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Joint experts consultative meeting to engage AU member states ministries of education in the inclusion and mainstreaming of the African charter on democracy, elections and governance (ACDEG) in school curricula

What: Joint Experts consultative Meeting to Engage AU Member States Ministries of Education

Theme: “Inclusion and Mainstreaming of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG) in School Curricula”

When: 28-30 September 2015 Who: The Department of Political Affairs and the Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology of the African Union Commission in collaboration with International IDEA, GIZ AND UNESCO. Where: Abuja, Nigeria

Objectives: The main long term objective of the meeting is to entrench the culture of democracy, good governance as well as respect of rule of law and human rights within the future generation in line with the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and as part of the implementation of the African Union Agenda 2063 The specific objectives are as follows: – Popularising the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance among young African citizens, so that the shared values reach the grass root level- a large number of citizens. – Designing activities in the school curriculum to promote the values of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. – Having an empowered student population who own and are aware of the African Union mandate, vision and instruments; – Enabling students to have an active voice in the promotion of democracy in their country Participants: The meeting will bring under the same roof AU Member States representatives from the Ministries of Education.

Expected Outcomes: The expected results of this meeting are: • The African Charter’s inclusion in the school curriculum in the existing modules or extra – curricular activities. • Ministries of Education engaged in the development of comprehensive training kits and programme on the ACDEG for teachers and students; • A comprehensive methodology discussed, analysed and adopted from the identification of national focal points to designing the programme for teacher training and education to finally implementing and mainstreaming the Charter in the curriculum through various activities. • A strategy adopted to establish a bridge and better synergy between African Union and the student population from AU Member States as well as the decision makers for the promotion of democracy and governance. • Selection of Member states for the pilot study of the implementation of the strategy and national plan of action.

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The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG) was adopted at the 8th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly of Member States, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2007. The Adoption of the Charter by the AU Assembly demonstrates the determination of the African Union and its Member States to promote and strengthen good governance through institutionalizing transparency, accountability and democracy. Therefore, the popularisation of the Charter in the African continent remains a key step in ensuring the awareness and implementation of the values enshrined in the document.

Chapter 5 of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance emphasises on the importance of building a culture of democracy and peace. Article 12(4) of the Charter states that to “promote democratic principles and practices as well as to promote a culture of democracy and peace, states are to implement programmes and activities such as integrating civic education and develop appropriate programmes and activities”. In the same vein, Agenda 2063 states that “Pan African Ideals will be fully embedded in all school curricula”. It further states that “Africa shall have a universal culture of good governance, democratic values, gender equality, respect for human rights, justice and rule of law” and that by 2063, Africa will be a continent where democratic values, culture, practices, universal principles for human rights, gender equality, justice and rule of law are fully entrenched’.

The necessity of the popularisation of ACDEG was reiterated during the Inaugural Meeting of AGA Clusters on Constitutionalism and Rule of Law and Human Rights and Transitional Justice held in Algiers, Algeria from 2 – 5 August 2015 as follows: “To entrench a culture of constitutionalism, rule of law and transitional justice, it is important that the values of the charter are mainstreamed in the school curricula to build the young generation into empowered citizens, well versed with the concept of democracy and governance and conscious of the tools available to them in the deepening and entrenchment of a democratic culture in their countries”.

The Abuja consultative meeting with representatives from the Ministries of education to promote the ACDEG in the school programs aim to promote an inclusive implementation of the Charter and the AU Shared Values and inculcate the spirit of democracy and governance across generations of students and youths.

Its outcomes will be submitted to the inaugural meeting of the Specialised Technical Committee (STC) on Human Resource and Science and Technology scheduled for last week of October for further consolidation.

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