Support to the African Governance Architecture (AGA)
Title: Strengthening Good Governance and Human Rights in Africa – African Governance Architecture – AGA III
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: All member states of the African Union
Overall term: 2014 to 2023
The Promotion of good governance, respect for human rights and sustenance of peace and security on the continent are at the core of the African Union (AU) and of German Government cooperation, in alignment with the AU Agenda 2063.
AU Policy Organs have adopted norms, standards and commitments that constitute the Shared Valued Instruments (SVIs) - instruments that enjoin AU Member States to build a democratic culture characterised by good governance, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law. Despite commendable progress in the signature and ratification of these instruments, multiple challenges prevail when it comes to implementation due to insufficient institutional capacity, and lack of awareness.
As such, in 2010, the AU Heads of State and Government resolved to establish a Pan-African Governance Architecture later known as the African Governance Architecture (AGA) - a continental framework aimed at connecting, empowering and building capacities of African peoples in strengthening governance and consolidating democracy. The institutional framework is the African Governance Platform, – established in 2012, composed of AU Organs and Institutions and Regional Economic Communities (RECs), with mandates for the promotion and sustenance of good governance, democracy and human rights. The Platform facilitates better implementation of the SVIs, and the coordination of initiatives at continental, regional and national levels.
Examples of SVIs include the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG); the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights; the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child; the Maputo Protocol, which addresses the rights of women and girls; and the AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC).
The programme focuses on improved implementation of the AU’s commitments in the field of good governance, human rights and economic development.
The programme focuses on improved implementation of the AU’s commitments in the field of good governance, human rights and economic development. aThe African Governance Platform with its 19 Members is at the heart of AGA. Its Secretariat based at the African Union Commission (AUC) Department of Political Affairs (DPA) coordinates the operations of the Platform.
The programme is implemented in cooperation with six Platform Members: AUC DPA as host of the AGA Secretariat, the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), and African Union Advisory Board on Corruption (AUABC).
The programme takes a systemic approach, strengthening the capacity of AGA Platform Members, AU Member States and other relevant actors in their implementation efforts. Synergy amongst Platform Members is enhanced, improving the impact at Member State levels and in the lives of their citizens.
All 19 Platform Members meet annually and agree on joint flagship initiatives, guided by the AGA Roadmap.
The AGA Platform is the evaluation mechanism of the State Parties reports on the implementation of ACDEG providing an accountability structure for the assessment of the status of AU Member States’ compliance to the provisions of the Charter. The biennial publication of the African Governance Report, and the envisaged National Governance Reports led by the APRM provide accountability measures for Member States compliance to, and implementation of, SVIs with an aim to harmonising reporting mechanisms under the different instruments.
Citizens’ participation in policy and democratic governance processes have been institutionalised through the implementation of the AGA Youth Engagement Strategy which calls for annual continental consultations with youth on democratic governance and peace and security issues. The Nigerian ‘Not Too Young To Run’ campaign resulted from such consultations and led to the enactment of an Act of Parliament that reduced the age limit for running for elective office.
Also, the successful commemoration of the AU theme of year, “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation”, ignited a reaffirmation of AU Policy Organs and Member States commitment to the fight against corruption, strengthening the capacity of AUABC to monitor Member States compliance to AUCPCC.