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Addis Ababa, 15 September 2021: The African Union (AU) joins all Africans and the international community to celebrate the International Day of Democracy. A celebration to encourage the strengthening of democracy at the national level.

This year’s celebration of the International Day of Democracy comes at a critical time where our world continues to face the challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed the pandemic presents both a challenge and an opportunity, triggering stocktaking of our democracy to help us to revisit and review the adherence to its underlying principles and reaffirm its sustenance in globally and Africa, in particular.

As we mark the 2021 International Day of Democracy, Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security on behalf of the African Union Commission, urges African governments to continue to foster democracy and good governance by upholding the cherished values of transparency, accountability, the rule of law, fundamental freedoms and human rights, equality. This way new conflicts will be prevented, peace and security will be sustained, and prosperity will flourish. 

So far in 2021 from January to date, a total of fourteen (14) AU Member States commendably demonstrated unwavering commitment to multiparty democracy by holding scheduled local, general, presidential and parliamentary elections. This is  despite the constraints of the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing violent conflicts in some parts of the continent. Incontrovertibly, this high number attests to the unsurpassed enthusiasm of African voters and our governments to collectively contribute to construct an enduring legacy of inclusive democracy and political governance. 

The Commissioner underscores the importance of democracy as the bedrock for the implementation of AU Agenda 2063 - the blueprint for building the Africa we want. He recognizes the progress made so far in achieving the targeted goals and calls for the prompt ratification and multi- stakeholder implementation of the African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance. Thus, the Commissioner notes, that this will help create resilient and adaptive systems, inclusive institutions and society that can stand the test of time by roundly addressing inequalities in Africa.

Critically, Ambassador Adeoye reiterates that strengthening democracy for human security connotes responding to the changing continental and global dynamics by leveraging on technology, innovation, and creating smart partnerships to attain sustainable growth and development enshrined in the Agenda 2063. 

Hence, citizens’ participation is essential to build and strengthen trust, unite societies and invariably support stronger democracy in AU Member States. The AUC continues to underline that democracy must ensure the participation of all inclusive of the marginalized - the youth, women, people living with physical disabilities. 

The AUC is investing progressively to harness the capabilities of AU Member States and Regional Economic Communities (RECs), inherently embedded in the African Governance Architecture  (AGA) and its Peace and Security counterpart framework, to enhance ownership and leadership for democracy that works for all.  

The Commissioner reaffirms the call on all AU Member States, AU Organs/Institutions and RECs as well as the International Community to scale up efforts for the promotion and preservation of democracy and effective governance in Africa and the entire world, so that the culture of peace and its dividends, will thrive.

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Posted by SitroomCom

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