Assembly of the African Union, 8th Ordinary Session, African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 30 January 2007

Sectors : Human Rights, Institutional development, Political governance, Economic governance and public finance management, Environmental degradation and natural resource management, Investment, Gender and political agency, Women's rights, ICT, HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Other Preventable Diseases, TB
Organisation : AU
Date made: 
2007
Level: 
Heads Of State
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Commitments in: Governance - Institutional development

“Article 4
1. State Parties shall commit themselves to promote democracy, the principle of the rule of law and human rights.
2. State Parties shall recognize popular participation through universal suffrage as the inalienable right of the people...
Article 6
State Parties shall ensure that citizens enjoy fundamental freedoms and human rights taking into account their universality, interdependence and indivisibility.
Article 7
State Parties shall take all necessary measures to strengthen the Organs of the Union that are mandated to promote and protect human rights and to fight impunity and endow them with the necessary resources.”

Scope: 
Africa

“State Parties undertake to implement programmes and carry out activities designed to promote democratic principles and practices as well as consolidate a culture of democracy and peace.
To this end, State Parties shall:
1. Promote good governance by ensuring transparent and accountable administration.
2. Strengthen political institutions to entrench a culture of democracy and peace.
3. Create conducive conditions for civil society organizations to exist and operate within the law.
4. Integrate civic education in their educational curricula and develop appropriate programmes and activities.”

Scope: 
Africa

Commitments in: Governance - Economic governance and public finance management

“State Parties shall institutionalize good economic and corporate governance through, inter alia:
1. Effective and efficient public sector management;
2. Promoting transparency in public finance management;
3. Preventing and combating corruption and related offences;
4. Efficient management of public debt;
5. Prudent and sustainable utilization of public resources;
6. Equitable allocation of the nation’s wealth and natural resources;
7. Poverty alleviation;
8. Enabling legislative and regulatory framework for private sector development;
9. Providing a conducive environment for foreign capital inflows;
10. Developing tax policies that encourage investment;
11. Preventing and combating crime;
12. Elaborating and implementing economic development strategies including private-public sector partnerships;
13. An efficient and effective tax system premised upon transparency and accountability.”

Scope: 
Africa

Commitments in: Governance - Human Rights

“State Parties shall implement this Charter in accordance with the following principles:
1. Respect for human rights and democratic principles;
2. Access to and exercise of state power in accordance with the constitution of the State Party and the principle of the rule of law;
3. Promotion of a system of government that is representative;
4. Holding of regular, transparent, free and fair elections;
5. Separation of powers;
6. Promotion of gender equality in public and private institutions;
7. Effective participation of citizens in democratic and development processes and in governance of public affairs;
8. Transparency and fairness in the management of public affairs;
9. Condemnation and rejection of acts of corruption, related offenses and impunity;
10. Condemnation and total rejection of unconstitutional changes of government;
11. Strengthening political pluralism and recognising the role, rights and responsibilities of legally constituted political parties, including opposition political parties, which should be given a status under national law.”

Scope: 
Africa

"1. State Parties shall eliminate all forms of discrimination, especially those based on political opinion, gender, ethnic, religious and racial grounds as well as any other form of intolerance.
2. State Parties shall adopt legislative and administrative measures to guarantee the rights of women, ethnic minorities, migrants, people with disabilities, refugees and displaced persons and other marginalized and vulnerable social groups.
3. State Parties shall respect ethnic, cultural and religious diversity, which contributes to strengthening democracy and citizen participation."

Scope: 
Africa

Commitments in: Governance - Political governance

“State Parties re-affirm their commitment to regularly holding transparent, free and fair elections in accordance with the Union’s Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa.
To this end, State Parties shall:
1. Establish and strengthen independent and impartial national electoral bodies responsible for the management of elections.
2. Establish and strengthen national mechanisms that redress election related disputes in a timely manner.
3. Ensure fair and equitable access by contesting parties and candidates to state controlled media during elections.
4. Ensure that there is a binding code of conduct governing legally recognized political stakeholders, government and other political actors prior, during and after elections. The code shall include a commitment by political stakeholders to accept the results of the election or challenge them in through exclusively legal channels.”

Scope: 
Africa

“In order to advance political, economic and social governance, State Parties shall commit themselves to:
1. Strengthening the capacity of parliaments and legally recognised political parties to perform their core functions;
2. Fostering popular participation and partnership with civil society organizations;
3. Undertaking regular reforms of the legal and justice systems;
4. Improving public sector management;
5. Improving efficiency and effectiveness of public services and combating corruption;
6. Promoting the development of the private sector through, inter alia, enabling legislative and regulatory framework;
7. Development and utilisation of information and communication technologies;
8. Promoting freedom of expression, in particular freedom of the press and fostering a professional media;
9. Harnessing the democratic values of the traditional institutions; and
10. Preventing the spread and combating the impact of diseases such as Malaria, Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, Ebola fever, and Avian Flu.”

Scope: 
Africa

“1. Each State Party shall inform the Commission of scheduled elections and invite it to send an electoral observer mission.
2. Each State Party shall guarantee conditions of security, free access to information, non-interference, freedom of movement and full cooperation with the electoral observer mission.
Article 20
The Chairperson of the Commission shall first send an exploratory mission during the period prior to elections. This mission shall obtain any useful information and documentation, and brief the Chairperson, stating whether the necessary conditions have been established and if the environment is conducive to the holding of transparent, free and fair elections in conformity with the principles of the Union governing democratic elections.
Article 21
1. The Commission shall ensure that these missions are independent and shall provide them with the necessary resources for that purpose.
2. Electoral observer missions shall be conducted by appropriate and competent experts in the area of election monitoring, drawn from continental and national institutions such as, but not limited to, the Pan-African Parliament, national electoral bodies, national legislatures and eminent persons taking due cognizance of the principles of regional representation and gender equality.
3. Electoral observer missions shall be conducted in an objective, impartial and transparent manner.
4. All electoral observer missions shall present the report of their activities to the Chairperson of the Commission within a reasonable time.
5. A copy of the report shall be submitted to the State Party concerned within a reasonable time.
Article 22
State Parties shall create a conducive environment for independent and impartial
national monitoring or observation mechanisms.”

Scope: 
Africa

“State Parties agree that the use of, inter alia, the following illegal means of accessing or maintaining power constitute an unconstitutional change of government and shall draw appropriate sanctions by the Union:
1. Any putsch or coup d’Etat against a democratically elected government.
2. Any intervention by mercenaries to replace a democratically elected government.
3. Any replacement of a democratically elected government by armed dissidents or rebels.
4. Any refusal by an incumbent government to relinquish power to the winning party or candidate after free, fair and regular elections; or
5. Any amendment or revision of the constitution or legal instruments, which is an infringement on the principles of democratic change of government.”

Scope: 
Africa

“When a situation arises in a State Party that may affect its democratic political institutional arrangements or the legitimate exercise of power, the Peace and Security Council shall exercise its responsibilities in order to maintain the constitutional order in accordance with relevant provisions of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, hereinafter referred to as the Protocol.
Article 25
1. When the Peace and Security Council observes that there has been an unconstitutional change of government in a State Party, and that diplomatic initiatives have failed, it shall suspend the said State Party from the exercise of its right to participate in the activities of the Union in accordance with the provisions of articles 30 of the Constitutive Act and 7(g) of the Protocol. The suspension shall take effect immediately...
3. Notwithstanding the suspension of the State Party, the Union shall maintain diplomatic contacts and take any initiatives to restore democracy in that State Party.
4. The perpetrators of unconstitutional change of government shall not be allowed to participate in elections held to restore the democratic order or hold any position of responsibility in political institutions of their State.
5. Perpetrators of unconstitutional change of government may also be tried before the competent court of the Union.
6. The Assembly shall impose sanctions on any Member State that is proved to have instigated or supported unconstitutional change of government in another state in conformity with Article 23 of the Constitutive Act...
8. State Parties shall not harbour or give sanctuary to perpetrators of unconstitutional changes of government.
9. State Parties shall bring to justice the perpetrators of unconstitutional changes of government or take necessary steps to effect their extradition.
10. State Parties shall encourage conclusion of bilateral extradition agreements as well as the adoption of legal instruments on extradition and mutual legal assistance.
Article 26
The Peace and Security Council shall lift sanctions once the situation that led to the suspension is resolved.”

Scope: 
Africa

“1. State Parties shall promote participation of social groups with special needs, including the Youth and people with disabilities, in the governance process.
2. State Parties shall ensure systematic and comprehensive civic education in order to encourage full participation of social groups with special needs in democracy and development processes.”

Scope: 
Africa

“State Parties shall strive to institutionalize good political governance through:
1. Accountable, efficient and effective public administration;
2. Strengthening the functioning and effectiveness of parliaments;
3. An independent judiciary;
4. Relevant reforms of public institutions including the security sector;
5. Harmonious relationships in society including civil-military relations;
6. Consolidating sustainable multiparty political systems;
7. Organising regular, free and fair elections; and
8. Entrenching and respecting the principle of the rule of law.”

Scope: 
Africa