A coalition of civil society organisations from 10 countries in Africa has commended Rwanda for implementing key African Union (AU) treaties and legal instruments.
State of the Union (Sotu), an umbrella organisation that advocates for the ratification, domestication and implementation of key AU charters, is meeting in Kigali to assess the member countries’ progress in executing the protocols.
The five-day meeting opened yesterday.
Paula Monjane, chairperson of Sotu, said Rwanda is on track with regard to the implementation of the AU instruments, for instance, the African charter on democracy, elections and governance.
“Rwanda is among few countries that have ensured the ratifications go hand in hand with domestication and implementation,” she said yesterday.
Munjani, noted that National Assemblies must play a key role in ensuring that governments deliver on the commitments they make at the AU and are translated into action for the benefit of African citizens.
“Our organisation is made up of 10 countries but we are planning to cover 15 countries. We have representatives from countries in eastern Africa, central Africa, Western Africa, northern Africa and central Africa.”
According to Sotu, four countries have performed ‘extremely well ‘over the past two years. Burkina Faso has ratified seven instruments while Zambia, Gabon, Benin, Congo and Rwanda have ratified five instruments each.
Comoros, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Mauritania and Niger had ratified two treaties each.
By August 2012, only two countries, Kenya and Mauritius had ratified the African Charter on the values and principles of public service and administration (2011), and only 14 countries have ratified the charter for democracy, elections and governance.
“Most countries have ratified the treaties but the implementation part of it was still a challenge and this undermines the credibility of the AU and all its key organs,” she said.
Alex Nkurunziza, the coalition representative in Rwanda told The New Times that Rwanda was among the top performers in this regard.
“Our country is doing well in African charter on democracy, elections and governance; for example Rwanda has established institutions like Rwanda Governance Board, which monitors if good governance principles and practices are being implemented in the country,” he noted.
The civil society platform urged for the creation of national commissions to popularise AU treaties as well as monitor the implementation of the key AU decisions and instruments.
“Our main mandate as citizen ambassadors is to follow up on treaties and find out if they promote millions of African citizens’ fundamental freedoms and basic human rights as intended by the AU legal instruments,” said Victor Gathogo, Sotu Kenya representative.
Established in 2009, Sotu aims at holding African governments accountable for the ratification and implementation of AU decisions at the country level.