What we do
What is going on?
There are a range of concrete activities running across partnering countries and elsewhere. Here are some examples:
Youth from Zimbabwe have made two animation videos, presenting the principles of the ACDEG to fellow youth in a creative and informative way. The videos call for youth to join the push for the implementation of the ACDEG in Zimbabwe, but it is also an inspiration for youth in other countries across the continent. Watch the second video here.
The Africa We Want project has strengthened the coordination between the regional CSO's EACSOF (East African Civil Society Organisations Forum), WACSOF (West African Civil Society Organisations Forum) and SADC-CNGO (South African Development Countries Counsil of NGO's). This is paving the way for a strong, united voice of the African civil society. Lilian Alex from EACSOF, Komlan Messi from WACSOF and Glen Farred and Rangarirai Machemedze from SADC-CNGO share their thoughts on the importance of a pan-african civil society. Read more here
Educating Members of Parliament on the existence and values of the ACDEG is an important and effective step in the push for the implementation of the charter. In several countries across the continent, partners of the Africa We Want project and youth activists have successfully reached MP's with training and awareness raising activities. This has led MP's in Uganda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe to commit to take action and support the signing, ratification and implementation of the ACDEG. Read more about the training in Uganda
"We are seriously concerned about the continuous marginalization of women in in the political governance of the country". In November 2019, Sierra Leonean ACDEG ambassadors took
their concerns about the the marginalization of youth and women in governance processes in their country to the social media. Read their open call here
On February 6-7 2020, CSOs working within the Africa We Want project held a CSO Pre-Summit Event in Addis Ababa. The event aimed at reaching a common understanding between policy makers and CSOs of the low level of implementation of the ACDEG on the continent.
One of the key challenges in reaching the objectives of the ACDEG refers to the uneven level of knowledge of the Charter among citizens. Journalist training and the design of media strategies are two of the main means to remedy this challenge. The Africa We Want Project aims at training close to 500 journalists to qualify media coverage on issues regarding the African Charter on Democracy, Election and Governance (ACDEG).
From country to region to continent
The project scope goes all the way from local ward to continental conference room. Here is an example of how it works:
A young person is trained at one of the local ActionAid youth hubs called Global Platforms.
This person goes on to organize a localized group to push the democratic values of the ACDEG to the front of local citizens’ as well as politicians’ agendas.
This grassroots political work empowers and enables this young person - and their local partners - to now participate in meetings and political debates at the Regional Economic Committee (REC) level.
When policy goes from REC-level all the way to African Union (AU)-level, this one young person’s commitment and push for democracy ends up influencing policy at the highest levels - or perhaps they go themselves to engage in person at the AU-level.
Multiply this by thousands of youth across the continent, and the end result will be increased continent-wide political consciousness of the values of the ACDEG at the AU-level.
And in turn, this continent-wide consciousness will influence policy at the REC-level and policy at country-level, where politicians will feel the increased continent-wide push for the values and principles that they, as nation-states, agreed to pursue more than ten years ago in Addis Ababa.
The project partners seek to strengthen democracy across the African continent through a consistent push for the values of the African Governance Architecture, focusing on the African Charter for Democracy, Elections and Governance.
It does so through three main types of activities:
- Development of knowledge products (reports, advocacy strategies, training curriculum)
- Civil society outreach and campaigning such as trainings and citizen surveys
- Strategic advocacy efforts
Knowledge products inform civil society organization activities which in turn provide popular support for advocacy efforts.
At the same time, advocacy efforts serve to create visibility that then also make outreach more effective and create more well-rounded knowledge products with input from a wider range of people.
In this way, the different activities affect one another in a positive feedback loop.