AU Watch

 Impact of Our Work

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We believe passionately that media & communication, advocacy, cutting-edge research, knowledge and evidence are crucial to achieving the transformative changes that will usher in Agenda 2063, and which will also bring about more equal, sustainable and peaceful societies in Africa, where everyone can live secure, fulfilling lives free from poverty, injustice and human rights violations.

This belief is based on the real contribution that AU Watch’s work over the last five years, with partners, has made towards contributing to the work of the AU and its Members and helping to improve the lives and wellbeing of people across Africa. We have done this in a number of ways:

1. AU Watch monitors and audits the activities and performance of the AU by the standard of its Constitutive Act and the standards of the legal instruments of its various institutions. We challenge the AU and States Parties to the Constitutive Act to live up to those standards and ideals they have set for themselves. We mobilize the African youth, general population and organizations, to press the AU and itsstates managers to respect the laws they create and the treaties they sign. When they fail, we mobilize campaigns to demand reform, accountability, and justice.

2. We assist in the creation of the political environment and policy solutions necessary to ensure consistent respect and adherence for the AU’s own high ideals and need for change and reforms.

3. We are committed to advance a wider understanding of the AU, its RECs, institutions and programs and their critical security, political, economic and human rights issues of the twenty-first century and their potential resolution. We contribute to actual changes on the ground in AU and AUMS policy and practice.

4. By helping to shift attitudes and behaviorsof Africans around governance and social injustice issues. Through our comprehensive communication, media, outreach and education programs and activities, we raise awareness, disseminate and expand information and understanding of AU affairs, empowering and inspire people and communities to have the power to claim their basic human rights, to escape poverty, injustice, and misrule.

5. Our AU Watch On-line Radio’ provides news, information on AU programs and activities, interviews, talk shows, entertainment, commentaries, authoritative analysis and up-to-date commentary on current topics and matters. Our ‘AU Watch TV’ provides twenty-four-hour news and feature programs and information on AU and AUMS programs and activities, interviews, entertainment, commentaries, authoritative analysis and up-to-date commentary on current topics and matters.

6. AU Watch is a volunteer-based organization. By developing and strengthening the networks which are critical to our work, we making a positive difference.AU Watch is a platform for understanding, negotiating the bewildering economic and political landscape of Africa, by galvanising our exclusively influential network of regional leaders, researchers, journalists, analysts, scholars and volunteers to provide constructive engagement on AU affairs.

Responding to Security and Governance Issues
AU Watch promotes constructive engagement with the leadership of the AU and AUMS. The aim is to promote the adoption of sound policies to further governance, regional peace and security and maintain civilised relations amongst member states. As a research-basedorganization, we carry out authoritative research, providing strategic analysis and practical solutions to assist AU decision-makers and other stakeholders in achieving their goals of refional peace and security. Wedevelop new ideas on how best to confront critical challenges faced by the AU / AUMS and take advantage of opportunities to resolve challenges confronting its various programs and institutions. We develop policy recommendations in collaboration with policymakers, experts and stakeholders in each area the AU works on. Using its network of scholars, volunteers and other professionals, including AU think-tanks, we use research and evaluation to help inform political, economic and social policies at the AU to improve people’s lives and to bring about lasting change.

Contributing to long-term development
(a) AU Watch’s work is also helping to contribute to long-term development in many countries in Africa countries such as Senegal, The Gambia and Sierra Leone. The Gambia, Senegal and Sierra Leone are seen as examples of progressive, pro-poor and countries-driven development, which are moving ahead to implement many of the well-intentioned policies of the AU. For example, through our partnerships with these countries, we are funding an ‘Agenda 2063’ Desk at the various Ministries of Development.

(b) At AU Watch, we work towards realizing this type of impact through our distinctive engaged excellence approach which means working in partnership with governments, NGOs, academics, community groups and citizens to construct, mobilize and operationalize knowledge, and to facilitate teaching and mutual learning for development. We are the only organization in Africa that is leading the way to develop curricula and campaign for the teaching of AU Studies rights from primary school. Our campaigns for universal education of Africa’s teeming and youthful population, and developing curricula on the AU is having a real impact in many African countries.

(c) We giving practical assistance and support training in many areas of AU related programs like human rights, agriculture, and development.

(d) We provide logistical and human resource services to human rights and humanitarian organisations, government, non-governmental organisations, businesses and individuals. Because of our presence in every African country, and expertise in working in hostile, insecure and conflict prone environment, AU Watch enables these organizations to focus on their core business and the achievement of their objectives, as we provide a safe and secure environment for them to do so by alleviating them of the risks, crisis and personnel problems associated with those areas. We offer our services, as a regional NGO with deep human resource service capacity and expertise in recruitment, management, support services, monitoring and evaluation in insecure and chronic conflict environment in the region.

Development through Engaged Excellence
(a) ‘AU Watch Institute for the Study of the African Union (ISAU) is a trans-disciplinary Centre of excellence for regional and international academic research, teaching and critical scholarship on the African Union. Its activities are multi-disciplinary in nature. It is the only organization offering courses in AU studies right from primary schools. The Centre currently engages in research and designing curriculum related to citizenship education for primary and secondary schools’ in Africa.

(b) AU Watch is amongst the few organization’s that collaborate with dozens of other CSOs to strengthen cooperation and advance common interests, assisting the AU in advancing development, defending democracy, protecting human rights, strengthening security, fostering free trade and fighting corruption to create a more peaceful, just, equitable and sustainable Africa.

(c) Together with our global network of partners, AU Watch is helping to address some of Africa’s most pressing development challenges including disease such as malaria, hunger and undernutrition and violent conflict, as well as nurturing a new generation of regional leaders through our teaching and learning programs.

(d) We collaborate with leading academic institutions to publish a peer review journal specifically on the AU – the ‘Journal of African Studies on the African Union’. We also publish a monthly news magazine ‘AU Watch News’, providing news, interviews, articles, op-eds, authoritative analysis and up-to-date commentary on current topics and matters.

(e) We are trailblazers in publishing. We publish a Yearbook on human rights called AU Watch ‘State of the Union (SOTU): Human Rights’, where we review the human rights landscape for the past year; Yearbook on media freedom called Africa Freedom Index, where we review the media landscape for the past year; Yearbook called AU Watch ‘State of the Union (SOTU): Development’, where we review the economic and development landscape for the past year; ‘Regional Corruption Index’ magazine, outlining corruption in Africa and the measures states are taking to combat this disease; ‘Regional Insecurity Index’ magazine, outlining how fragile and conflict-affected countries are combating human insecurity.

Working With the AU and Other CSOs
(f) AU Watch promotes constructive engagement with the leadership of the AU and AUMS. The aim is to promote the adoption of sound policies to further governance, regional peace and security and maintain civilised relations amongst member states.We organize 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, we bring 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.

We sponsor the ‘Nelson Mandela Academy for Leadership in African Affairs’ with a view of assisting the AU and its States Parties to develop a new generation of leaders capable of crafting innovative responses to the most pressing challenges facing Africa. Nelson Mandelarepresents the highest values and ideals of humanity – freedom, equality, tolerance, compassion, and putting society above self. Our Leadership Development Program (LDP) is one of AU Watch’s cornerstone programs that aims to strengthen its national and regional nodes and build professional leadership within the network. The LDP recruits’ fellows that have the potential to become leading climate change activists and invests in developing their skills through trainings, mentoring and other capacity building activities.

Our Work With Africa’s Youth

As part of its contribution in fighting social injustices across Africa, we are developing curriculums and syllabuses on AU Studies, including courses in anti-corruption, peace, Agenda 2063 for primary and secondary schools.  Achieving a just and open society demands a generational change, and students have to be the key constituents in this shift. This means that we have to teach and train Africa’s most important resource immediately after birth on anti-corruption, civic participation, open government and transparency.

  • We supportthe development of independent, transparent media systems, quality journalism and media expertise. In that regard, we help build media professionalism in our young people as institutions capable of holding our policy chiefs to account. AU Watch Programs for young people is supporting thousands of young people, training them in multimedia journalism so they can tell their own stories and those of their communities. As well as giving young people practical tools, our programs convert their talents and passions into confidence and skills to progress in further education, employment and give a voice to the communities they live in.
  • AU Watch is developing in each of its chapters a Young Persons Media Unit, to convey (as anchors, correspondents and analysts) information and news about AU Watch and its activities. AU Watch Chapters shall a program called AU watch ‘Teen Media’ for children aged between 12 – 17 years of age. In this project, we are taking schools to Sessions of the Commission, and Court. Working with the host local and national radio and TV, AU Radio and TV, they report about their experiences in the meeting and wire their analysis back home, mainly tailored for the teen audiences. Some of our chapters organize with their own local, national or Public Broadcaster a (bi) weekly slot for AU Watch Teen Programs on the AU – called ‘Know the AU’. For this particular project, AU Watch will have teens discussing, critiquing, analyzing the relationship their country has with the AU, and of course encouraging their government to sign, ratify and domesticate all the AU’s human rights instruments. It will be live streamed, including using Cloud streaming services.

AU Watch ‘Agenda 2063 Program for African Students’ (APAS) is Africa’s leading academic enhancement and leadership development program of its kind for African secondary school students planning to pursue tertiary education and who wish to make a meaningful contribution and impact in the continent. It is a two-week ‘summer’ program inspired by the African Union’s Agenda 2063 Program especially the need for ‘Africa to develop its own long-term strategy to regain its own destiny’, with Africa’s youth at the helm

Starting An AU Watch Chapter

Great! You’ve decided that you want to get involved with AU Watch. You’ve also figured out that there isn’t an active AU Watch chapter in your area, and you want to take the initiative and to start one in your town. It’s not difficult.

Here’s how to get one started:

1. Request For AU Constitution and By-Laws
It is important for you to understand how AU Watch is run and how your new chapter will fit into the family of AU Watchers. Look at the strategic plans of AU Watch and the strategic plans of some other Chapters and Directorates. It might mean that the constitution may have to be tailored for your particular chapter. But your new chapter will have to operate within the broad policy frameworks of AU Watch.

2.Understand the Local Laws
Every country is different, and the laws of registering NGOs differ widely from country to country. It is important you understand the laws and the regulations, so that you keep, strictly, within the laws.

3. Find Other Core Members – You may be starting the chapter as one person, but one person doesn’t make a chapter. Find between three and five others who are interested in making this work with you.

4. Decide on the Issues – Once you have your core members, you then need to figure out what sort of activism your chapter will do and which issues you wish to take on. The issues could depend on what’s big in your state or area. For example, youth unemployment, or some other social injustice issues. Of course, you don’t have to pick your issues in one meeting. Use this time to also set up a regular meeting schedule as well as to recruit additional members.

5. Visit Another Chapter
It might be useful to visit another section go see how things are done. The Gambia Chapter is the first and they do have a lot of experience.

6. Create a Plan
After deciding on the issues, and looking at the strategic plans of the entire organization and some of the chapters and directorates.You then need to create an Action Plan, a plan on how to build awareness on those issues and to accomplish something awesome. This could include planning your first event, partnering with similar organizations in your area, or building a public presence with a petition drive.

Email us at:[email protected]

It is easier than you think. Need more information? We are just a phone call away.