Wednesday, October 20, 2010

African Union on Governance Architecture


Banjul, The Gambia (TNBES) A three-day Technical Meeting on African Governance Architecture wraps-up in Banjul on Wednesday 17th March, 2010. The meeting brought together participants from Member States of the African Union to discuss issues of democracy and good governance on the Continent.

The meeting is said to have the potential to influence and shape the democratic and governance trajectory that the policy makers have set for the continent.

The Political Affairs, African Union Commission, Dr. Mamadou Dia said the meeting comes at a time when Heads of State and Government have decided to give practical expression to the values that binds their common destiny by having a debate on the theme, “Shared Value”.

He added that shared values constitute and embodiment of their collective responsibility towards a set of minimum governance standards, which dose not only provided the basis for collective and coordinated actions
in the terrain of governance at the continental level, but also offers the
normative framework for policy and political convergence which is critical to
their integration process.

Dr. Dia pointed out that some governance indicators like popular participation, rule of law, constitutionalism, corruption, and separation of powers and elections shows that the continent has and is making
steady improvement in overcoming some of its governance challenges.

While acknowledging these achievements, he noted that it is important to reflect on the challenges and work critical in overcoming these challenges which he said needs coordination and harmonization amongst the
various governance initiatives on the continent as a measure to optimize the
impact of these initiatives.

“It is for this reason that enhancing the African Governance Architecture has become a policy imperative of the AU”, he said.

According to him, the basis for a more coherent, integrated and elaborated governance architecture is highlighted by the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, as
one of the objectives the Charter aims to enhance cooperation between the Union
and REC’s on democracy, elections and governance.

He noted that the approved 2009-2012 Strategic Plan of the African Union Commission (AUC) also calls for coordination amongst the various AU institutions on the shares value pillar, adding that its strategic objective
is to promote good governance democracy and human rights.

“The AU has been tested to facilitate the establishment of the appropriate architecture for the promotion of good governance, democracy and human rights,” Dr. Dia admitted.

It is against this backdrop that the AUC began the process of consensus building through an initial meeting of stakeholders active in the realm of governance in Africa from the 9th – 11th March,
2009 in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Dr. Mamadou Dia said that the meeting was directed at establishing a broad collective understanding of the range of governance initiatives in Africa and the manner in which
complementarities can be established.

According to him, the meeting recommended that the overall ‘architecture’ of governance needs to be strengthened, and that establishing a platform on governance would serve as a basis for strengthening coordination
and synergy amongst all African Union Structures, including Regional Economic
Communities (RECs).

In a follow-up to the Yaoundé meeting, he said the AUC convened another meeting in Nairobi in December 2009, the objective of which was to begin the process of elaborating on the various components of Governance
Architecture.

He further said that the meeting concluded that the proposition emanating from the discussions should be used by the AUC as a basis for developing the various component of the architecture for circulation and
comments.

According to Dr. Dia, the above meetings has helped to shape an emerging consensus on the concept of an African Governance Architecture as an “evolving process” consisting of three pillars: a vision supported by a
governance agenda and norms; a set of governance institutions and actors; and
concrete processes to promote synergies, common agendas and greater impact,
including the need to establish an African Platform on Governance as the motor
to the AGA.

“This meeting is a follow-up to the recommendations of the Nairobi meeting and it is expected to improve, consider and adopt the draft framework of the African Governance
Architecture”, he noted. Vol:2 Issn:137

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