INTERNATIONAL IDEA: Insights from the East and Southern Africa Regional Governance Forum

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The East and Southern Africa Regional Governance Forum and Democracy Day, held in Lusaka, Zambia from 13 to 15 September 2023, aimed to reorient – where necessary – and accelerate the democratic governance agenda in the Eastern and Southern Africa region. Further, the forum sought to stimulate discussions on the constitutional imperatives for achieving the African Union (AU) vision of an “integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens, representing a dynamic force in the international arena” to which Member States of the EAC and SADC are committed. 

The forum created an enabling platform for conversations on how to draw on national, sub-regional and continental experiences and practices towards promoting constitutionalism and good governance as mechanisms for promoting sustainable democracy that delivers and peace in the two regions.

The three days forum and the roundtable were under the patronage of the honorable Minister of Justice of the Republic of Zambia Mulambo Haimbe representing the government of the Republic of Zambia on behalf of H.E. Mutale Nalumango, Vice President of the Republic of Zambia. The forum was attended by H.E. Ernest Bai Koroma, former president of the Republic of Sierra Leone, the UNDP Resident Coordinator in Zambia, Beatrice Mutali, International IDEA Regional Director for Africa and West Asia Roba Sharamo in addition to members of the diplomatic corps in Zambia and African Union Youth Ambassadors and other experts and media persons.

At the end of the forum and the roundtable, the organizers issued a declaration of democracy on the final day of the forum, the declaration reaffirms the partners commitment to the promotion of rule of law (freedom of expression, respect for human rights) and free media as key cornerstones of democracy, peace and sustainable development and that freedom matters and that it is integral for democracy to work in our countries in ways that prioritize fairness, equity and justice, security and safety, and prosperity for all people.

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