Africa’s Strategic Partnerships: prospects, Challenges and way forward

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In an effort to move forward its development and integration Agenda and achieve its vision of “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena”, the African Union, through its Commission has entered into strategic partnerships with countries and regions of the outside world, such as the Africa-EU and Africa-South America Partnerships (continent to continent partnership)- and the Africa-China (FOCAC), Africa-Korea, Africa-India and Africa-Turkey partnerships (continent to Country Partnership).

Africa has also entered in a strategic partnership with the Arab world, which dates back to 1977. The Africa-Arab Partnership, which is the oldest partnership that Africa entered into with the outside world, is a solidarity type of partnership, which focuses more on political, cultural and social issues. The partnership is also unique, in that it embraces nine countries that belong to both the African Union and the League of Arab States.

The Africa Union, through its Commission, is also a co-organizer of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), initiated by the Government of Japan in 1993, to promote a high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and development partners. In this capacity the Union, through the Commission, undertakes negotiations with the Government of Japan and other organizers on behalf its Member States.

All the Africa’s Strategic Partnerships are guided and monitored by periodic high level joint policy organ meetings such as Joint Summits, Ministerial and Senior Officials meetings, which are alternately hosted by Africa and the partners. The periodicity of meetings of the Joint Summits ranges from three to five years. At the end of each joint Summit, a Declaration and Plan of Action are adopted, summarizing the political commitments of the two sides and mapping out further direction of the Partnership. The Plan of Actions elaborate the agreed upon areas for cooperation until the next summit.

Africa’s Strategic Partnerships aim at mobilizing the necessary financial and technical support for the implementation of Africa’s regional and continental programs; including the recently adopted Agenda 2063 and its First Ten Year Implementation Plan. This, however, is by no means affecting engagements in bilateral relations between individual African countries and the AU Strategic Partners. Instead, the continental engagement with the partners would assist individual African countries to further build their bilateral relations and, attract and provide more investment and trade opportunities as well as other development programs.

Africa’ Strategic Partnerships also provide a unique opportunity to maintain high level policy dialogue between leaders of Africa and the strategic partners, which are vital for narrowing gaps and, where possible, harmonizing positions on global and regional issues of common concern. The Partnerships also help to ensure Africa’s full ownership of its own political and development agendas and mobilize support for Africa’s request to assume its legitimate place at the international arena, including the request for permanent seats at the Security Council of the United Nations.

Combating terrorism, drug trafficking, piracy and protection of cultural heritages, as well as cooperation on migration and diaspora issues are also among the various areas of concern that Africa brings to and discusses with the Strategic Partners with the aim of finding joint solutions.

Although, Africa’s Strategic Partnerships have proven themselves relevant in the past, at least by bringing together the high level policy organs of the two sides to discuss and resolve issues of concern to Africa on regular basis, their objectives, scope and modus operandi needs to be reviewed in order to make them balanced and more productive and action oriented.

Such review will also help to address the challenges that the African Union Partnerships programs are facing at the moment, which include lack of funding to implement agreed upon programs and projects; cumbersomeness of the Action Plans and absence of performance evaluation indicators and non-existence or inefficiency of monitoring and evaluation mechanisms. The extreme inclination to national projects and lack of specially dedicated window for financing regional and continental programs of the Union are also among the important issues to be addressed by the review.

As the request from countries and organizations for Strategic Partnerships with Africa is continuously on the rise, due to the fact that Africa has become the most reliable and attractive destination of the global investment, the review will also assist to curb the current practice, where partnerships are entered into on the basis of political decisions, and encourage a demand driven type of approach, which will be based on the needs of Africa and the comparative advantages of the Partners.

In view of the above and based on the directives of the AU Policy Organs, the African Union Commission in collaboration with the Sub-Committee on Multilateral Cooperation of the Permanent Representatives Committee of the African Union is in the process of finalizing the evaluation of the various Partnerships, in light of their relevance and effectiveness and value addition.

The evaluation, which is expected to be completed in June 2016, will also identify the specific areas of cooperation for each partnership, aligning them with the First Ten Year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Categories: AFRICA

Conference elections 2016: women @ the forefront

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On April 14th, 2016, women representing eight of the main political parties and coming from all corners of Morocco came together for the launch of the, “Elections 2016: Women @ the Forefront” Conference to share successful strategies for gaining elected office and discuss how women can advocate for greater leadership roles within their political parties.

This three-day conference, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and facilitated by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) with additional support from the Embassies of Spain and France, aims to encourage women from different political affiliations and regions to exchange experiences while working together to develop internal advocacy strategies. In addition, the conference will also include a series of workshops on message development and delivery; building your resources; social media use and developing policy.

U.S. Ambassador to Morocco Dwight L. Bush, Sr. provided inspiring opening remarks, which applauded the commitment of both the Government of Morocco and the conference participants towards designing a more inclusive political system. “Your presence confirms Morocco’s commitment to making real progress on the gender equality related amendments to the 2011 constitution…Morocco is often cited as leading the way on gender equality in the region. This progress did not happen in a vacuum. It comes as a result of committed civil society activists and enlightened political leaders coming together as partners in reform. This partnership continues here, as you share ideas and priorities for the future.”

Currently, women only represent 17% of Moroccan parliament. The 2016 legislative elections provide opportunities for Moroccan women play an active role in politics more than ever before. Through internal advocacy efforts, party activists can motivate their leadership to make decisions that help boost women’s ability to access to elected office.

About USAID:

Through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the American people have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for nearly 50 years. In Morocco, USAID provides assistance to Morocco through three sectors: Education, Economic Growth and Democracy and Governance. Since 1957, USAID has invested over 2 billion dollars on technical and humanitarian assistance to Morocco.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Ambassade des Etats-Unis d’Amérique au Maroc.

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Opening Ceremony of the African Union, Kofi Annan Foundation, and ICTJ Conference on Truth Commissions and Peace Processes

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High-level Conference: Truth Commissions and Peace Processes in Africa. Discussions during the two-day Conference will focus on many of the critical issues that peace mediators and practitioners need to take into account when considering including a truth commission as part of a peace process.


Opening Ceremony, 1000 – 1100h 18 April 2016


Committee Room I, Old AU Conference Complex,

AU Commission headquarters, Addis Ababa


The Conference will be hosted by the African Union (AU), in partnership with the Kofi Annan Foundation and the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). Senior staff from the African Union and member states as well as international and national experts will reflect on lessons learned from truth commissions that have emerged from peace processes in Africa and other continents. Opening Statements by:

Ambassador Smail Chergui, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security
Kofi Annan, Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation
David Tolbert, President of the International Center for Transitional Justice

Journalists are invited to cover the Opening Ceremony

On Monday 18 April 2016 at 1000 – 1100h

Conference Twitter hash tag: #truth4peace

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Categories: AFRICA

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the situation in the Republic of the Congo

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The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about recent reports that security operations undertaken by the Government of the Republic of the Congo in the Pool region allegedly resulted in attacks against civilian targets and displacement of the population from the affected areas. He is also troubled about restrictions on access to the region, which hamper adequate information gathering, evaluation and reporting on the situation.

The Secretary-General urges the Government of the Republic of the Congo to ensure that humanitarian and other relevant actors are granted access to the affected areas and population, and that security forces act in compliance with the country’s obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law.

The Secretary-General condemns all acts of violence. He calls on all parties to show restraint and to engage in constructive and inclusive dialogue in the aftermath of the presidential election. He is dispatching his Special Representative for Central Africa and Head of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa, Abdoulaye Bathily, to Brazzaville to consult with national authorities and other relevant stakeholders in order to defuse tensions.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Categories: AFRICA

Addressing challenges of climate change in Ethiopia

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The Ethiopian minister of agriculture, Mr. Tefera Derebew says, his country has put in place measures to address the occurrence of El Nino which recently affected their country as a result of climate change.

In an interview during the 29th Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Africa held at Abidjan, he stated that Ethiopia has been experiencing severe drought in particular in the drought-prone areas of North-East and the Eastern parts of the country where millions of people were in need of food support.

Mr. Tefera Derebew reiterated that, the resilience capacity they have built in Ethiopia for the last decade were able to mobilize all the necessary resources and capacities needed to manage the situation. “In this regard, the National Strategic Reserve (NSR) capacity that we have built played a crucial role in, actually, managing our grain liquidity problem and timely delivery of food to our people, equally distributed,” he explained.

He further stated that the National Strategic Reserve mainly works through basic interests where storages in different parts of the country are well positioned to serve the whole country. So far, Ethiopia has been able to build 450 thousand metric tons capacity and working at taking it to the level of 1.5 million metric ton.

The importance of National Strategic Reserve

According to Minister Derebew, the NSR purpose is to reserve the grain and whenever there is an emergency need, the government ministries, agencies and development partners even WFP would borrow from the strategic reserve. They would then repay in kind the same quality and amount of grain that they previously borrowed.

The second purpose of the National Strategic Reserve is to address prices fluctuation in the market and protect the farmer whenever there is a significant fall in price. The strategic reserve would buy from smallholder farmers and when the prices rise, the reserve would release supplies to the market thus helping in controlling prices. ‘It is a kind of stabilizing mechanism and it is also a kind of addressing emergency needs’, he confirmed.

Tackling EI Nino

In tackling the El Nino effect in Ethiopia, this strategic reserve has played a considerable role. ‘We have been able to manage the grain liquidity we borrow from the reserve; we supply it in relatively low logistics costs, timely delivery and right amount per each and every individual’s need. On top of that, we are able to buy from the international market more grain that we store while the available reserves can be used. We make sure this rotation is maintained’, said Tefera Derebew.

Given the severity of the drought problem and the number of people who are in need of food support, unless we have this capacity, the effect with impact would have been catastrophic. This drought is the most severe one that Ethiopia has faced in 50 years, according to the Minister.

Water Challenges

The Ethiopian authorities are undertaking irrigation activities under smallholder farmers, especially in the lowlands which are pastoral and drought-prone areas. They are also trying to utilize the underground water so that irrigation be possible both for forage and crop production; farming and livelihoods systems of the pastoralists would also improve under such intervention. Expanding irrigation has helped the country in tackling the problem and compensating the loss from the main season with irrigation activities in moisture areas.

Way Forward

‘The way forward is for us to preparing ourselves for the worst case scenario, we are buying more grain from the international market, we are storing more grain, and we are procuring from the local market, in particular pulses to make sure that the daily diet requirement is fulfilled. The other issue we have is water both for livestock and people. So, we are aggressively doing infrastructure development, and at the same time, developing underground water for better supplying’, explained Tefera Derebew.

‘I think we are in the right direction, The main cropping season will run from June to September 2016; so, once we produce, we’ll be able to solve the problem. This will take us up to the end of December 2016′, he added.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

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Source:: Addressing challenges of climate change in Ethiopia

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UK committed to supporting Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram

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The UK is fully committed to supporting Nigeria in its fight against Boko Haram and to helping find those abducted.

On the second anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls in Nigeria, Foreign Office Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, and International Development Minister, Nick Hurd, issued the following joint statement:

“Our thoughts are with the Chibok schoolgirls, their families and the thousands of other men, women and children who have been brutally abducted by Boko Haram. The abduction of the girls was a particularly horrific example of Boko Haram’s barbaric crimes.

“We remain determined and steadfast in our support of Nigeria in its fight against Boko Haram. Since 2014, we have significantly increased our military, intelligence and development support to Nigeria. This includes training and advice for Nigerian armed forces deploying against Boko Haram. The UK has also increased its humanitarian support to reach those people most in need with food, water and emergency healthcare. Part of this assistance focuses on ensuring children have a right to education and safe access to schools.

“Tackling the root causes of global problems such as violent extremism, terrorism and poverty is not only the right thing to do, it is also firmly in the UK’s own national interest.”


The abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls in April 2014 was a particularly heinous example of Boko Haram’s brutality. We estimate that over 2,000 people were abducted by the group in 2014, and that hundreds more have been taken since.

In response to the abduction of the Chibok girls in 2014 the UK, working with the US and France, provided a range of military and intelligence support to the Nigerian government in their search for the missing girls and their efforts to address the longer term challenge of terrorism. Since 2014, we have significantly increased our military, intelligence and development support to Nigeria, including training and advice on counter-insurgency.

Last year almost 1,000 Nigerian military personnel benefited from UK training to prepare them for counter-insurgency operations in the North East. The UK has also provided £5 million to support the regional military taskforce set up by Nigeria and its neighbours to tackle the insurgents.

The UK is contributing millions of pounds in humanitarian support to help those most affected by Boko Haram’s insurgency. This vital aid is providing food, water, sanitation and emergency healthcare for up to 7 million people across Nigeria.

DFID also supports the Government of Nigeria’s Safe Schools Initiative which has helped over 90,000 displaced children to return to school, provided learning materials, and trained teachers on psychosocial support.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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Another 41 allegations of peacekeeper sex abuse undisclosed by the UN

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AIDS-Free World ( has received leaked information that 41 additional cases of sexual violence by peacekeepers have been documented by MINUSCA, the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (CAR), following interviews with victims in Dekoa, a remote town in the country’s Kemo prefecture. In an April 7th code cable, MINUSCA informed UN headquarters that an “integrated team” sent to Dekoa from March 25th to April 4th interviewed 59 women and girls. While some were on a list of 98 victims who reported sexual abuse to UNICEF last month, the team documented 41 new cases never previously reported.

The code cable to UN headquarters was sent during the visit to CAR of UN Special Coordinator Jane Holl Lute. On April 8th, the mission issued a video of Ms. Lute discussing top priorities ( …Third, we have to publicly come forward and say what do we know about this behavior when it occurs.”

When it occurs? Ms. Lute had the information of these 41 new cases when the video was made. Where is the transparency? It’s quite a commentary on the way in which the UN works when the coordinator becomes the lead dissembler.

At the daily press briefing on April 7th (, the day New York headquarters received the cable, Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq told journalists who requested further details regarding over 100 reports of sexual abuse in CAR disclosed by Code Blue on March 30, 2016 (, We’ve been providing updates on that in recent days, as you’re aware. I don’t have any update for you today, but as we get more information from our peacekeeping and field support counterparts, we’ll certainly relay those on to you.”

When media pressed the UN for details again this past Monday, April 11th, Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said (, “…we hope to share more details with you as soon as we can. Obviously, you know, we’ve had preliminary work done. OIOS [the UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services] will be going there on the ground. The difficulties… the logistical difficulties in the area also cannot be understated. From what I’m told, there’s electricity about two hours a day. It’s… The only communications are sat[elite] phones, so the communications with the teams on the ground are a little challenging as well. But we’re trying to harvest as much… as many numbers as we can for you and to try to bring a little clarity as to where we are on the number of allegations. […] As to the assessment, I don’t have any more numbers to share with you. I think what I said… and I hope I said it clearly… is that OIOS would be sending an expanded team of about 10 people to the area.”

These exercises in evasion, after the cable had been received, are deeply disappointing. It’s clear that the culture of suppression of information is still alive and well at UN headquarters.

AIDS-Free World wants to emphasize that many critical details are not in our possession. Only the UN can provide them. How many times have the same women and girls been interviewed, knowing the trauma that is induced by repetitive interviewing? What legal basis does the UN have to conduct these interviews? Of what, exactly, does any psycho-social counselling and medical assistance consist? How many of the women and girls so far interviewed once, twice, or three times by UN staff have received what Ms. Lute describes as “emergency” assistance? Have the local police authorities been informed? To what extent are they involved in the investigation of these criminal acts?

MINUSCA’s April 7, 2016 code cable to headquarters (which our sources quoted, but did not send to us in its original form) stated that the team was deployed “to carry out a prel[iminary] investigation into allegation of sexual violence by UN and non-UN international military forces” and was composed of personnel from MINUSCA’s human rights division, UNFPA (the Population Fund), UNICEF (the UN Children’s Fund) and UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency). The ‘integrated team’ did not include professional investigators from the UN’s independent Office of Internal Oversight Services.

If the UN, which is not authorized to conduct criminal investigations, is sending “integrated teams” and OIOS investigators to interview victims and witnesses, gather information and preserve evidence, are they acting alone, or in conjunction with—and at the request of—authorized law enforcement personnel from France, Gabon, Burundi, and any other governments whose troops have been identified so far?

Details provided in the April 7th cable:

All of the alleged victims were women and girls.

…allegations show that food, including rations, and money was exchanged for sex, often with promises of marriage.

…numerous allegations of rapes – when victims went to collect water or when they approached international forces to sell fruit (a pattern of raping closely reminiscent of Darfur)

…justice system in Dekoa is nonexistent.

The Code Blue campaign sees the UN’s ad hoc responses to ever-growing reports of sexual violence as improvised and dangerously unprofessional. Droves of women and girls who’ve come forward in the past month are being subjected to a chaotic grab-bag of bits and pieces of UN activities, slapped together by the MINUSCA mission without adequate headquarters leadership or oversight, thought, planning, protocols, guidelines, or clear channels of communication.

Whatever the UN’s intentions, the organization may well be compounding victims’ trauma irreversibly through this round-robin of “preliminary” interviews, conducted over and over again, and with no real justice, protection, or support in sight.

With every new piece of sordid information it becomes clear that the UN itself is clearly unable to handle sexual exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping operations. There is no plan, and there is absolutely no leadership. We are persuaded that the only answer is to take management of sexual exploitation and abuse reports out of the hands of the United Nations Secretariat entirely, and place it in the hands of an external, expert oversight panel, chosen from and responsible to the Member States. When the panel, over the course of two to three years, working in real time, has cleaned up the morass of sexual exploitation and abuse, in every particular, then and only then can the responsibility be returned to the UN.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Code Blue campaign.

Media contact: Gill Mathurin
Tel: +1-646-924-1710, +1-647-406-5731 (EDT)
Email: [email protected]

AIDS-Free World is an international advocacy organization devoted to exposing and addressing injustice, abuse, and inequality. We launched the Code Blue campaign ( to end impunity for sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeeping personnel.
Twitter: @AIDS_Free_World (

Source:: Another 41 allegations of peacekeeper sex abuse undisclosed by the UN

Categories: AFRICA

Burundi: Government Investigations Ignore State Abuses

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The findings of a Burundian commission of inquiry into allegations of extrajudicial executions by members of the security forces on December 11, 2015, in the capital, Bujumbura, are misleading and biased, Human Rights Watch said today. This is one of several official inquiries that have failed to properly investigate security force abuses or hold those responsible to account.

The inquiry focused on reports of abuses during the most deadly operation by the Burundian security forces since the country’s crisis began in April. Human Rights Watch found that police and military shot dead scores of people in Nyakabiga and Musaga neighborhoods, apparently in retaliation for opposition attacks on four military installations, and for heavy shooting at security forces by gunmen in these neighborhoods.

“This is the latest in a series of commissions of inquiry in Burundi that has ignored widespread abuses by the security forces,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “These inquiries have covered up state abuses and have not led to justice.”

The Prosecutor General, Valentin Bagorikunda, set up an inquiry into the December 11 events on December 17, 2015. Summarizing the inquiry’s main conclusions on March 10, 2016, he did not mention killings or abuses of Bujumbura residents by the security forces. He claimed that those killed on December 11 were armed “combatants” wearing police or military uniforms.

Since 2010, there have been at least seven commissions of inquiry into allegations of killings and other abuses. Most of them have denied or downplayed serious abuses by state agents.

Human Rights Watch documented the killings of December 11 in detail and found no indications that the victims had participated in the attacks on the military installations. Some victims were found lying side by side, face down, and appeared to have been shot in the back or the head. Others survived with serious injuries. The security forces also carried out large-scale arbitrary arrests in both neighborhoods.

In March, two United Nations special rapporteurs and one from the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights visited Burundi to investigate human rights abuses at the request of the UN Human Rights Council. They plan to return in June and send a small team of human rights monitors to be based in the country.

Presenting their interim report to the Human Rights Council on March 22, Christof Heyns, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, said: “The overt violence of last year seems to have subsided. At the same time covert violence, for example, in the form of disappearances, seems to have increased… There are some in [the Burundian] government who seem to be open to change. Others, however, are in denial anything is wrong.”

Given the Burundian justice system’s inability or unwillingness to conduct credible and thorough investigations, an independent, international commission of inquiry is needed to establish the truth about the grave abuses in Burundi in the past year and support the efforts of the special rapporteurs, Human Rights Watch said.

An international commission with expertise in criminal and forensic investigations would conduct in-depth inquiries with a view to establishing individual responsibility for the most serious crimes. It would probe deeper into these crimes, complementing the work of UN and African Union human rights observers in Burundi as well as the Human Rights Council’s initiatives.

Burundian government officials have repeatedly claimed there is peace and security throughout the country, despite the fact that several hundred people have been killed over the past year and many others arbitrarily arrested, tortured or disappeared. The minister of human rights, social affairs and gender, Martin Nivyabandi, told the Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 22 that, “the situation is normalizing” and that, “Burundi today couldn’t be a land where impunity reigns.”

“Contrary to the minister’s statement, impunity has been at the heart of Burundi’s political system for years and is one of the principal causes of the current human rights crisis,” Bekele said.

Serious new abuses were reported throughout March and early April. Scores of people have been arrested and others taken away to unknown destinations by the police or intelligence services. Ruling party officials, police, and members of the ruling party youth league known as Imbonerakure arrested at least 16 members of the opposition party National Liberation Forces (FNL) at a bar in Kirundo province on March 12. The police spokesman, Pierre Nkurikiye, claimed they were conducting a political meeting without authorization.

Armed opposition groups have also been responsible for abuses. Unidentified men killed two ruling party officials in Bururi and Makamba provinces on March 15.

Since early 2016, the intelligence services have intensified surveillance of human rights activists, journalists, and other perceived critics, making it even more difficult to document and expose abuses and putting the few activists who remain at even greater risk.

Tensions were heightened on March 22, after an unidentified gunman shot dead Lt. Col. Darius Ikurakure, a military commander reportedly involved in many abuses, at the army headquarters in Bujumbura. Later that day, residents of Bujumbura reported that security forces arrested several people. That night, another military officer, Major Didier Muhimpundu, was killed in Bujumbura. An opposition group, the Republican Forces of Burundi (Forces républicaines du Burundi, FOREBU), later claimed responsibility for Ikurakure’s death.

“The government’s claims that Burundi is calm and that security is improving aren’t true,” Bekele said. “The recent killing of the military officials has heightened tensions, and many people are being arrested or simply go missing.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Human Rights Watch (HRW).

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Categories: AFRICA

UN rights expert to assess the situation of persons with disabilities in Zambia

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United Nations Special Rapporteur Catalina Devandas-Aguilar will carry out her first visit to Zambia from 18 to 28 April 2016. She will be examining the situation of persons with disabilities – including older persons, women and children with disabilities – as well as legislation, policies and programmes in place for the enjoyment of their rights.

“During my ten-day visit, I will focus on the level of enjoyment of the rights of persons with disabilities in Zambia, in areas such as social protection, education, mental health, access to justice, and deprivation of liberty,” the human rights expert said.

“Given the current pre-electoral context in Zambia, I am also keen to assess how the right of persons with disabilities to participate in political and public life is being addressed in the electoral process, ahead of the general elections of August,” Ms. Devandas-Aguilar noted.

The Special Rapporteur reports to the UN Human Rights Council and advises on the realisation of the rights of persons with disabilities word-wide, including by supporting Governments to identify good practices, opportunities, challenges and protection gaps in this area. Her work is guided by the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities* and other international human rights standards.

The expert, who will visit the country at the invitation of the Government of Zambia, will meet with government representatives at national and local levels, as well as with organizations of persons with disabilities, other civil society actors, UN officials and international donors. She will visit the cities of Lusaka and Ndola.

“I look forward to engaging with authorities, persons with disabilities and their representative organizations and other actors to better understand how the rights of persons with disabilities are implemented in Zambia, the practical approaches that have been prioritised, and the policies, programmes and decisions that have either helped or hampered the realization of the rights of persons with disabilities,” Ms. Devandas-Aguilar explained.

On 28 April 2016 at 11h30 a.m., Ms. Devandas Aguilar will hold a press conference at the Southern Sun Ridgeway Hotel in Lusaka to share with the media her preliminary observations on the visit. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.

The Special Rapporteur will submit a comprehensive report to the UN Human Rights Council, including her findings and recommendations, in March 2017.

(*) Check the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities:

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

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Source:: UN rights expert to assess the situation of persons with disabilities in Zambia

Categories: AFRICA

AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture Discusses New Initiatives for Advancing Nutrition in Agriculture and Food Systems

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Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Her Excellency Mrs. Tumusiime Rhoda Peace met with the Director of the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, Professor Sandy Thomas at Mövenpick Hotel in Accra, Ghana, ahead of the 12th Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme, taking place in Accra from 12th to 15th April 2016. The Global Panel is a London-based international research and policy advocacy organisation that gathers an independent group of influential experts with acommitment to tackling global challenges in food and nutrition security. Commissioner Tumusiime and ten others are members of this Panel.

Professor Thomas briefed the Commissioner on recent engagements with Global Panelists, notably former President John Kufuor and current President of Africa Development Bank (AfDB), H.E. Dr. AkinwumiAdesinaand other dignitariesand on matters arising from these engagements.She highlighted the key outcome of the 15 March 2016 African Leaders for Nutrition meeting in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

Professor Sandy Thomas informed Commissioner Tumusiime of three forth coming events, namely; the 12 April 2016 High-Level Roundtable on Food Safety and Aflotoxin in Africa, and the launch of the Africa version of the forthcoming “Foresight Report on Future Diets”, which is planned to be presented as an Africa version of this report at the next Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Nairobi.

Prof. Thomas further briefed the Commissioner about the engagement of the Global Panel withthe House of Commons in London, to launch the Policy Brief on: “Managing Food Price Volatility: policy options to support healthy diets and nutrition in the context of uncertainty”. This auspicious event was hosted by Lord Cameron of Dillington and Sir John Beddington, co-chair of the Global Panel. Commissioner Tumusiime advised the Global Panel to prepare a project proposal for encouraging the youth in Africa to invest in nutrition-sensitive agribusiness along the value chain.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Source:: AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture Discusses New Initiatives for Advancing Nutrition in Agriculture and Food Systems

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African Union electoral observation mission for the Presidential election in Chad republic (April 10, 2016)

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According to relevant provisions of the African Charter on Democracy, Governing Democratic Elections in Africa 2002, the African Union Guidelines on elections observation and monitoring missions 2002, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AU), HE Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, dispatched an election observation Mission (AUEOM) for the first round of presidential election on April 10, 2016 in the Republic of Chad. The Mission is led by His Excellency Professor Dioncounda Traore, former Transition President of the Republic of Mali. The numerical strength of the mission is 34 observers, made of accredited ambassadors to African Union, Pan-African Parliamentarians, officials of election management bodies and members of the civil society. The observers are from 23 countries, namely: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritius, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Seychelles, Tunisia and Zimbabwe.

The AUEOM receives technical and logistical support of experts from the African Union Commission (AU), the Pan African Parliament (PAP) and the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA). The team arrived Chad on April 6, 2016 and had monitored and evaluated the end of the campaign, voting procedures and counting of votes. It will remain in the country until 14th April 2016 to trail the compilation of the provisional results of the election. This statement, which follows the various exchanges with stakeholders and the observation of the electoral process, presents the preliminary report and recommendations of AUEOM. A more comprehensive final report will expand the analysis of the Chadian electoral process and will submit a more detailed report and recommendations of the Mission.

II. Objectives and Methodology

The objective of the Mission is to make an independent, objective and impartial conduct of the electoral process in the Republic of Chad on the basis of the relevant provisions of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance adopted in 2007 which entered into force in 2012; the Declaration of the OAU / AU Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa 2002; AU Guidelines for elections observation and monitoring missions of 2002 and other relevant instruments governing the conduct of democratic elections in Africa, including the African Mechanism of Peer Review. The observation was also made in the light of the legal framework for the organization of the presidential election in the Republic of Chad.

The Mission met with the political authorities, heads of institutions responsible for the management of elections, candidates, leaders of civil societies and representatives of the international community present in N’Djamena. It also exchanged with other international observer missions accredited for the elections and with national observer groups. In addition to the observation of the end of the campaign, these meetings have made the AUEOM understand the historical and political context of organizing this election and to assess its level of preparedness.

In order to observe voting and counting procedures, AUEOM deployed 15 teams of observers in the following regions: Abéché, Ati, Bongor, Doba Koumra, Lai Mao Massakory, Masenya, Mongo, Moundou, N’Djamena, Pala- Lere and Sarh.

III. Pre-Election Observations

AUEOM evaluated the overall context of the presidential election of April 10, 2016 in the Republic of Chad and was informed of the current legal framework. The information gathered also enabled the Mission to become familiar with the administration of elections in the country, voter registration, political parties and candidates, women’s participation and conduct of the electoral campaign.


The April 10, 2016 presidential election is an important turning point in Chad political life. It marks a return to an intermittent cycle of organized elections in a harmonious environment. Similarly, through this election, the country continues its normalization efforts policy since the signing of the Political Agreement of 13 August 2007 that strengthens the democratic process. The introduction of biometrics has been the main innovation of this election phase. Although required by Political Agreement and included in the Electoral Code, this technology could not be adopted in 2011 due to financial and time constraints. The use of biometrics in voters registration has greatly increased citizens enthusiasm vis-à-vis of the electoral process and has helped to reassure stakeholders, including candidates and political parties, about the conditions of a constitutional and reliable electoral register. The second highlight of this election was the number of candidates. Unlike the presidential elections of 2006 and 2011that were boycotted by the so-called radical opposition, the 10 April 2016 election has been widely inclusive. The strong participation of opposition candidates has increased the competitive nature of the election and generated a lot more expectations than before. Despite political protests and social unrest due mainly to the deterioration of living conditions, the Mission believes that the presidential election of April 10, 2016 took place in a relatively more consensual climate than the previous elections.

B. Legal framework

Various laws govern, to varying degrees, the organization of elections in Chad. The Constitution sets the overall legal framework for elections based on several principles. In its first article, it establishes the democratic foundation of the Republic. It proclaimed political pluralism and political freedoms. It also defines the contours of the election of the President of the Republic (Articles 61 to 71). The President of the Republic is elected by two-round system (art. 66 of the Constitution and Art. 136 of the Electoral Code). To be elected in the first round, a candidate must win an absolute majority. Otherwise, a second round will be set for the two leading candidates.

The relevant constitutional provisions for the election of the President of the Republic are taken and complemented by the Electoral Code. It describes in detail, the conditions for registration on the electoral lists, the organization of the operations of voting and counting, the application requirements, the campaign, results management and electoral disputes, as well as criminal provisions relating to elections.

In addition, the Constitution and the Charter of political parties offer political freedoms (freedom of association, freedom of assembly, etc.) and political parties recognize a fundamental role in the construction of democracy. To this end, a free and equitable access to public media, especially during election periods is guaranteed to all.

Chad has ratified the main international and regional legal instruments for the organization of democratic elections. In addition to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Chad is a party to the Civil and Political treaty of 1966, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women of 1979, the Charter African of human rights and peoples of 1981 and the African Charter on democracy, elections and governance, 2007.

In general, the legal framework in force in Chad establishes principles and other measures conducive to credible elections. It is constantly changing and

is likely to enable Chadians to freely choose their leaders.

c. Election administration.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has the overall responsibility for the organization, supervision and the management of presidential, parliamentary and local elections in Chad. While previous election commissions had an equal composition of majority-opposition, the current INEC has a tripartite structure comprising of representatives of the majority, the opposition and civil society organizations. It comprises 41 members as follows: 17 representing the majority, 17 from the opposition and 6 civil society organizations. The 41th is the INEC president appointed by a consensus. In fulfilling its mission, INEC receives technical and operational assistance from the Permanent Bureau of Elections (PBE). AUEOM made the following observations regarding the organization and administration of INEC:

• The establishment of a tripartite INEC is a move towards greater inclusiveness in the composition of the election administration. However, with 41 members at national level and in the divisions, the composition of INEC may seem overstuffed. The election administration runs the risk of blockages and consensus in decision making can sometimes be hard to find;

• The tripartite composition of INEC puts it at the mercy of pressures and political interference due to its political rather than technical and also due to a potential imbalance between its various components;

• The presence of representatives of civil societies in central INEC and other components is a guarantee of transparency and credibility for many stakeholders interviewed by the Mission. The suspension of the participation of representatives of civil society organizations in the work of the INEC in protest against the detention of some of their members, did not affect unduly the functioning of the electoral administration;

• There is no formal communication mechanism, fluid and reliable within INEC, between INEC and the BPE and between INEC and stakeholders in the electoral process, despite the efforts noted in the dialogue between INEC and political actors through the National Framework for Policy and Dialogue


• It was the first time that this new INEC is organizing elections. Apart from some commissioners, most members of the election administration have no previous experience of elections organization.

B. Voters Registration

According to Article 32 of the Electoral Code, the electoral cards are biometric. They are printed by INEC that can stop in the form and the validity period. Under the Political Agreement of 13th August 2007 and in order to strengthen the democratic process in Chad, the biometric enrollment was one of the main innovations of this election. If the principle of the introduction of biometrics has never been a problem, the extent of the operation divided the Chadian political class for a while. The majority wanted to limit biometrics registration of voters while the opposition demanded the use of voter identification kits in the polls as an additional guarantee of transparency of

the voting process. The option of audit kits was not ultimately successful.

The biometric enrollment process has to include a total of 6,252,248 voters in Chad and 46,253 abroad. While noting the progress made in the reliability of the electoral process, many stakeholders that the mission met stressed the low transparency of procurement procedures relating to the enrollment process, shortcomings in citizen awareness and deficits in the training of enumerators. Other interlocutors of the mission expressed concerns in relation to the distribution of voter cards.

E. Parties, candidates, political financing

Political parties are the main organizers of political life and participate in the structuring of the political debate in a country. Law No. 019 / PR / 2009 of 4th of August 2009 on the Charter of Political Parties was adopted to better regulate the creation and functioning of political parties in Chad. While reaffirming the freedom accorded to citizens to join political groups, it imposes to particular political parties to have a national base and contribute to the promotion of democratic values by prohibiting any use of force to seize

power.The same Charter defines the distribution of the annual subsidy that the state pays to political parties:

• 15% for parties that participated in the last presidential, parliamentary and local;

• 40% for the political parties represented in the National Assembly in proportion to the number of members;

• 35% for the political parties represented in the municipal councils in proportion to the number of councilors;

• 10% for political parties with women elected to the National Assembly in proportion to the number of women MPs.

Apart from the fact that its implementing decree is still delaying, the Charter of political parties does not unfortunately really regulate the issue of political financing. It merely states in Article 148 that the political parties are financed from their own resources, and the state subsidy. It also adds (Article 51) that the political parties can benefit from outside assistance provided that it does not endanger the integrity, national independence and sovereignty. Nothing is said about the use of public resources and the modalities of justification for the use of the funding that the state pays to parties. Moreover, Article 139 stipulates that the highest reimbursable election expenses are one billion (1,000,000,000) CFA francs if the candidate obtains a score of at least 10%.

Under Article 129 of the Election Code, the candidates for the presidency of the Republic are filed with the Constitutional Council at least 40 days or 60 at the most before the first ballot. The list of candidates is stopped and published thirty days before the first round of ballot. 14 candidates were selected by the Constitutional Council for the presidential election of 10 April 2016. These are :

Malloum Yoboide Djeraki;
Beassemda Djebaret Julien ;
Laoukein Kourayo Mbaiherem ;
Djimet Clement Bagaou ;
Mahamat Ahmad Al-Habo ;
Dewa Kassira Koumakoye ;
Abdoulaye Mbodou Mbami ;
Idriss Deby Itno ;
Mbaimon Guedmbaye Brice ;
Kebzabo Saleh ;
Joseph Djimrangar Dadnadji ;
Djevidji Boukar Dibeing ;
Mahamat Yesko Brahim ;
Gali Ngothe Gatta

D. Women Participation

Among the 14 candidates for the presidential election, there is no woman. Efforts should be made to foster greater inclusion of women in central INEC, in the different arms and to the BPE. The Charter of political parties is an example of timid but commendable efforts of the Chadian political actors to discriminate against greater participation of women in public life. In this sense, Article 54 of the Constitution defines the annual grant allocation formula that the state pays to parties: 10% of the amount of the subsidy benefits the political parties with women elected to the National Assembly in proportion to number of women MPs.

E. Election Campaign

According to Article 137 of the Electoral Code, the election campaign lasts 20 clear days and is closed 24 hours before the beginning of polls. The campaign

for the presidential election of April 10, 2016 was intense and involved candidates almost everywhere in the country. It took place peacefully and without any major incident despite inequality of means that you could notice among candidates.

IV. Observations of voting and counting of vote.

On Election Day Sunday, (April 10, 2016) MOEUA visited 170 polling stations. Although the voting and counting operations were conducted in a peaceful and a friendly atmosphere, the poll has had some difficult organizational issues. The following observations were made by the observers:

A. Opening of the polling stations

According to Article 43 of the Electoral Code, polling stations open at 6:00 and close at 17:00. 90% of polling stations visited by the Mission opened on time. The lack of electoral materials was the main cause of delay in 10% of polling stations. The opening of polling stations was peaceful and in 81% of the places visited the president of the polling station has ensured that the ballot box was empty, before the elections, in accordance with Article 46 paragraph 2 of the electoral Code. In 95% of cases, the seals of the ballot boxes were subject to verification and found to be adequately sealed before the opening of the polls.

Compliance with the opening procedures was assessed positively in 90% of stations visited by the Mission teams.

B. Location and accessibility of polling stations

The accessibility of polling stations is important determinants of voter’s participation in elections. The mission noted with satisfaction that in 80% of cases, polling stations visited were accessible as they were located mostly in schools and public squares near the residences of voters. The polling stations visited were not readily identifiable and were sometimes inadequately furnished.

C. Voting Procedures

The Mission observed that the voting took place peacefully and with confidence and the vote was not disrupted throughout the day. This smooth election is an indicator of the commitment of the Chadian population to republican values and the rule of law.

The Mission noted with satisfaction that in 98% of cases, voters were not allowed to vote without having submitted their biometric card. In 80% of cases, assistance was provided to voters in need. The vote was interrupted only momentarily in some polling stations visited.

In 100% of the booths visited, the Mission observer’s teams have not found any campaign materials inside the polling stations. However, many campaign posters are seen in some streets of the main cities or pasted on some vehicle during and after the vote.

D. Election Materials

The Mission noted that the electoral material was available in 81% of polling stations visited. In 19% of polling stations visited, voting materials arrived

late. The mission noted with satisfaction that the late arrival of equipment has not caused major disturbances liable to disrupt the voting. Among the missing materials in the booths visited, the Mission noted the unique and minutes papers that were not sufficient in some polling stations.

E. Secret ballot

The Mission noted with satisfaction that in 90% of polling stations visited, the secret of vote was guaranteed. However, it notes with regret that in 10% of polling stations visited, the secret ballot was not guaranteed especially in polling stations located in public places, outdoors or by the side of roads.

F. Election officers

The Mission noted that the majority of polling stations had an average of four members instead of five as stipulated in the Electoral Code. These election officials do not wear uniforms or distinctive vests and were sometimes difficult to identify. The Mission also observed that in most cases, polls agents have not shown great mastery of elections practices.

G. Election Participation

The Mission noted the strong participation of Chadians especially at the opening of polling stations visited by observers. This high attendance was reduced towards the end of the day; the majority of polling stations had no more queues at the official poll closing time.

H. Participation of women

Women accounted for only 31.1% of election officials. The Mission noted, however, a large number of women voters.

I. Representatives of candidates and election observers

The Mission observed that all the candidates have not deployed representatives or delegates in most polling stations visited. The mission found the notable absence of national and international observers on Election Day. It strongly regrets this since it is recognized that the observation of elections and the presence of representatives of political parties on Election Day contribute to more credible elections in general. However, the Mission noted the presence of the delegates of the Constitutional Council in a few polling stations.

J. Security

The Mission noted the presence of personnel responsible for security in 50% of polling stations visited and also noted the presence of mobile security forces on Election Day. The staff in charge of security was not present in other polling stations visited by its teams of observers.

K. Closing and counting

The Mission found that the closing time was respected and that the polling stations that opened late recovered the time lost due to late opening. The Mission also noted, in contrast to the opening, in the majority of polling stations visited there was no more queue at the polling station.

The Mission’s observers noted with satisfaction that in 98% of cases the counting immediately following the close of voting. It was completed without interruption as required by the Electoral Code. However, the Mission found that in 50% of offices, electoral officials and candidate’s delegates do not sufficiently mastered the procedures and the counting technique.

The Mission noticed lighting problems in the polling stations. In 50% of polling stations visited, the lighting was not adequate at the time of count.

In some polling stations, the initial counting of ballots was not done early enough. In others, the results have not been announced after the counting. Furthermore, the polling stations were not equipped as to facilitate the vote counting. However, the non-mastery of counting procedures and poor physical layout of some polling stations did not affect operations.

Conclusion and Recommendations


Despite operational, logistical and technical challenges encountered in the organization of the presidential election, Chadian voters participated in the calm and serenity in the April 102016 polls. By going massively to the polls to choose their President and thus exercise their right to vote, the Chadian people have demonstrated their commitment to the consolidation of democracy in their country.

Globally, the presidential election was an opportunity for citizens to freely choose their leaders. For the mission, the election took place in a peaceful climate within the legal framework in force. It is an important step in the standardization process of Chadian politics.

In this crucial phase of the process of revival and centralization of results, the Mission urges INEC to show more professionalism and transparency, so that provisional results that will be released are actually the expression of the will of Chadians. It urges the presidential candidates, political parties and their supporters, as well as all stakeholders in the electoral process, to be patient while waiting for the results and maintain the climate of peace and healing that had prevailed so far in the country. The Mission calls on the candidates to respect the election results and use legal means in case of any results dispute.

The Mission makes the following recommendations for the proper conduct of the results and for a better organization of elections in the future:


To the Government

• Create a dynamic of consultation and dialogue framework with the various stakeholders in the electoral process to improve the process, strengthen social cohesion and preserve peace and to bring calm into the political climate;

• Take a set of measures to increase the participation and involvement of women at all levels of the electoral process;

• Provide INEC with adequate resources and adequate time for good planning and good organization of elections;

• Ensure the presence of the security agents at polling centers in sufficient numbers, both in rural and urban areas from the beginning of voting until the delivery of ballot boxes to the collection center;

• Prohibit the use of state resources for partisan purposes;

• Take all necessary measures to ensure sustainability and full implementation of biometric technology introduced in this election;

• Ensure optimal operation of satellite communications means on voting day.

To the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC)

• Make a copy of results available at each polling station, to candidates so as to promote transparency of the results process, in accordance with Article 74 paragraph 2 of the Electoral Code;

• Regularly inform stakeholders in the electoral process of the progress of the results compilation process;

• Establish regular communication with stakeholders in the electoral process;

• Establish formal communication mechanisms within the plenary and between INEC and the BPE, to increase the flow of exchange and professionalism of the election administration, strengthen dialogue within INEC and ensure the safeguard of independence vis-à-vis the government and vis-à-vis political parties;

• Strengthen the capacity of electoral staff to better mastery of the procedures and the electoral process and implement a skills and training plan for the development of INEC and electoral administration in order to take in professionalism in planning and the organization of the forthcoming elections;

• Strengthen gender balance in recruitment and capacity building of polling agents;

• Step up civic and voter education to strengthen the foundations of the culture of citizen participation;

• Carefully observe the provisions of the Electoral Code in particular those concerning the results display after the election and CV to the delegates and representatives of the candidates;

• Make better location and a more appropriate organization of the polls.

To the Constitutional Council

• Take the necessary time provided by law to review the case of disputes submitted by applicants;

• Ensure equitable treatment of complaints and appeals.

To the civil society

• Strengthen the electoral process and effectively contribute to the defense of its integrity by making a civil observation of elections more coordinated, professional and non-partisan;

• Become more involved in raising public awareness in order to entrench greater culture of citizen participation in political life;

• Better coordination of election advocacy activities with INEC.

To the Candidates and Political Parties

• Observe the election results and favor the use of legal means in case of litigation to preserve peace and stability;

• Investing in civic and electoral education of their members to be knowledgeable in election matters;

• Strengthen the capacity of representatives and delegates of candidates in the polling stations to ensure that they fully and effectively play their role;

• Establish a framework for dialogue and permanent consultation to prevent and resolve conflicts within the political class.

To the technical and financial partners

• Provide technical and financial assistance to help Chad to better plan and organize future elections and to establish a professional and sustainable

electoral administration.

Done at N’Djamena, April 12, 2016

For the Mission,


Head of Mission

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Source:: African Union electoral observation mission for the Presidential election in Chad republic (April 10, 2016)

Categories: AFRICA

APRM launches peer review process for Senegal

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The APRM has launched a peer review process for Senegal, making it the 20th African country to be assessed for good and responsive governance.

Launched yesterday (12 April 2016) by Senegalese Prime Minister H.E Mohammed Dionne the process allows the country to open itself up to criticism, provide space for dialogue on governance and socio-economic indicators for its populace as well as the opportunity to build a national consensus on the way forward of its development agenda.

Delivering the keynote address at the launch ceremony Prime Minister Dionne said the peer review process in Senegal marked a watershed moment towards the country’s commitment to good governance.

“We believe this process will help Senegal achieve the kind of capable state that we need. The APRM process will assist us in making the kind of society that is essential for a thriving democracy. Our government therefore reaffirms its commitment to work jointly with the APRM task force to ensure a successful Country Review Process,” he added.

The West African country is hailed for its thriving democracy and political stability. It is the second African state in 2016, after Chad, to be reviewed by the African Peer Review Mechanism.

An APRM Task Force led by Dr. Mustapha Mekideche will consult widely with civil society organizations, government officials, organised labour, private sector, religious communities, women organizations, media and other groups. The Review team is expected to spend more than three weeks of consultative meetings, going to every region in Senegal to ensure concerns and views of ordinary citizens are heard.

Speaking at the launch Dr. Mekideche commended Senegal’s bold step of opening itself up for peer review.

“This step is a demonstration of major commitment towards good governance by the Senegal government. It also presents an opportunity for communication between the Senegalese government and its citizenry. I wish to thank the government and the people of Senegal for their continued commitment to sharing their rich history of good governance thus ensuring a better life for its people,’ he said.

The APRM Country Review Process Outline

Stage One

The Country to be reviewed will take necessary steps to prepare for the APR process, especially to prepare the Country Self-Assessment Report and National Programme of Action. Meanwhile the Continental Secretariat prepares a background paper on the country to be reviewed. From these two documents, an Issues Paper is written to guide the Country Review Mission when reviewing the country.

Stage Two

Stage Two, constitutes the Country Review Visit of the APR Team to the country. The country mainly facilitates the Country Review Team, ensuring that the Team is enabled to carry out its review smoothly and with full access to all sources of information and relevant stakeholders.

The APR Team will interact and consult extensively with government officials, parliamentarians, representatives of political parties, the business community, representatives of civil society (including media, academia, trade unions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community-based organisations (CBOs)), rural communities and representatives of international organizations and all stakeholders in the country.

Stage Three

This Stage involves the preparation of the APR Team’s report. The Team’s report is based in part on the findings of the Country Review Visit as well as on the findings of the research studies of the APR Secretariat prior to the visit. The report should clearly summarize all the findings concisely and analyze their implications for the country’s governance and socio-economic development.

The Team’s draft Country Review Report is first discussed with the Government of the country. These discussions will be designed to ensure the accuracy of the information and to provide the Government with an opportunity both to react to the accuracy of the information and the Team’s findings and to put forward their own recommendations on how to address the identified shortcomings, including modifying the draft Programme of Action. The responses of the Government will be appended to the APR Team’s report.

Stage Four

Stage Four begins when the APR Secretariat submits the APR Team’s Country Review Report to the APR Panel. The APR Panel meets to review the report in accordance with its mandate and submits its recommendations on the report to the APR Forum. The APR Forum considers the report and the recommendations of the APR Panel to decide what action to take in accordance with its mandate.

Stage Four ends with the Chairperson of the APR Forum communicating the decisions of the Forum to the Head of State or Government of the country being reviewed.

Stage Five

Stage Five involves making public the APRM Report and action on the Country Review. The Final APRM Report, containing all essential elements, is tabled formally and publicly in key regional and sub-regional structures such as the Summit of the African Union, the Pan-African Parliament, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Peace and Security Council and the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOC) of the African Union, as well as the Regional Economic Community of the region of which the country reviewed is a member.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Source:: APRM launches peer review process for Senegal

Categories: AFRICA