Calls to speed up African Charter

Monday, March 8, 2010
By: 
Nthambeleni Gabara

Pretoria - African civil organisations want the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance to come into force by the end of 2010.

The 13 African nations committed to effective collaboration across the continent to ensure that the African Charter comes into effect by the end of this year. They also want to achieve full ratification and implementation by 2015.

The spirit of the Charter is to promote and strengthen democratic principles and processes within member states.

It is also a significant step towards the realisation of democratic governance, human security and development for all citizens of the continent.

The Charter also calls upon African governments and other state institutions to effectively practice the principles of credible elections, constitutional rule and democracy.

It creates an opportunity for the promotion of responsive and participatory African citizenship through Freedom of Expression and Right to Information.

Delegates from 36 civil society organisations from Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone and South Africa made this declaration after their two-day meeting in Pretoria recently.

They will actively engage parliament, political parties, relevant state institutions, the media and others to expedite the ratification process.

They discussed strategies for mobilising broad-based support among civil society organisations, state institutions, African political parties, regional economic communities for the popularisation, ratification and implementation of the Charter.

The Charter was adopted by the 8th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly in January 2007.

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