Regional: Africa 2021

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)

Strengthening Democratic Unity


To empower the African private sector with information, tools, and platforms to better adapt to the new trade regimes under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and to establish multi-stakeholder linkages and coalitions between the African Union, Regional Economic Communities, Medium, Small, and Micro Enterprises, civil society and marginalized groups in order to enshrine democratic norms within the AfCFTA. The Center will commission studies on trade participation challenges for MSMEs, support underrepresented stakeholders to form inclusive coalitions, and participate in high level dialogues on the trade area s operationalization and bolster AfCFTA information campaigns.


Solidarity Center (SC)

Promoting Trade Union and CSO Collaboration In Protecting Democratic Civic Space in Fragile Democracies Phase I


To strengthen trade union and CSO collaboration in protecting civic space, freedom of association, and information in Zambia and Nigeria; and to strengthen trade union and CSO transnational advocacy for internet freedom in Zambia and Nigeria. The Center will facilitate workers and community consultations, community dialogues, develop advocacy and outreach initiatives, including radio talk shows, radio ads, and social media messaging, all of which will increase public awareness, strengthen collaboration, and lead to improved advocacy efforts promoting the democratic civic space. This is the first phase of a multi-year strategic cooperation project anchored on collaborative, transnational advocacy for digital freedom, and freedom of association, and information.


National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)

Southern And East Africa Regional Political Party Leadership Institute (PPLI)


To enhance the participation of young people in democratic politics and political party processes, the Institute would support selected youth political party members in Kenya and Zambia to navigate opportunities for participation in party decision-making processes and leadership. Through skills building, virtual training sessions, in-country gatherings, facilitated dialogues, self-led project initiatives, and a peer learning summit, the Institute would assist participants to implement initiatives that increase their visibility, voice and influence in party processes. The program would also complement the Institute s NED-funded youth-focused programming in Malawi.


Solidarity Center (SC)

Strengthening the Voice of Labor in Trade Programs – Phase V


To promote inclusion of the voice of workers and their organizations in key trade processes in Africa and support their efforts to improve labor rights enforcement. In phase 5 of this project, the Center will facilitate virtual meetings of regional unions from East Africa, Southern Africa, and West Africa to analyze provisions under the new African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and arrive at consensus on the labor principles to advocate for inclusion in implementation agreements. Program participants will develop a strategic approach for advocacy, identifying civil society organizations for potential alliances. The Center will also provide legal support for union efforts in Kenya, Ghana, and Eswatini to document labor rights violations in export sectors that fall under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). This documentation will be used for strategic litigation in national courts or to formulate positions to promote through participation in AGOA processes.


National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)

Southern and East Africa Regional: Strengthening Civil Society Advocacy for Accountability in Government Debt Financing


To strengthen civil society organizations’ (CSOs) advocacy for transparency and accountability in government debt financing in southern and east Africa. The Institute will strengthen a network of information sharing among CSOs in four countries working on the issues and develop further analysis and advocacy on sovereign debt. The Institute’s partners will organize regular peer exchanges to share tools and guidance on advocacy related to debt financing and organize collaborative efforts to change regional or international approaches to sovereign debt. The Institute and two local partners will develop local advocacy activities to improve parliament and government accountability for releasing the terms and objectives of government loans.


National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)

African Ownership of Democratic Norms


To defend against further erosion of democratic norms and consolidate principles enshrined in the African Union’s Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance, the Institute will support civil society-led campaigns to reclaim political space in three countries under democratic stress. Campaigns will seek to reclaim respect for rights and freedoms nationally as well as engage in cross-country advocacy with regional institutions and leaders to highlight citizen demands and expectations for advancing democratic norms. Program products would be shared with NED family partners to facilitate a more cohesive response to creeping authoritarianism on the continent.


National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)

New Realities of African Election Observation II


To enhance the ability of African civil society to respond to new challenges to electoral integrity across the continent. Regional partners, supported by the Institute, will facilitate efforts by African citizen election observers to formulate, adopt, and disseminate guidance for more systematic and comprehensive election observation. Building on consultations initiated in 2019, the partners will convene an in-person capstone conference bringing together citizen election observers from across the continent, as well as regional networks and other stakeholders, to collectively develop guidance to address the new reality of African elections. Following the gathering, targeted support will be provided to implement and raise awareness about those guidelines.


Adamela Trust

Strengthening Mail and Guardian’s Africa Unit


To promote high-quality independent journalism in Africa. The organization will support Mail & Guardian to publish credible, reliable, and original reporting, analysis, and features, from and on the African continent, for an African audience. It will also provide a continental platform for African journalists to publish their work. The organization will use supplemental funds to keep pace with demand for its weekly pan-African, WhatsApp-based newspaper by scaling up staff and the number of freelance journalists it commissions stories from continent-wide.


Plateforme Francaise de Protection des Lanceurs d’Alerte en Afrique (PLAAF France)

Strengthening Whistleblower Protections to Combat Kleptocracy in Africa


To strengthen legal support and protection measures for whistleblowers committed to combatting the corrosive impact of kleptocracy on democracy in Africa. The organization will improve its ability to support whistleblowers and foster collaboration between citizen movements and whistleblowers to reduce government corruption. The organization will reinforce its in-house capacity to conduct advocacy and information campaigns to highlight the effects of institutionalized corruption and advance whistleblower protection legislation. In addition, the organization will continue to support strategic litigation for whistleblowers and investigators to foster an environment in which democratic activists can safely expose kleptocratic practices. Led by a team of experienced human rights lawyers, the organization has been working to assist whistleblowers and advocate for their protection to enable them to safely expose kleptocratic practices.


Institute for Young Women Development Trust

Promoting Young Women’s Political Participation


To strengthen young women’s political agency and leadership in Africa through cross-cultural learning, solidarity, and movement-building. The organization will host and support the development of an Africa-wide network to promote the participation and representation of young women in politics, government, and leadership positions. The network will formalize its membership structures and launch initiatives to promote the domestication of regional gender protocols and mentorship opportunities for aspiring young women leaders.


Adamela Trust

The Continent: Africa Reporting Project


To promote independent journalism in Africa. The organization will publish The Continent, a weekly digital newspaper consisting of original written and audio reporting, analysis, and features. It will build a network of freelance journalists and work collaboratively with regional media outlets to produce relevant, timely, and context-sensitive content from throughout Africa.

Adamela Trust

Combating Disinformation through Independent African Journalism


To promote independent journalism in Africa. To understand the disinformation landscape in Africa. The organization will publish The Continent, a weekly digital newspaper including original written and audio reporting, analysis, and features written by a network of African journalists. It will also release a monthly disinformation column and conduct quarterly in-depth investigations on the role of public, private, and non-governmental actors’ roles in influencing disinformation trends in Africa.


Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc.

Strengthening Media and Civil Society Capacity to Defend LGBT Rights


To strengthen the capacity of civil society and independent media to promote and defend the human rights of sexual and gender minorities in Africa. The project will support workshops for human rights organizations to enhance their media engagement strategies, and for journalists to improve media coverage of LGBTQ+ issues. Participants will produce media campaigns, stories, and video documentaries, and contribute to the project’s monitoring tool to track reporting and human rights abuses involving affected communities in Africa.


Stichting Zam-net

The Kleptocracy Project : Using Investigative Journalism to Counter Kleptocracy


To raise awareness on the impact of kleptocracy on democracy and to fight corruption through investigative reports. The organization will continue its work to analyze the complex networks that enable corruption and kleptocracy across the African continent. The organization will partner with a likeminded organization to produce stories analyzing the root causes of governance failures in Africa, in particular the networks both on the continent and abroad that protect kleptocrats and allow resource theft to erode public confidence in government institutions and propagate social injustice. The organization will also establish a resource hub and virtual library to connect journalists with academics, policy makers, and other stakeholders to counter kleptocracy.


Africa Freedom of Information Centre

Improving Transparency and Accountability in African Elections


To improve transparency and accountability in electoral processes in Africa. The organization will build and train coalitions of civil society, political parties, journalists, and election management bodies in Uganda, Zambia, and the Gambia to implement regional instruments on access to information and elections. Participants will advocate for electoral reforms that align with regional norms, monitor local efforts to expand access to information, and coordinate with the African Union on a regional campaign to improve access to information around elections.