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CSOs converge ahead of AU Summit to encourage ACDEG ratification   

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Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the governance sector are converging at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to hold an African Union Pre-Summit meeting.

The meeting is to encourage and provide support to the leaders towards the ratification and implementation of the African Charter for Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG).

The 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union, which would focus on migration, is slated to be held on 10- 11 February.

The pre-summit is under the European Union funded project “Mobilizing Civil Society Support for Implementation of the African Governance Architecture” (PANAF), is being implemented by the CSOs.

For the next two days, the consortium drawn from PANAF project countries and partners in the region would develop key messages and recommendations for the heads of state and government and other stakeholders on how to fast track the implementation and reporting process.

The AGA and ACDEG are provisions motivated by the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU) which sets out international standards of good governance and democracy.

They include issues of ensuring human and people’s rights, consolidating democratic institutions and culture and ensuring good governance, the rule of law, free and fair elections and condemning unconstitutional changes of government.

Mr Buba Khan, Africa Advocacy Advisor of ActionAid International, speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said this year’s AU Summit’s focus is being held in tandem with that of the PANAF and that the pre-event would afford the partners the opportunity to dialogue and reflect on the nexus between migration and governance failures, and how the ACDEG could help counter such issues.

He said as part of slated activities, they would reach out to the AU, European Union, GIZ and other CSOs working on governance issues to find a roadmap to the ratification of the charter

The meeting, Mr Khan said, would serve as a fertile ground to discuss and bridge the gap between policymakers and CSOs so as to have a common understanding on the low level of implementation of the ACDEG.

He said the Charter, which was crucial to governance and the development trajectory of AU member states after being signed off by the leaders 10 years ago, has only been ratified by 31 countries.

The ratification, implementation and reporting on the ACDEG Charter, Mr Khan said, was important to facilitate political stability and economic growth.

He said the heightened interest has necessitated the greater demand for relevant and effective tools to monitor and measure sound governance, hence the need to urgently implement the ACDEG.

The CSOs collaborating in the PANAF project are Media Foundation for West Africa, East the Southern African Development Community, East African Civil Society Organisations’ Forum, West Africa Civil Society Forum, Mass Public Opinion Institute and ActionAid of Ghana, Sierra Leone,

Source: GNA

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