Aug 6, 2014

Sponsor: NED

Towards an Action Program for Democracy

An African Civil Society Conference

When and Where

August 6th, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. : Presentation and discussion of Civil Society Task Force Reports

RSVP on here

Cannon House Office Building, Caucus Room (345)
Independence and New Jersey Ave, SE,
Washington, DC 20515

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About the Event

Taking advantage of the opportunity provided by the White House’s African Leaders’ Summit, leading American democracy and human rights organizations will convene a concurrent African civil society conference, Towards an Action Program for Democracy, on August 5th (by invite only) and 6th in Washington, D.C. The conference will be an important platform for leading African activists to remind their governments and the international community that African citizens value freedom and democracy and will provide an opportunity to help reassert democratic reform and human rights on the African agenda, galvanize and network African democracy activists, share challenges and achievements, identify priorities, and craft strategies.

While nearly 50 African heads of state pursue official government agendas at the Leaders’ Summit, the civil society conference will engage prominent democracy and human rights activists from Africa in a series of working groups to develop specific recommendations, goals, and demands, which will result in an Action Program for Democracy in Africa. The working groups will take place on Tuesday, August 5, at the National Endowment for Democracy.

On Wednesday, August 6, the findings and recommendations of each working group will be presented by senior civil society leaders at a day-long public meeting in the U.S. House of Representatives. There will be discussions with members of each working group, and an opportunity for questions and debate from the audience, which will include a broad spectrum of interested parties, including the African diaspora, media, donors, policy makers, academics, international organizations and members of the governmental delegations participating in the Leaders’ Summit. Feedback from this event will be incorporated into an Action Program, addressed to African governments, civil society, and citizens, as well as the international community, on the occasion of the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit. The Action Program will be circulated in a final document after the Summit, and the conference deliberations and declarations will be disseminated via broadcast and internet media, communications by conference participants, and the organizing efforts of Africa’s democratic activists on the ground.

Civil Society Task Force by order of appearance:

Human Rights

Dr. Livingstone Sewanyana, Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI) (Uganda)
Task Force Members:
Tutu Alicante, EG Justice (Equatorial Guinea)
Elizabeth Chyrum, Human Rights Concern—Eritrea
Biram Dah Abeid, Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (Mauritania)
Brionne Dawson, Never Again Rwanda
Cheikh Diop, National Confederation of Trade Unions of Senegal-Force for Change (CNTS-FC)
Njeri Gateru, National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (Kenya)
Sipho Gumedze, Lawyers for Human Rights (Swaziland)
Arthur Gwagwa, Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum
Roselyn Hanzi, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
Mmapaseka Steve Letsike, LGBTI Activist / South African National AIDS Council (South Africa)
Maria Alice Mabota, Mozambican League of Human Rights
Tina Musuya, Centre for Domestic Violence Prevention (Uganda)
Vincent Ncongwane, Trade Union Confederation of Swaziland (TUCOSWA)
Joel Odigie, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC Africa)
Arnold Tsunga, International Commission of Jurists, Southern Africa

Good Governance and Accountability

Soraya Aziz Souleymane, Development/Natural resources specialist (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Task Force Members:
Mohammed Amin Adam, Africa Centre for Energy Policy (Ghana)
Ikal Angelei, Friends of Lake Turkana (Kenya)
Jackie Asiimwe-Mwesige, Wellspring Advisors (Uganda)
Justin Balonga, Assises Nationales du Congo pour l’Alternance Démocratique
Henry Bazira, Water Governance Institute (Uganda)
David Bourguin, Assises Nationales du Congo pour l’Alternance Démocratique
Naome Chakanya, Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ)
Franklin Cudjoe, IMANI (Ghana)
Mariam Dao-Gabala, OIKOCREDIT, West Africa
Jeggan Grey-Johnson, Open Society Foundation (Gambia)
Hipólito Hamela, Confederação das Associações Económicas de Moçambique
Elias Isaac, Open Society Foundations (Angola)
Claude Kabembe, Southern African Revenue Watch
Albert Kan-Dapaah, Financial Accountability and Transparency-Africa (Ghana)
Hellen Mangindo, Eye Radio 98.6FM (South Sudan)
Shamiso Mtisi, Zimbabwe Environmental Lawyers Association
Caroline Khamati Mugala, East African Trade Union Confederation (EATUC) (Tanzania)
Christian Mounzeo, Rencontre pour la Paix et les Droits de l’Homme (Republic of Congo)
John Binith Nzaba, Assises Nationales du Congo pour l’Alternance Démocratique
Gilbert Sendugwa, Africa Freedom of Information Centre (Uganda)
Aniket Shah, Amnesty International
Ibrahim Tommy, Centre for Accountability and the Rule of Law (Sierra Leone)
Edmund Yakani, Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) (South Sudan)


Paleki Obur, South Sudanese Women’s Empowerment Network(South Sudan)
Task Force Members:
Alimure Ali, Atlas Corps/Huford Youth Fellow (South Sudan)
Gerard Bisambu, Agir pour des Elections Transparentes et Apaisées—AETA (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Dr. Merera Gudina, Professor, University of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)
Sansan Claude Hien, Actions pour la Protection des Droits de l’Homme—APDH (Cote d’Ivoire)
Francoise Kaudjhis-Offoumou, International Association for Democracy in Africa (Côte d'Ivoire)
Jean Luc Malekat, Assises Nationales du Congo pour l’Alternance Démocratique (Republic of the Congo)
Paul Nsapu, International Federation for Human Rights (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Franklin Oduro, Center for Democratic Development-Ghana
Dr. Josephine Okei-Odumakin, Women Arise for Change Initiative/The Campaign for Democracy (Nigeria)
Hubert Tshiswaka Masoka, Lawyer (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Blanche Simonny Abegue, (Gabon)
Yourbètèg Ezéchiel Some, Centre d’Information et de Documentation Citoyennes—CIDOC (Burkina Faso)


Henry Maina, Article 19 (Kenya)
Task Force Members:
Fatoumata Abdou, Journalist (Mali)
Mohamed Ben Jemaa, Citizen Media Observatory (Tunisia)
Koang Pal Chang, Eye Radio 98.6FM (South Sudan)
John Gatluak, Internews Community Radio Network (South Sudan)
Kumba Gborie, SKYY Radio (Sierra Leone)
Linus Gitahi, Nation Media Group (Kenya)
Kiprono Kitonny, Chamber of Commerce (Kenya)
Mandala Mambulasa, Malawi Law Society
Chris Marol, Internews Community Radio Network (South Sudan)
Rafael Marques de Morais, MakaAngola
Birtukan Mideksa, Independent Activist / Former judge (Ethiopia)
Dr. Maati Monjib, Ibn Rochd Center (Morocco)
Chris Uyot, Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC)

Conflict and Security

Martine Ekomo-Soignet, YALI Fellow (Central African Republic)
Task Force Members:
Safaa Adam, Community Development Association (Sudan)
Tiana Alpha, SKYY Radio (Sierra Leone)
Zainab Hawa Bangura, UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict (Sierra Leone)
Dr. Mokhtar Ben Abdelaoui, MADA Centre / Professor, Hassan II University (Morocco)
Michael Karikpo, Environmental Rights Action (Nigeria)
Yacouba Katile, National Union of Malian Workers—UNTM
Djingarey Maiga, Femmes et Droits Humains (Mali)
Phyllis Muema, Kenya Community Support Centre
Modeste Amédée Ndongala, National Union of Congolese Workers—UNTC (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Amir Osman, Open Society Foundation (Sudan)
Hassan Shire, East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project

Civil Society Challenges

Lorna Dias, Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK)
Task Force Members:
Kwasi Adu-Amankwah, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa)
Audace Gatavu, Nibitegeka Advocates, ICNL Fellow (Burundi)
Teklu Tessema Gudeto (Ethiopia)
Debebe Hailegebriel, Lawyer, Civil Society Advocate (Ethiopia)
Irene Ikomu, Parliament Watch (Uganda)
Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association; InformAction (Kenya)
Fatimata Mbaye, Mauritanian Association for Human Rights
Eric Manzi, Trade Union Centre of Rwandan Workers (CESTRAR)
Homa Mungapen, Interfaith Network of the Indian Ocean Island Countries (Mauritius)
Nixon Nyakazino, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
Albert Nzamukwereka, Never Again Rwanda
Ijjo Elias Odego, SSuNDE (South Sudanese Network for Democracy and Elections)
Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai, Society for Democratic Initiatives (Sierra Leone)
Richard Ssewakiryanga, NGO Forum (Uganda)
Eugenia Temba, Activist for media freedom and women’s rights issues (Zambia)

Sponsoring organizations include the National Endowment for Democracy, World Movement for Democracy, Freedom House, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, the National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute, the Center for International Private Enterprise, the Solidarity Center, Constituency for Africa, the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), the Foundation for Democracy in Africa, and the Bridges Institute.