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ActionAid launches second citizen’s report implementation of ACDEG

September 28, 2020

By Jeneba A Conteh

ActionAid Sierra Leone has on September 24 launched the 2nd citizen’s implementation report on the implementation of the African Chatter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG).

The report on the project ‘mobilizing civil society support for implementation of the Africa Governance Architecture, Sierra Leone implementation status’ was launched at the Radison Blu Mammy Yoko Hotel in Freetown.

Speaking at the event, Marcella Samba Sesay, said at the end of the report they will be in a position to have an insight as to how the country stands in the implementation of the charter.

She said since the end of the civil conflict on the 14 of January, 2002, they have been trying to make sure that the country continues in the trajectory of good governance, peace and security, and ensures that institutions of the state consolidate love so that the country could not slide down.

Ambassador for ACDEG, Isha Sesay, said the charter was created by the African Union (AU) in 2007 as a roadmap to encouraging better governance across the continent, adding that it sets out international standards of good governance as a means to accelerate the rigid transformation ensured by the agenda 2063.

She said the AU charter speaks to a culture of democracy and peace and also speaks about sanction in case of unconstitutional changes of government, and above all it speaks about the political, economic and social governance which is the key to youth leadership and sustainable development.

She also said Sierra Leone in 2007 ratified the charter thereby creating a pathway for legal implementation.

She said before the ratification of the charter, Sierra Leone had already staged for democracy and good governance by taking into consideration the key agents of achieving same and providing for such in its 1991 Constitution, which establishes key democracy and governance institutions such as the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC).

She said since then the country has taken appropriate steps in domesticating same by enacting relevant pieces of legislations such as the Political Parties Registration Act (2002),which does  not only contain provisions that are in line with the charter, but also the scene for full implementation by establishing, strengthening, and ensuring the independence of the structures needed to promote and protect democracy.

Executive Director, Centre for Coordination of Youth Activities(CCYA) Abigail Stevens, said the project ‘mobilizing civil society for the implementation of the Africa Governance Architecture’ is a three years project, and that  it is being implemented in eight countries  including Sierra Leone, Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

She said in Sierra Leone, the project is being implemented by ActionAid Sierra Leone in partnership with CCYA, with the support from the European Commission.

“CCYA and Action Aid strongly believe in the principles of democracy and good governance. The citizen’s report which we are launching today gives a clear picture of how we perceive our governance architecture. The majority of Sierra Leoneans, especially the rural poor, have a limited knowledge about the charter which makes it difficult to demand accountability to our election representatives,” she said.

She added that as a result of that, youth and civil society organisations  were capacitated to engage in massive civic and media engagements in popularizing the charter for public awareness and advocacy for it full and effective implementation.

She said the project will use the community score card methodology to assess the status and extent of upholding  democratic principles and the implementation of the ACDEG.

“Let us work in solidarity to ensure that we build the Sierra Leone we want to see as a country ,with the strong institutions, effective implementation of our laws/policies and above all an accountable, corrupt-free democratic nation as enshrined in the African Charter on Democracy and Governance,” she said.

Executive Director,Action Aid Sierra Leone(AASL), Foday B. Sawaray,said the report is the second assessment concluded for the period January 2018, to 2019 December by AASL and CCYA, under the ‘Africa We Want  project’.

He said the Africa Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance was adopted by 8th ordinary sessions of the AU Assembly, held in Addis Ababa on January 30th, 2007.

“The charter ushered in what looks like a new dawn for governance, elections and democracy on the continent. Africa can be said to be a continent with a history of the lack of this trinity- democracy and governance. African continent has experienced a one step forward and two steps backward situation regarding democracy over the past two decades,” he said.

He said the principal clause of the Africa democracy could be attributed to the failure of its leaders to provide leadership that harnesses the enormous natural resources of the continent and galvanize the diverse and mainly youthful population on the continent in one country after another.

He said the ruling elites have been pre-occupied with holding power for the sole purpose of self-enrichment, taking the matter of the advancement of their peoples as mainly an afterthought.  

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