Support to the African Governance Architecture (AGA)

Project description

Title: Support to the African Governance Architecture (AGA), African Union
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: Member states of the African Union
Lead executing agencies: African Union Commission (AUC); African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR); African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR); Pan-African Parliament (PAP)
Overall term: 2014 to 2016

Context

Good governance and respect for human rights are essential preconditions for peaceful and sustainable growth in Africa. They are therefore also a key focus of the activities of the African Union and German development cooperation.

National governments and regional communities support and are committed to safeguarding human rights and democratic governance. However, when it comes to implementing these, they often fail to fulfil their undertakings, not least because of the lack of effectiveness of their institutions.

A variety of institutions and bodies within the African Union have been given a mandate to promote democratic governance. However, with little coordination between these stakeholders and overlapping mandates, there are only rarely any noticeable benefits for the local population. It therefore becomes difficult to implement policy decisions capable of bringing about sustainable changes for citizens.

In 2010, the Assembly of the AU Heads of State and Government decided to build an African Governance Architecture (AGA), which was designed to establish a framework for developing and interlinking the numerous initiatives and processes at national and regional levels. The objective is to work in a coordinated and effective manner that will help to achieve democratic governance and enhance respect for human rights and the rule of law.

The AGA has the potential to act as liaison and drive the implementation of policies and formulation of new programmes promoting democratic governance and respect for human rights. The AGA is currently still being established and often not yet able to fulfil its duties. There is a lack not only of resources but also of any constructive and systematic coordination between the four key members of the AGA: the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (AfCHPR), the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) and the Pan-African Parliament (PAP).

Objective

The African Governance Architecture (AGA) is a mechanism recognised by states and citizens that contributes to harmonising and implementing standards for democracy and human rights in the countries of Africa.

Approach

The Department of Political Affairs (DPA) of the African Commission, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Pan-African Parliament form the backbone of the African Governance Architecture (AGA). GIZ has already enjoyed partnerships with these four key members for many years, and its new programme will therefore extend this successful cooperation.

Building on trusting relationships and the progress it has already achieved with its partners, GIZ will continue to provide support with the help of German and international advisors and through financial contributions. There will be a particular focus on improving management skills and institutional capacities and on encouraging cooperation between the four AGA members. The project has bases in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Arusha in Tanzania, Midrand in South Africa and Banjul in Gambia.