African Union–civil society relations: lessons for strengthening ties

Although avenues exist for civil society to engage the African Union, organisations struggle to do so effectively.

Civil society organisations (CSOs) play an important role in reducing the likelihood of conflict, preventing its eruption and containing outbreaks. They also help avert escalation and prevent the recurrence of conflicts. The African Union (AU) recognises the importance of incorporating them in peace processes and programmes, and has built a relationship with many CSOs in that domain. This monograph analyses the relationship between the AU and CSOs over the last two decades. It sets out lessons and prospects for improving the effectiveness of CSO’s contribution to AU efforts.

About the author

Sue Mbaya is a policy entrepreneur with more than 20 years of policy advocacy, advisory and development experience at the national, regional and global level, with a focus on African states and the AU. She is the immediate past director of the Crisis Action office for the AU.

Image: © Amelia Broodryk/ISS

Development partners
This monograph is funded by the Government of the Netherlands. The ISS is grateful for support from the members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the European Union, the Open Society Foundations and the governments of Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
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