Africa Working Group
        

The Africa Working Group counts members from 14 countries. It was created in 2016 during GAAMAC’s second Global Meeting and is GAAMAC’s oldest Regional Working Group.

The Africa Working Group translates GAAMAC’s vision into regional, culturally-relevant support to national atrocity prevention mechanisms and policies in Africa. It fosters regional emulation through awareness-raising activities and trainings and the sharing of expertise and good practices between governments, national institutions and CSOs.

The Africa Working Group holds regular virtual meetings to exchange atrocity prevention updates from members’ respective states. In addition, the group’s Focal Persons, representing the five geographic regions of the African continent, convene regional strategy meetings to exchange on good practices.

2023 highlights

In 2023 the Africa Working Group organized numerous awareness raising events on atrocity prevention. The activities culminated in the First Regional Forum of the Africa Working Group in Abidjan. 

  • On 19 January 2023, GAAMAC supported a training by the Network of NGOs promoting and defending human rights in the Central African Republic. Around 30 attendees were sensitized to hate speech and incitement to violence. Their backgrounds varied from civil society to media and the political sphere.
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  • On 27 February 2023, Mr. Bakari Diaby, General Coordinator of the African Coordination of Human Rights for the Armed Forces (CADHA), a GAAMAC partner, was invited by another GAAMAC partner, the Center for International Human Rights at John Jay College (CIHR), to present CADHA’s work in Côte d’Ivoire towards increasing the understanding and respect of international law by the armed and security forces.
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  • Between March and July 2023, GAAMAC supported the organization of activities to raise awareness on hate speech and prevent mass atrocities in North Kivu, DRC. You will find information and multimedia content on this page about each activity.
  • On 21 April 2023, the Platform for Social Justice implemented the first Africa Working Group training on mass atrocity prevention for refugees and district leaders from Congo and South Sudan living in a refugee camp in Northern Uganda.
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  • On 27 July 2023, the Network of NGOs promoting and defending human rights in CAR presented a follow-up report and recommendations to counter hate speech and incitement to violence in the Central African Republic. The event gathered political and judicial authorities, human rights NGO leaders, and local media.
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  • From 13 – 14 September 2023, GAAMAC and CADHA organized the First Regional Forum of the Africa Working Group in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The Forum brought together experts from the government, members of the Assembly and Senate, as well as members of the armed and security forces and civil society who participated virtually and in person.
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  • Throughout 2023, the Africa Working Group supported the launch of the UNESCO and UN teachers’ guide on genocide education in Africa and contributed to its dissemination.
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In total, 367 people participated to the Africa Working Group’s activities.
40% women / 60% men
62% CSO / 32% States / 6% International and Regional Organizations

2022 highlights

The Africa Working Group led a wide array of events to raise awareness of and support of atrocity prevention. Its 2021 Training toolkit was instrumental to several of these events. Activities were held for the first time in 3 countries.

  • On 10-11 March 2022, the Chair of the Africa Working Group, Justice Jamila Mohammed, participated to the Great Lakes Regional Conference on Addressing Hate Speech and Preventing Incitement to Violence. The Conference was organized by the UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect.

  • On 31 May, ahead of the Kenyan presidential elections, a training on atrocity prevention and early warning mechanisms was held in Nairobi. 23 government and civil society workers, all with a mandate on the electoral management, took part. Electoral periods can increase the risk of atrocities commission and Kenya has, in the past, experienced pre- and post-electoral violence. The Training Toolkit on mass atrocity prevention, developed in 2021, served as a base for the training.
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  • On 12-14 July, the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre and the National Peace Council of Ghana trained 27 government and civil society agents in Ghana. The training strengthened effective understanding of the concepts, processes and tools of atrocity prevention, and shared the lessons learned for the promotion of national mechanisms in Ghana. It was the first time the Africa Working Group led activities in Ghana.
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  • On 5 and 8 December, the African Coordination of Human Rights (CADHA) held a series of awareness-raising events in Côte d’Ivoire: a session before the National Assembly and meetings with civil servants of various ministries. GAAMAC was showcased as an example of good practice in engaging and supporting national efforts of atrocity prevention.
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  • On 5-6 and 8-9 December, Blessed Aid and La Coalition des Volontaires pour la Paix et le Développement organized two workshops on anti-hate speech in the province of North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In total, 50 civil society activists were trained. As a result of these trainings, five groups, made up of seven community leaders each, will be formed to fight hate speech in the Masisi territory and in the city of Goma.

  • On 5-6 and 8-9 December, Blessed Aid and La Coalition des Volontaires pour la Paix et le Développement organized two workshops on anti-hate speech in the province of North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In total, 50 civil society activists were trained. As a result of these trainings, five groups, made up of seven community leaders each, will be formed to fight hate speech in the Masisi territory and in the city of Goma.

    In total, 211 people participated to the Africa Working Group’s activities.
    30% women / 70% men
    53% CSO / 47% States

    2021 highlights

    • A two-day workshop was organized in Yamoussoukro by The African Coordination of Human Rights for the Armed Forces (CADHA) with the support of the Raphael Lemkin Center for Africa (CERLA) and the support of GAAMAC in March 2021 where 60 officers of the armed forces of Ivory Coast have been sensitized to the prevention of mass atrocities.

    • A second workshop took place in Yamoussoukro in June 2021 and sensitized 20 newly elected Members of Parliament and Senators on best practices for the establishment and management of national mechanisms for genocide and mass atrocities prevention. The workshop was led by members of the armed forces, civil society, and international experts such as a member of the Kenya National Committee on the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity (KNC). During the training, the KNC has shared its draft bill on the prevention of genocide as a good example of how to strengthen the national capacity to prevent atrocities.

    • As part of GAAMAC’s informal alliance with UNESCO, AWG members served as members of the UN/UNESCO Advisory Group on genocide education in Africa to conduct a peer review of the first draft of the teachers’ guide on genocide education in Africa.

    Members of the Africa Working Group

    Regional

    • Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU)
    • West Africa Responsibility to Protect Coalition (WAC-R2P)
    • West African Transitional Justice Centre

    Benin

    • Benin Human Rights Commission

    Burundi

    • Conflict Alert and Prevention Centre

    Central African Republic

    • National Committee for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and Other Criminal Atrocities

    Côte d’Ivoire

    • Coordination Africaine des Droits de l’Homme (CADHA)
    • Raphael Lemkin Center for Africa (CERLA)
    • Conseil National des droits de l’Homme (CNDH)

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    • Blessed Aid
    • Coalition des Volontaires pour la Paix et le Développement
    • Association pour le Développement des Initiatives paysannes (ASSODIP)
    • Association contre le mal et pour l’encadrement de la jeunesse (ACMEJ)
    • Environmental Frontline (EnvirFront)
    • Groupe Martin Luther King
    • Front Commun pour la Protection de l’Environnement et des Espaces Protégés

    Ghana

    • Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC)

        Kenya

        • National Committee on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity and All Forms of Discrimination (KNC)
        • Rights for Peace

        Libya

        • Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace (LWPP)

        Rwanda

        • Youth Clubs for Peace

        Tanzania

        • National Committee on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity, War Crimes and all Forms of Discrimination*
        • Inter-Religious Council for Peace
        • Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation

          Uganda

          • Justice Access Point
          • Platform for Social Justice
          • National Committee on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide and Mass Atrocities

          Zambia

          • The Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD)
          • Victim Support Unit (VSU)

          Zimbabwe

          • Alleviate Justice-Involved Persons Re-entry Program

          *Member of GAAMAC’s Steering Group

          The Africa Working Group also includes members who serve in their individual capacity:

          • Rita Izsak-Ndiaye, OSCE Personal Representative on Children and Security (Senegal)
          • Andie Lambe, Independent Consultant on Human Rights (Uganda)
          • Lambert Oparah, Chairman Trauma Awareness Resilience Initiatives (Nigeria)
          • Ashad Sentongo, Director of Africa Programs, Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities (Uganda)
          • Sambwa Simbyakula-Chilembo, Principal Counsel, International Law and Agreements Department, Ministry of Justice (Zambia)
          • Karen Smith, Former UN Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect and University Lecturer in International Relations, University of Leiden.

          Browse the whole GAAMAC community

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          Any state, non-government organization and academic institution involved in atrocity prevention is eligible to become a partner.

          Governance

          The group is led by a Chair and Vice-Chair who are advised by an honorary Patron.

          Justice Jamila Mohammed

          Chair

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          Justice Jamila Mohammed was appointed Chair in April 2021. She is also the Chairperson Emeritus of the Kenya National Committee on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity and All Forms of Discrimination (KNC) under the auspices of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR). Justice Mohammed has served in different leadership positions to foster the “Women, Peace and Security” agenda. She was bestowed with the Award of Elder of the Burning Spear by the President of the Republic of Kenya in 2019 and was recognized for her Long Service and Dedication to FIDA Kenya in 2012.

          Bakari Sidiki Diaby

          Vice-Chair

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          Bakari Sidiki Diaby serves as Vice-Chair of the Africa Working Group since April 2021. He is also the General Coordinator of the African Coordination of Human Rights for the Armed Forces (CADHA). Mr. Diaby has an extensive expertise in human rights and in the prevention of mass atrocities. From 2013 to 2018 he served as Deputy Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission of Côte d’Ivoire (CNDHCI). Since 2016, he is the Permanent Secretary of the Network of National Human Rights Institutions of the Member States of the West African Monetary and Economic Union. Since 2018, he is an expert, member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

          Minister Liberata Mulamula

          Patron

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          Minister Liberata Mulamula serves the Africa Working Group as honorary Patron. From 2016 until 2021, when she was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tanzania, Minister Mulamula chaired the Africa Working Group. Before her appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister Mulamula has been a career Diplomat with 35 years of experience serving in various capacities, including Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania to the United States of America and Non-Resident Ambassador to Mexico, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Advisor of the former Tanzania President H.E Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete on Diplomatic Affairs. She also served as the First Executive Secretary of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region Secretariat (ICGLR) from 2006 to 2011 and is a recipient of the Order of the United Republic of Tanzania 2015 Award for Distinguished Public Service.

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