THE ELEMENTS OF AU WATCH’S DEMOCRATIC WORK
The AU has plenty of treaties and policies to ensure good governance as well as the protection of civil liberties and the preservation of rights of African citizens.These include the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, African Youth Charter and the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa.
AU Watch’sdemocratic practice works to promote rule of law, democratic culture, political participation, human rights, access to justice, openness and accountability in within the AU System and amongst AU Member States by building political and civic organizations, safeguarding elections, and promoting citizen participation. We are a regional platform that brings together the AU, its Members, civil society, local community organisations, individuals and groups to share ideas, knowledge, experiences and expertise that can be adapted to the needs of individual countries.
We work at the intersection of AU / AU Member States politics, supporting actors from across the political spectrum, and empowering civil society, individuals, organisations, human rights activists and politicians to contribute effectively to a free and open society. We have different strategies that help us do this: We promote dialogue; increase opportunities for meaningful citizen participation in the AU and democratic systems throughout the region,especially through election and voting reforms.
We strengthen the capacities of political actors and parties; we provide democracy training for civil society, politicians and even for primary and secondary schools. We fight corruption in politics and even in the judiciary.
Certain themes and focus areas run through our work, including promoting peace in fragile and conflict-affected settings, diversity and gender equality, and innovation.
For democracy to flourish and deliver on its promises—including political participation, human rights, access to justice, a good education, an improved quality of life, a healthy environment, and personal security—its citizens must be informed, engaged, empowered, and assertive. Similarly, institutions of governance must be inclusive, transparent, accountable, and responsive.
Democratic practices are ways citizens can work together—even when they disagree—to solve shared problems.
Democratic practices are variations on the things that happen every day in communities. In order for these routine activities to become public, citizens have to be involved.
Our work reaches countries around the world, each with their own complex political history and diverse communities. Starting with an in-depth analysis of the specific political context, we assess how we can use our unique portfolio and expertise to contribute to positive change. Then, together with our local partners, we develop a tailor-made approach to make that change a reality.
Since political change can come from many places, we work with the entire political spectrum in a country, from aspiring local politicians to national political leaders.
During the course of our programmes, we constantly monitor and evaluate our work. We want to build democracies that are future-proof, so we share our achievements and learn from our mistakes. Through this pioneering attitude, we hope to arrive at innovative and effective solutions with a long-term impact.