Meeting to Launch the African Governance platform

African Governance Institute The African Governance Platform (Platform), as the coordinating arm of the African Governance Architecture (AGA), is a mechanism for coordination and complementarity among African governance institutions and initiatives.

The Platform seeks to facilitate information flows, exchanges, dialogue, synergies and joint action amongst the various African governance actors. Thus, the Platform is an open ‘space for dialogue and strategic coordination between the various African governance actors –who remain fully independent. The Platform is therefore not a new AU structure and it is not intended to duplicate the mandate or work of existing organs/institutions and initiative. Importantly, the Platform is not a decision-making body of the AU.

In facilitating the establishment of the AGA, the AUC organized a series of consultation aimed at building consensus on the design, nature, mandate and function of the African Governance Architecture. An initial meeting of stakeholders active in the realm of governance in Africa, was held in March 2009 in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The meeting aimed to build broad consensus on the need to establish a Governance Architecture.

The meeting also seeks to establish a collective understanding of the range of governance initiatives in Africa and the manner in which complementarities can be established. The meeting concluded that some aspects of the Governance Architecture do exist; nevertheless, the overall Architecture needs to be strengthened.

The meeting also recommended that the African Union Commission (AUC) should work towards the elaboration of the architecture in close collaboration with Member States, RECs and other stakeholders involved in governance. The meeting also recommended that establishing a Platform on Governance would serve as a basis for strengthening coordination and synergy amongst all relevant African Union Structures, including Regional Economic Communities (REC’s).

As a follow-up to the recommendations of the Yaoundé meeting, the AUC convened another consultation in Nairobi in December 2009. The objective of the meeting was to build consensus on how to elaborate on the Governance Architecture and the Governance Platform.

In attendance were representatives from AU Institutions, REC’s and Member States active in the Africa-EU Dialogue, and stakeholders. Amongst others, the meeting concluded that the process of developing the Architecture on Governance is an evolving one which should be inclusive. The Nairobi meeting recommended that propositions emanating from the discussions should be used by the AUC as a basis for developing a Draft framework of the Architecture and Platform for circulation and comments.

The Banjul meeting was directed at concretising the recommendations of the Nairobi meeting. The meeting adopted the framework of the AGA as the overall political and institutional framework for the promotion of governance in Africa. The meeting further recommended that the AUC should develop a Rules of Procedure to regulate the operationalisation of the Platform. It was also recommended that, in the light of importance of the 2011 AU Summit on ‘Shared Values’, the Platform should provide a venue for collective preparation of the Summit.

The above consultations shaped a consensus on the concept of an African Governance Architecture as an “evolving process” consisting of three pillars: (i) a vision supported by a governance agenda and norms; (ii) a set of governance
institutions and actors; and (iii) 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 directed at considering and adopting the Rules of Procedure of the Platform

Purpose and expected results

As a follow-up to the Banjul meeting, the aim of the meeting is to: Adopt the Rules of Procedure of the Platform; Consider Work Plan with a clear implementation roadmap and deliverables in regards to the 2011 January Summit on the theme shared Values.

Methodology and logistics

Given the objective of the meeting, it is expected that Members of the African Governance Architecture and other invited AU Organs and relevant stakeholders would be represented at the most senior levels. In the case of RECs, it is anticipated that they would be represented by the senior officials who have within their fold the Governance and Democracy portfolio.

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