are also needed to tackle the root causes of poverty and create empowered societies and individuals. Poverty, poor governance, inequality and social injustice is an afront to humanity and must not only be confronted head-on, but we as Africans should come together to assist the AU and its Members to deliver on their promise and potential of making Agenda 2063 achievable.

About Us

What is the Sustainable Development Program?
At AU Watch we refuse to live with poverty and social injustice.The Sustainable Development Program act as a catalyst, creating opportunities for people living in poverty to realize their full potential. Our programs transform. It transforms families, communities, and countries – so they can thrive and prosper. Whether by helping a farmer access tools to grow her business, giving a community a bore hole, training youths in the village on leadership positions or just understanding how to take Africa to the next level.

AU Watch’s Sustainable Development Program is Africa’s award-winning think-and-do-tank within the AU Watch’s structure championing solutions to Africa’s greatest sustainability challenges – acting and speaking out against any form of social injustice. We are a democratic social justice unit within the larger AU Watch structure set up to challenge the AU and its Members to create a more just and equal Africa. We mobilize the local community for change, and act in solidarity with communities campaigning for injustice. We are, therefore, a convener, thought leader, and voice for millions of Africans working to eliminate extreme poverty, strengthen human rights and citizen participation.Our program helps to increase regional stability by addressing the root causes of violence; opens new markets and generates opportunity for trade; creates innovative solutions for challenging development challenges, and advances democracy, governance, and peace.

We understand that the interlinkages and integrated nature of Agenda 2063 are of crucial importance in ensuring that the purpose of a new AU is realized. We understand that if we realize our ambitions across the full extent of Agenda 2063, the lives of all Africans, especially the poor, will be profoundly improved and Africa will be transformed for the better.We are determined to mobilize the means required to assist in implementing Agenda 2063 through our various partnerships, based on a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focused in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable.

Mission Statement:

  1. To end poverty in Africa through entrepreneurship and innovation, and working to be a leader in the regional quest to eliminate vulnerability, strengthen human rights and citizen participation, promote peace, and ensure dignity for all Africans.Our interventions aim to achieve large scale, positive changes through economic and social programs that enable communities to realize their potential.
  1. To empower people and communities in situations of poverty, illiteracy, disease and social injustice to do something about their situation. We connect, strengthen and champion a dynamic network of diverse communities, civil society organizations and individuals to challenge and eradicate inequality and injustice. 

Vision Statement:

  1. Our vision is an Africa that is just and peaceful, where everyone can live secure, fulfilling lives free from tyranny of poverty and injustice, and where people have the economic means to sustain their families and communities.
  1. We envision an AU Watch where our development program is the Africa’s world’s most trusted source for policy ideas and analysis relating to Africa’s development.
  1. We look forward to an Africa where every African is contributing to the bold and transformative vision of Agenda 2063.
  1. There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development. So, we envision an Africa that is peaceful, just and inclusive, free from fear and violence and where all of us are able to live in dignity.

Living Our Vision: The Just Imperative

Our vision leads with justice becausewe believe that justice is the fulcrum of Agenda 2063, and the promotion and protection of human rights, human dignity, and shared prosperity. Agenda 2063, the continent’s shared strategic framework for inclusive growth and sustainable development, takes account of past achievements, challenges and opportunities at the national, continental and global levels to provide the basis and context in which the continent’s transformation is being designed and implemented, including, building on and accelerating the implementation of continental frameworks including, most notably, the Lagos Plan of Action, Abuja Treaty, NEPAD, the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme–CAADP, the 2014 Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods (3AGTs), the Plan of Action for Accelerated Industrial Development in Africa (AIDA), the Minimum Integration Programme, the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), the AU/NEPAD Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action, and Africa’s Agro-industry and Agribusiness Development Initiative (3ADI). ;

The Just Imperative requires that we question the decisions and actions of the AU and its Members, and even our own (in)actions to ensure that they enhance the conditions in which justice can thrive.It also means rejecting and challenging the structures, systems, and practices that reinforce an unjust status quo, or produce unjust outcomes, whether it is from our AU Member States or the practices of big businesses and powerful regional or international CSOs.

It also means accelerating the ratification, domestication, implementation and monitoring of African Shared values instrument; deepening synergy, coordination, cooperation and harmonization of shared values instruments among AU organs, institutions and RECs on democracy, governance, human rights and humanitarian affairs; enhance the capacity of AU organs, institutions and RECs to support Member States to strengthen governance and consolidate democracy through implementation of shared values agenda.

Our Culture

Talented, committed and responsible people from diverse backgrounds are essential for us to fulfil our purpose of reimagining anAfrica of 2063. We strive to unleash the power of our employees and partners as we cultivate a company culture that is inspired, curious and empowered.

At AU Watch, we believe that how we do business is as important as what we do. We want to achieve good results in a way that treats all our publics fairly and helps to strengthen our communities

Our Non-negotiable Values

Success Starts Here
Our values are part of our DNA. They guide the way we work with our business partners, within our communities and with each other. They are grounded in our ‘Just Imperative’philosophy, including the values of ubuntu, inclusionand equity.

Our values were developed through conversations with clients, employees and our numerous partners across the business about what it means to be part of the AU Watch brand and what we need to value in order to be successful. By living our values, we will be better able to fulfil our purpose and satisfy the changing needs of our customers.

Ubuntu: Africans have this thing called UBUNTU. I am because we are. It embraces hospitality and caring about others, that my humanity is caught up, bound up, inextricably, with yours. So, we serve people living disadvantaged lives with respect, empathy and dignity regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion or education level. We value our common humanity.

Integrity: We operate with the highest levels of integrity and trustworthiness. We report openly on our use of public funds, and fully communicate our work to our donors, research subjects and partners.
Passion: We believe passionately in our mission and the ability of people living in extreme poverty to improve their lives. We are committed to assessing and evaluating our programs to ensure that they reduce poverty and create sustainable businesses.

Resourcefulness:
Resourcefulness is the fuel that keeps our feet close to the fire. Thinkers and development experts who see possibilities, not problems; entrepreneurs who see challenges, not limitations. Savvy professionals who get things done and find ways to make things work. Support heroes who believe, dream and defy the odds. To be resourceful is to come up with solutions, not excuses.

 

Entrepreneurial Spirit & Ambition:
We never rest on our achievements. Developing Africa can be tough. We recognize that we must adapt constantly in a fast-changing world, always meeting our clients’ needs and spotting opportunities for new markets. At AU Watch, we believe everyone can develop their own entrepreneurial spirit. That is why we have made it a core value. We combine this with the value of resourcefulness because we expect our people to follow through on their best ideas and make them happen.

Care:
We care deeply about our impact. We want to make a difference to society and those we touch. We have a sense of responsibility which goes beyond our job

 

Collaboration:
We believe in the power of people. Grand accomplishments are never achieved alone. We believe that by working together in a supportive environment, we will achieve more and have greater impact.We have learned that cooperation helps you to achieve your goals. We, therefore, structure everything we do in such a way that, because we are constantly cooperating with others, they are continually open to helping to achieve the organization’s goals. We listen, learn and we share, aiming to build capacity both among our colleagues and beyond. Our work enables dialogue and creates space for people to think, speak and participate.

Curiosity and Rebellion:

We are rebellious and idealistic at heart. We aspire to be kind and responsible to our environment and society, while being an inspiration for others.

We value and encourage creativity. We understand that progress is driven by the inquisitive and the curious. We recognise that creativity exists in many forms, with ideas brimming at every level, from “shoot for the moon” ambitions, right down to our daily work. We embrace innovation and act we courage. We are not afraid to challenge established norms, pursuing the right outcomes, knowing it is rarely easy. We want our people to have the courage to stand up for their ideas and challenge the status quo. Creativity can often mean simply looking at things in a different way and our collaborative culture allows us to build on ideas and continually improve the work that we do.

Authenticity & Innovation:
Innovation is at the heart of what we do.We value innovation as a means to reduce poverty and treat new ideas, new technologies and new partners as opportunities to grow our impact.We strive to support, learn from and value the contributions of all colleagues. We encourage people to experiment and take smart risks. Our aim is to foster creative thinking that leads to practical solutions to business challenges. We strive for an organization in which innovation is rewarded, diversity is embraced and both success and failure are shared.

Accountability:
We respect the ideas and opinions of others and insist upon transparency in both our internal and external communication.We take responsibility for our actions and proactively demonstrate that we work with and on behalf of others. We perform consistently to standards and seek to achieve and inspire excellence. We are dedicated to continually drawing from our experience, sharing knowledge and applying it to improve our work.

Client and Customer Focus:
Client focus is deeply embedded into our mindset, driving us to deliver on time, on cost and on quality. We exist to serve customers and recognize that our clients and communities are the reason for our success, and we are one hundred percent committed to listen and respond positively to their needs. We want them to keep coming back and to recommend us to others. We partner with our clients and communities to satisfy their needs and deliver benefits through valuable and sustainable solutions.

Sustainability:

 We are committed to ensuring that our businesses and our organization are sustainable in the long-term. `We understand that lasting change requires more than quick fixes and band-aid solutions. That’s why we rely on local leaders to implement our programs. The majority of our staff are members of the community – people who know and have an interest in seeing their communities develop, and will remain long after the assistance is withdrawn.We,therefore,ensure best practice, innovative approaches and continuous improvement in our research, policy advice and public affairs.

Independence:

Our work is independent from our funders. Staff are able to challenge donor thinking and policy and the wider development consensus.We treat all staff and partners fairly and with respect.

Collective Decision Making
We encourage the free flow of information and give voice to the concerns of all the groups, making everyone accountable to each other.

Our Goals

1. Contribute to Agenda 2063 that aims to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities, accelerate sustainability and build an inclusive, secure Africa.

2. Work locally and regionally within a universal framing of the six aspirations of Agenda 2063, embedding engaged excellence across all that we do.

3. Create a regional CSO organization that, not only holds to account the AU and its Members, but one that empowers individuals and communities to have the power to claim their basic human rights, to escape poverty, injustice, and misrule.

4. We aim to build a thriving and financially independent organizations that is true to its values.

Our Engaged Excellence Approach

Engaged excellence is AU Watch’sdistinguishingstrategy to creating and sharing knowledge, and to teaching and mutual learning for development. Our engaged excellence approach also means that the quality and impact of our research, education, outreach, humanitarian assistance, media, communication and advocacy work depends upon us collaborating with the AU, AU Member States, regional and international NGOs, local civil society, community activists, community leaders, our researchers and volunteers, citizens, donors, businesses and many others to achieve positive change, strategically informed by research and knowledge.

Our Engaged Excellence Results in:

• Co-constructing knowledge

• Carrying out authoritative research, providinghigh-quality strategic analysis and practical solutions to assist AU decision-makers and other stakeholders in achieving their goals.

• Building enduring partnerships with all our publics, and especially promoting constructive engagement with the leadership of the AU and Members, with the aim of promoting the adoption of sound policies for grass root development and the achievement of Agenda 2063.

• Raising awareness, disseminating and expanding information and understanding of AU affairs, empowering people and communities to have the power to claim their basic human rights, to escape poverty, injustice, and misrule.

Five-Year Strategic Plan

In the next five years (2020-2025), we will empower 20 million of the most underserved and disenfranchised women, men and children to gain greater access to and have more control over resources, decisions and actions, while continuing to maximize opportunities and expand services for the unmet needs of millionsof people.

What We Do: Our Approach To Development

We bring changes to our communitiesin seven major ways:

• We harness the power of evidence and ideas through research,analysis and partnership to confront challenges and develop solutions. Our research and analysis projects include workingwith the AU and its Members to strengthen policies and programs to reduce poverty, hunger, gender and social inequity, and environmental degradation in over 10 countries in Africa.Click here to learn more

• Through media and communication, we advocate for an adoption of Agenda 2063 as an official policy of Member States of the African Union.

• We connect people and communities in the sector so that they can share expertise and develop their skills through our events, training, and practice. We turn ideas into action.

• We influence governments and policy-makers at the AU, national and international levels through our collective advocacy with local communities and civil society.Acting as trusted, expert advisers to those making change around the continent, we communicate our work to the AU and its Members to increase our reach and impact.

• We strengthen individuals’ and organizations to be more impactful and sustainable through our media, education, training, outreach work and collaborative partnerships.We also draw on our members’ combined knowledge to revolutionize and adapt community organizations to more effectively respond to the changing regional landscape.

• We give cash and materials directly to people living in poverty for a doable business idea. This program allows donors to send money and or materials directly to poor people and communities to assist them transform a viable business idea into a profitable business. We believe that people living in poverty deserve the dignity to choose for themselves how best to improve their lives — cash or and materials enables that choice.We know that if household expenditures increase to meet daily needs, then standards of living will increase.Click here to learn more.

• We support the work of the AU, its Membersand other community organizations by providing a forum for consultation, coordination, and advocacy on emergency response.We also provide physicalhumanitarian assistance to affected people in crises.

We mobilize members of our communities to be active participants of Agenda 2063; to think and act collectively to achieve an Africa we all want, with the shared belief that we can make our continent a more peaceful, just and prosperous place – together.

Our Theory of Change

Utilizing a theory of change, our development program helps to end extreme poverty, corruption and human rights violations in Africa through media and communication, education, campaigns, entrepreneurship and innovation. Our program is simple and cost-effective.AU Watch outreach field staff empowers local community groups to identify, prioritize and resolve issues within their community, empowering participants by equipping them with confidence, skills and resource networks as they act together to improve their lives.

Millions of Africans simply lack opportunities to generate income for themselves and their families. Many of them lack access to good business skills and financial education, as well as access to capital, financial institutions, and markets. The challenges are compounded when you understand that the distribution systems, like a good roads and telephone network are inadequate to distribute finished products.

Our development program provides business and financial literacy training, mentoring, and in many cases seed capital grant.We know that if poor people are properly trained and financial inputs even grants are provided to the communities, then the businesses will be formedand business owners will be equipped with the knowledge to run their businesses. The results are improved standards of living and the lowering of poverty.

For the last five years and across 20+ countries, we’ve been tackling some of Africa’s biggest challenges – corruption, poor governance, poverty, human rights violations, violence and mass displacement – with long-term solutions that create lasting change.

Here’s How We Practically Do It

(a) We try to understand the problem
Africa is the second-largest and second most populous continent on earth with an estimated population in 2019 of 1.4 billion people. From the day visitors arrive in any part of the region, they are immediately immersed in the dynamic, complicated, supportive culture of Africa. The combination of rich culture, friendly people, and close personal relationships is unrivalled. It is a unique continent that offers a staggering variety of almost everything apart from the sun.

This huge and complicated continent is a rainbow, mural dyed continent with interesting and sometimes contradicting shades not fully expressed in a single statistic. Africa is home to 55 recognized sovereign states and countries, 9 territories and 2 de facto independent states, with over 3000 languages. Its tumultuous political history has resulted in a wide array of all types of political and cultural systems. And so are the challenges. As you can imagine, it will never be ‘one size fit all’ for such a convoluted rainbow continent.

So, our first step is always to learn about the unique challenges each community faces, the opportunities that may be available and how the local community can tap into such opportunities and effect changethey want to see.

(b) We work with a community of innovators and change makers
We live in aninnovative world. Changemaking is the capacity to freely and effectively innovate for the good of all.Oftentimes, communities already have the ideas and resources needed to drive change from within.We collaborate with the community to create the change we want to see in our community. From local leaders who are already making an impact, to young people who are interested in business or farming, but don’t know where or how to start. Our goal is to make farming or businesses ‘cool’ again by providing budding and even experienced farmers with the tools and knowledge to be good and responsible business people or farmers. Want to join our business or farming movement? Do you have any ideas of ending Africa’s grinding and vexing poverty, which many times is self-inflicted? Write to us here.

At AU Watch we build and cultivate a community of change leaders. We equip entrepreneurs, especially young community leaders, with the skills and tools they need to practice business profitably, thereby creating change in their communities.

AU Watch partners with hundreds of professionals and their organizations to improve their performance by helping them to: drive change, harness knowledge, transform teams, make connections, and turn challenges into opportunities. AU Watch empowers communities to advance their strategy, operations and teams through optimized service delivery. From the community to the individual AU Watch transforms service and support through its comprehensive lineup of training and courses, events, results-driven consulting services, media and communication, community-based networking opportunities, and insightful research and informational resources.

(c) We inspire and empower
Empowering people is a crucial plank of our program. Conventional approaches toempowerment have failed. “The approach that big donors and Western-conditioned experts have taken to reach the poor – forget about allowing the poor to develop themselves – has been patronizing, top-down, insensitive, and expensive. It excludes the marginalized, the exploited, and the very poor and keeps them from making decisions on their own. Thus, it disempowers them, leaving them dependent and hopelessly ill prepared to improve their lives. Moreover, these “patrons,” however well intentioned, have refused to learn from their mistakes.”

Empowering people means developing their capacity. It means developing their skills so they become competent decision-makers with the confidence to act on their choices. So, there is another way to empower the poor. It starts with giving the poor the right to decide for themselves how they want to improve their quality of life. They must have the right to choose whether they want. They must have access to information and knowledge and the right to decide how they want to proceed.

It’s a big job, and we’re just getting started. Learn about our first set of projects and join us in this experiment in citizenship for the 21st century.

(d) Delivering the Knowledge to Act
We want an AU that support sound policy-makingin all its areas of work. Ourprograms conduct rigorous research,analysis and knowledge products and engage citizens, businesses and policy-makers in the shared goal of achieving Agenda 2063 and an Africa we all want.We take a holistic picture of development, allowing us to address the root causes of some of the greatest challenges facing Africa today – social injustice, corruption, poverty, a changing climate and poor governance. Through research, analysis and knowledge sharing, we identify and champion sustainable solutions that make a difference. We report on what the AU and its Members are doing to achieve ‘2063’, and give citizens a voice to challenge and question what our State Mangers say they are doing on our behalf.

We generate and share knowledge with the AU, AUMS, policy makers and institutions that spurs action. Our work affects economies, communities, ecosystems and lives in nearly 50 countries in Africa.Through our research and science, we develop and deliver innovative solutions to some of Africa’s biggest challenges.

We resolve issues where they reside, by working directly with communities to identify and prioritize their most pressing needs, then mobilize to get the job done.

(e) Outreach Work    

  • Our Outreach field staff are members of the local community and more than knows the challenges and opportunities. They help the program build a relationship with the community. Understanding the people in a community is vital in preparing them for change.

• Outreach field staff conduct informal interviews and studies to learn more about the issues faced by the community and how they intend to resolve it.

• Issues are prioritized for further analysis and action as the community work with the AU Watch team to find a resolution.

• When an intervention is agreed upon with the community or individual, AU Watch brings in its resources to effect the project.

(f) Our Media, Communication and Education Work
Working with local communities our governance projects provides citizens the opportunity to monitor and report on the political situation around them. Using an AU Watch app or via WhatsApp, citizen observers send in reports to focal points who verify and AU Watch Media and Communication Team publish the information to a wider network. Through this technology, citizens are able to engage directly with their local governments, strengthening accountability and transparency. We also get the local community leaders and citizens on AU Watch radio and AU Watch TV.

(g) We Campaign for Social and Economic Justice

Growth in Africa has stalled.Corruption and poor governance have subverted many African economies fueling poverty, inequality and injustice. In April 2019, both the IMF and the World Bank cut their 2019 economic growth projections for sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to 3.5% and 2.8%, respectively, with growth in 2018 at 2.3%. Poverty has increased — 437 million of the world’s extreme poor are in SSA — and 10 of the 19 most unequal countries in the world are in SSA. Forecasts also indicate that by 2030, nearly 9 in 10 extremely poor people will live in Sub-Saharan Africa. The World Bank projects that if poverty reduction measures and growth remain sluggish, Africa could be home to 90% of the world’s poor by 2030.

How Does Our Social Justice Campaign Work?
A 2063 Africa is possible., but achieving it requires big changes. Through our campaigns, we are building a movement to achieve that kind of change. These include:

Campaigning for an ‘AU Studies’ course. We need an Africa where a special ‘AU Studies’ course is included in the curriculum and taught at all levels of our education systems, including a separate ‘Agenda 2063’ course, a course on anti-corruption and good governance, a course on leadership, business and financial management, and even a course on the African human rights system, taught from primary schools. We are designing such courses and campaigning for them to be taught right from primary school.
Through AU Watch Radio and TV, we also amplify the voices of hostages to censorship, defending dissenting voices that have been muzzled, and campaign against laws and practices that silence those who want changes at the community level. We give communities a powerful online voice, helping people communicate and campaign more effectively using the web to influence events in their local communities.

We build alliances. Our campaigning strategies include creating a community of local changemakers all over Africa, educating people about the causes of injustice and empowering them to demand for their rights. We campaign for anAfrica of economic and social justice, where resources and decisions taken by the AU and its Members are used for all of us.

 

Together, we’re creating CHANGE THAT LASTS

(h) Organizing Events
Events are a great way to raise awareness about an issue and get people involved in taking action. Our thought-provoking local and international development events help community leaders and professionals tackle the most pressing challenges facing their communities. From hosting many AU events, challenging and interrogating local political leaders during election campaigns, to local fundraising, our events are your chance to interrogate the latest issue in your community and get new ideas to drive the change you want in your community.Many of our events are streamed to a global audience – bringing together NGOs, donors, policy-makers influential policy makers for lively debates and networking to discuss the critical issues within our communities.

The aim of everything we do is to help ordinary people across Africa reclaim power and make the big changes we need to achieve economic and social justice.

Our Practices

  • We deliver the highest quality of service to all those who use our services and build partnerships that help us fulfill our mission.
  • We recognize diversity as an asset essential to accomplishing our mission and preserve our credibility by remaining independent and objective.
  • We build capacity, talent, and excellence within the social sector. We thereforeembrace innovation and harness technology to maximize our effectiveness.
  • Though we make a significant portion of our resources available for free, we exercise fiscal responsibility as a means of achieving our mission.
  • We support and promote the value of a free and pluralistic media, We share our expertise with development policy-makers, academics and practitioners by supporting and promoting the value of a free and pluralistic media – underlining the importance of communication in achieving development objectives.

The winds of change are blowing across the world, presenting new opportunities to achieve Agenda 2030. Africa is poised at the crossroads of such changes, and the way we respond to the clear signals will determine whether we can break the logjam of systemicsocial injustices or sink further into the quagmire of despair, lost hopes and opportunities. We know your answer! We,therefor, need you on our team more than ever before. When you give, you’ll transform the lives of millions of suffering men, women and children around the continent.

  • Here are just some of the ways you can invest in lasting change:


    Do not doubt the impact you can make. Invest in a change that you want to see in Africa. Believe! You can make a difference. We can’t do it without you.


    Give Now

 
 
 
 

 

   
 
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Reasons We Believe AU Watch Can Act as a Catalyst in ChangingAfrica

We believe that when people are mobilized to achieve their full potential, they have the power to change their environment. We particularly believe that Africa is at a crossroad and organizations like AU Watch are able to act as a catalyst to bring about the Africa we want. We believe this because:

1. We are an innovative and agile organization. We understand that we have to rely on strategic, collaborative approaches to initiate and support pioneering programs that break new ground and challenge the status quo. We understand that the AU, as the principal political regional forum for Africa for facilitating international cooperation among its Member States to promote democracy, human rights, multidimensional security, and the advancement of sustainable and inclusive development, it can be made to work.

2. AU Watch is the largest social network and platform in the continent and has the ability to mobilize millions of Africans to the cause of Africa. We understand that working toward an inclusive and equitable society cannot be accomplished alone. Our program staff collaborates with thousands of volunteers, professionals from member and partner organizations to mobilize the NGO community, enhance its impact, align common interests, and promote learning and innovation.

3. We are able to galvanize our uniquely influential network of specialists – thought leaders, journalists, regional scholarsto shape the AU we all want – a people-centered AU.

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.

4. Your local AU Watch is a grassroot organization and is led by local, trusted knowledgeable community leaders — those with an inside voice and understanding that can effect changes on the ground. We promote constructive engagement with the leadership of your local AUMS – providing an essential forum, through our media and other related activities, for navigating the bewildering world of African politics.

5. We bring AU / AUMS news to you; and the issues you are concerned about and 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.

6. Our work is underpinned by research, evaluation, and analysis. We know that the derivative knowledge and evidence are crucial in shaping the changes needed for that vision of an Africa at peace with itself to be realised – an Africa that can assist its citizens and institutions navigate the challenges ahead. We further understand that extreme inequality, injustice, insecurity, poverty, corruption, bad governance, and human right violations are the defining challenges of our time – challenging not only the AU but also the world at large. We at AU Watch believe that if we act now to address these challenges Africa, and indeed the world will be a safer, fairer and more prosperous place! We provide research on political, social and economic policies and many other issues and themes defining the 21st century. Our research is authoritative, providing strategic analysis and practical solutions to assist policy makers in both public and private sectors to achieve their goals.

7. Our research and analysis create an environment for change. We are aware that public policy can help reduce poverty, prevent violations and promote more inclusive growth and greater social equity. We are aware that strong, informed policies can help establish more stable economies with decent work opportunities for the poor, build peaceful societies, and advance development. But to be effective, policies must not only be evidenced based, they must be supported by the citizens they are meant to serve. We are able to galvanise millions of the African citizenry for the cause of Africa.

8. Our policy and analysis are based on lessons learned from years of working with the AU and in Africa. To engage with our leaders AU Watch has set up the ‘NGO Forum on the (African) Summit of Heads of State and Government.’ At the margins of every Summit and for three days before the policy organs meet, AU Watch organizes an NGO forum, bringing together various NGOs to strengthen cooperation on democratic values, defend common interests, and debate the major issues facing the continent, and which are of importance to the African people.

9. At the margins of all the Ordinary Sessions of the African Commission, the African Court, the Expert Committee on the Rights of the Child, the PSC, AU Watch convenes a one-day ‘Human Security Ideas Workshop’ event to discuss important developments and challenges in human security and human rights theory and practice with experts, practitioners and academics. The events, which comprise of keynote speakers and open discussion, help to frame topics, generate ideas and support programming.

10. We provide consultancy in the following sectors and themes: justice, governance, climate change, security, sustainable development, human rights,media, and communication. We provide tailored guidance, frameworks and technical advice for partners, donors, businesses, governments, and institutions to implement policies and interventions which promote social justice, good governance, sustainable development, security, human rights and peace. We also provide programs that fosters sound environmental management policies and long-term economic development that benefits local communities, and especially women.

More on the Work of the Development Program

AU Watch promotes regional progress and prosperity by focusing on improving the lives of every African. Explore our major work programs research themesand partnerships.