In the past three years Africa Platform has shaped policies and practices in key countries and at Global Conferences.
State Society Relations
Africa Platform has initiated a ground breaking initiative seeking to strengthen Civil Society engagement with Governments in over 7 countries across Africa and Asia. The program seeks to accomplish two goals. It rebuilds trust between Civil Society and the government through engagement in collaborative national agenda areas while also reaffirming the place of Civil Society as platforms of citizen voices by strengthening their capacity to challenge government on key policies. The programs is implemented in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Timor Leste.
International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (IDPS)
The IDPS was established as a joint Platform by Donors and conflict affected countries to develop mutual agreements on a pathway to lasting peace, focusing on statebuilding and peacebuilding. And while Africa Platform has been engaged in the Dialogue for over four years, our focus since 2013 has shifted to the skewed relations between international actors, partners and national governments, that often undermines peacebuilding efforts.
Africa Platform’s engagement has been in two areas
1. Strengthening the capacity of Civil Society to challenge actions of national and global actors that lead to sustained conflict
2. Building bridges between Civil Society and their national governments to develop and impelment joint policies and ensure joint learning.
3. Mobilizing Society around trans formative areas that lead to sustained development and long lasting peace.
Why we do it
In many conflict affected countries efforts at peacebuilding and statebuilding ignore the complex relations of actors as well as the multiple external stresses that exacerbate conflict. Many governments have a Client relationship with donors, with allegiance to donors overriding state responsibility to society. Some donors would like it to remain this way because it allows them to have political and economic control over these countries.
In some cases the governments in place do not legitimacy with society,and instead seek to strengthen their legitimacy at a global level and with international actors.
In other cases governments draw their legitimacy from a weakness within systems of governance, and so do not have any incentives to address these weakness.
All these are issues that cannot be addressed by AID. They require strong society mobilization at national and global level to challenge both national and global actors to respond to the aspirations of society, not political and economic interests.
Post 2015 and Sustainable Development Goals Beyond 2015
For the past three years Africa Platform has remained one of the most active and engaged global actors on the Post 2015 agenda.
We were selected as the first of the only two Global Civil Society to give an inaugural analysis and Civil Society expectations of the United Nations High Level Panel on Post 2015-http://www.post2015hlp.org/
Since then we have developed and shared several policy positions, with a strong focus on Peace and Stability, State Society Relations and a democratic agenda rooted in a social contract between state and society. We have been key speakers at the Open Working Group Meetings on Sustainable Development Goals and hosted member states to dialogue sessions on our key agenda areas. In May 2014 we partnered with the Commonwealth Foundation to support the Africa Working Group on the SDGs to a strategy session that agreed on 8 Transformative Agenda issues for Africa. We later supported a team of 11 Civil Society leaders from across Africa for a series of open dialogue with member states in New York. That support has led to a collaborative agenda between CSOs in Africa and government leaders in New York as well as at national and Regional level.
Civil Society Space
We were the first Southern Platform to develop a ground breaking report that analyzed the motivation and drivers of Civil Society shrinking space across Africa. Covering over 33 countries the Report drew on case studies and reports from multiple agencies, showing that Civil Society is not just about democratic space. Its a complex relationship of Governments, International Agencies, External Governments and a flawed democracy agenda that is solely focused on elections with little state responsiveness to society between elections. The Report was widely used by International actors in the lead up to the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, and led to several agencies looking at how their own work, especially the Implementation of AID Effectiveness Principles, is contributing to government clamp down on Civil Society.
As part of the Global Civil Society working on Peacebuilding and StateBuilding, the Africa Platform was a central to the agreements and Policy decisions that has been reached under the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (www.pbsdialogue.org, www.g7plus.org). Africa Platform joined the Dialogue process in 2011 and was active in key working groups that eventually led to the agreement in Monrovia, known as the Monrovia Road Map for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding.(http://www.pbsbdialogue.org/documentupload/48345560.pdf)
Africa Platform was later selected as the only Civil Society to engage with Ministers of Conflict affected countries and International Actors during the 4th High Level Forum on AID Effectiveness. The Platform, in partnership with global Civil Society, was to later become instrumental in pushing for the signing of the New Deal by over 40 countries. The New Deal is currently the Implementation Framework for the International Dialogue engagement in the 20 countries that make up the group of conflict affected states.