Support to Governance and Human Rights
Title: Strengthening Good Governance and Human Rights in Africa – AGA
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: All Member States of the African Union
Overall term: 2014 to 2023
In 2013, the African Union (AU) adopted Agenda 2063, a strategic framework for the inclusive and sustainable development of Africa. The goals include good governance, justice, the rule of law, respect for human rights and upholding peace and security on the continent. These goals are also in line with the UN Agenda 2030 and form the core of German Government cooperation with the AU.
Over the years, the Organisation of the African Unity/AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government have adopted norms, standards and commitments (Shared Value Instruments – SVI) enjoining AU Member States to these goals. However, Implementation at Member States’ level is often impeded by a lack of institutional capacity and political will. Another contributing factor is a lack of citizens’ awareness about the obligations that this involves.
In 2010, the AU resolved to establish the African Governance Architecture (AGA) as a Pan-African platform to promote good governance, democracy and respect for human rights. From 2014, the German Government - represented by GIZ - implemented programmes supporting the AU in operationalizing AGA and its structures, including the AGA Platform (the institutional framework of AGA), and its Secretariat. While the previous GIZ project phases AGA I and II focused on improving the institutional character of the AGA Platform, the current project phase AGA III seeks to support the AGA Platform Members in implementing the AU’s commitments, as captured in several SVIs, at Member States’ level.
The implementation of the AU’s commitments in the fields of good governance, human rights and economic development by AGA Platform Members, other actors and AU Member States is improved.
The Programme takes a systemic approach, strengthening the capacity of AGA Platform Members, other relevant actors and AU Member States in their efforts towards the implementation of AU commitments. Fostering collaboration among AGA Platform Members shall help improve the impact of the SVIs at Member State levels and in the lives of their citizens. Also enhanced citizens engagement is part of a holistic approach to ensure implementation of AU commitments in this regard.
The programme cooperates with six AGA Platform Members:
- The AU Commission Department of Political Affairs, as the host of 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
- The African Union Advisory Board on Corruption (AUABC).
The 19 AGA Platform Members meet annually and agree on joint flagship initiatives, guided by the AGA Roadmap.
The African Human Rights System continues to receive and handle complaints of human and peoples’ rights violations. This is one of several efforts aimed at improving the promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights by AU Member States.
The APRM has led to the biennial publication of the African Governance Report and the envisaged National Governance Reports. It promotes the harmonisation of its country reporting mechanisms with those of other SVIs.
The AGA Youth Engagement Strategy fosters citizen participation in policy-forming and democratic governance through institutionalized annual youth consultations on democratic governance, as well as peace and security issues. The Nigerian ‘Not Too Young To Run’ campaign emerged from such consultations, leading to the adoption of an Act of Parliament reducing the age limit for running for office in elections.
The AU Policy Organs and Member States are committed to fighting corruption, which is exemplified by the recent adoption of the Common African Position on Asset Recovery. Another aim is to improve the capacity of AUABC to monitor Member States’ compliance with the AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption.