Civil society organizations from Africa and beyond will convene at
Kairaba Beach hotel in Banjul The Gambia to participate in the Forum
on the Participation of NGOs preceding the 57th Ordinary Session of
the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR).
The participants at the Forum will discuss the current human rights
and democracy challenges in Africa as well as review corresponding
strategies to address the identified challenges .
The Forum which is organized and hosted by the African Centre for
Democracy and Human Rights Studies (African Centre) – the
Secretariat of the NGOs Forum and the Forum Steering
Committee, in collaboration with the African Commission on
Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) will be held
from 31st October-2nd November, 2015 in Banjul, The Gambia. It
will be officially opened by Mr. Gaye Sowe, Executive Director of the
Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa and closed by
Mr. Donald Deya, Chief Executive Officer of the Pan Africa Lawyers
Union (PALU). Other speakers to address the Forum during the
opening ceremony will include The Chairperson of the African
Commission, H.E. Sylvie Kayitesi, as well as the NGO Forum Steering
According to the African Centre Press Release, the Forum provides an important platform for stakeholders to address challenges; exchange views and explore practical approaches and experiences with the objective of fostering cooperation among and between NGOs as well as with the African Commission and of
course, States and other stakeholders in promoting and protecting
human rights in Africa.
It will discuss reports assessing the human rights situation in Africa,
particularly in Algeria, Burkina Faso, Kenya and Sierra Leone, whose
State reports will be reviewed by the African Commission at the 57th
session in fulfillment of Article 62 of the African Charter on Human
and Peoples’ Rights.
Resource Persons and Facilitators during the Forum will be Experts in the
field of human rights and democracy, primarily from the African continent,
who will be facilitating a series of presentations and or panel discussion
amongst others including: 2016 African Year of Human Rights with Focus on the Rights of Women, Electoral Process in Africa, Challenges and opportunities of accessing sub-regional and continental courts in Africa, Protective Mandate of the African Commission, Addressing Laws Restricting Civil Society Space in Africa, Declassification and Decriminalization of Petty Offences.
The press release further states that the 31st African Human Rights Book Fair will run concurrently with the Forum, with the objective of giving human rights NGOs the opportunity to share their publications, working tools and other materials with other NGOs, and to promote networking on the continent and beyond.
At the end of the three-day deliberations, recommendations emanating from
the sessions will be forwarded to the African Commission for its consideration
during the 57th Ordinary Session, which is also scheduled to take place at the
same venue from 4th – 18th November, 2015.