n African Human Rights Law Journal - African civil society and the promotion of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance

Volume 12, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1609-073X
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2096



When the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance was adopted on 30 January 2007 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, most African countries were governed by leaders who came to power or were clinging to power by coups d'état, constitutional manipulations, human rights violations or vote rigging. Africa continues to be subject to authoritarian and corrupt governance, which impact negatively on its development and on the living conditions of its people. Under these conditions, the adoption of the African Democracy Charter by those very same African leaders who were rightly or wrongly blamed for their authoritarian and corrupt governance was a miracle. The Charter came into force on 15 February 2012. In light of this, the article reflects on the African Democracy Charter, its significance, its shortcomings as well as the prospects for its implementation and the particular role that civil society organisations can and should play in promoting its values.

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