What: Citizens’ Forum on Democracy and Unconstitutional Changes of Government in Africa (UCG)
When: July 11-13th, 2022
Who: The African Union’s Economic, Social and Cultural Council (AU-ECOSOCC) in collaboration with the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), the Banjul Commission, and the Citizens and Diaspora Directorate (CIDO)
Where: Radisson Blu Hotel, Lusaka, Zambia
Speakers: H.E. Julius Maada Bio, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone; Her Excellency W.K. Mutale Nalumango, Vice President of the Republic of Zambia; Prof Eddie Maloka, Chief Executive Officer, Africa Peer Review Mechanism; H.E. Bankole Adeoye, AUC Commissioner for PAPS; Mr. Denise Kodhe, Presiding Officer, ECOSOCC; William Carew, ECOSOCC Head of Secretariat.
The recent resurgence of unconstitutional changes of government (UCG) in Africa has been met with some concern within regional and continental political institutions, partly due to fears of a contagion effect in a sub-region and continent facing some of the gravest threats to stability and social cohesion in a generation. This surge in UCG incidents, once thought to be consigned to the continent's history books, poses a renewed and profound challenge to the realisation of the AU Agenda 2063, and the peace, security, democracy, and prosperity envisioned in its Aspirations. Furthermore, it represents a troubling reversal of significant gains in democratic governance made across the continent in recent decades.
Building on the momentum generated by the African Union (AU) Reflection Forum on UCG in Africa, which was held in March in Accra, Ghana, and the subsequent adoption of the Declaration on UCG in Africa by member states, ECOSOCC strongly believes it is critical to strengthen civil society's capacity in terms of knowledge, expertise, and action in combating UCG in Africa.
The forum will reflect the African Civil Society's perspectives in the ongoing continental debate on unconstitutional government changes.
• To provide a platform for an in-depth discussion of the contemporary socio-political contexts surrounding the recent uptick in UCG incidents in Africa, as well as the role of civil society in supporting continental and regional institutions' efforts to achieve non-recurrence;
● To develop a roadmap for civil society actors to support the propagation of democratic values across the continent;
● To provide a relevant, coherent, efficient, effective and sustainable platform for robust citizen participation in the continental debate on democracy and UCG;
● To provide CSOs with an opportunity to explore the use of transitional justice processes and/or mechanisms to advance peace, stability and democracy in Africa, and ultimately to prevent UCGs.
The immediate outcomes of the forum will include a policy statement on democracy and UCG in Africa, with a focus on encouraging the incorporation of civil society perspectives into national and regional policy formulation, as well as a program of action for the non-recurrence of UCG.
Media houses are invited to cover the opening at Radisson Blu on July 11th, 2022, at 08:00 CAT/09:00 EAT. Media houses can also participate virtually by registering at the following link:https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Le3pHe3tTfqP9eMdHV9EdQ