Promoting democracy, governance, and human and people’s rights in Africa

By Published On: 4th July 2022

The Data for Governance Alliance is a project supported by the European Union. It is administered by a consortium of five organisations: (i) Afrobarometer; (ii) Center for Democratic Development – Ghana (CDD-Ghana); (iii) Institute for Development Studies (IDS) – University of Nairobi; (iv) Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR); and (v) Laws. Africa – University of Cape Town

The project seeks to enhance Pan-African civil society participation and engagement with the African Union’s African Governance Platform (AGP) to promote democracy, governance, and human and people’s rights in Africa. This came after the realisation that one of the biggest challenges to governance in Africa is a lack of citizen access to AU information and data. While both Agenda 2063 and the United Nations’ SDGs share a citizen-centred approach to governance, this is challenged by declining coverage, quality, and frequency of publicly available data for key data categories in Africa. This is compounded by a lack of awareness and visibility of the African Governance Platform (AGP) agenda and efforts to promote it.

In addition, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) often face challenges in accessing information about African Union (AU) platforms and processes. Compliance with AGP protocols is also inhibited by a lack of transparency and access to information. The Data for Governance Alliance therefore seeks to bridge this gap.

The project targets civil society organisations: AGP members, AU experts, the European Union, African citizens, youth, media and policymakers that include government officials, intergovernmental organizations, and legislators.

To date the project is working with 15 CSOs across East, West and Southern Africa through convenings and trainings by CDD-Ghana, IDS and IJR. The project is currently and will continue to. collect public opinion data through the Afrobarometer surveys with topics that are relevant to the AGP. An online Pan-African AGP platform is under construction and will seek to serve as an information clearinghouse on all aspects of the AGP agenda, including protocols, charters and decisions as well as relevant legal decisions, policy, implementation, monitoring, and related material. The chosen CSOs are:

West Africa: West Africa Network for Peace Building, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa, Media Foundation for West Africa and Parliamentary Network Africa.

Southern Africa: CDD Mozambique, Democracy Development Program, Democracy Works Foundation, Good Governance Africa and Institute for Public Policy Research.

East Africa: Eastern Africa Child Rights Network, Human Rights Watch, East Africa Civil Society Organisations’ Forum, Life and Peace Institute (LPI), Horn of Africa Regional Programme and Plan International African Union Liaison Office.

Currently the project has also solidified its collaboration with six AU organs (APRM, ARCEWC, ACHPR, ECOSOCC, PAP and AUABC) with the aim of working with nine organs. We are continuing to strengthen relations with these organisations through several ways, through supporting and participating in the organs’ activities. Furthermore, the project hosted a webinar to disseminate AB findings on youth and corruption. This meeting was attended by both 15 CSOs and 6 AGP members. A mailing list for updates, publications and social media accounts has been developed

Going forth the project has a number of upcoming planned activities for 2022 which include:

  1. Physical event with CSOs and AGP members from all regions (September)
  2. Afrobarometer Summer Schools
  3. Regional review and reflecting meetings (November/December)
  4. Currently the project website is being constructed and will be a one-stop shop to access news, information, and activities.
  5. Support and participation in the African Governance Architecture Support Project transversal activities through Expertise France and the AGA secretariat in Addis Ababa.

Some of these activities are going to be open to the public and calls will be made for the public to register or apply to attend and participate. 

Nyasha Mpani, Project Officer for the Data for Governance Alliance Project

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