A key meeting to discuss democracy and human rights in Africa starts in Arusha, Tanzania, on Wednesday.
Tanzania Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan is expected to officially open the Fifth Annual African Union (AU) Dialogue on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance that ends on Saturday.
The dialogue is part of the celebrations to mark the 10th anniversary of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 13 years of the Maputo Protocol on the Rights of Women, 15 years of the African committee of experts on the rights and welfare of the child, 29 years of African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and 35 years of the adoption of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
The AU has declared 2016 the African Year of Human Rights, with particular focus on women’s rights.
African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights president Sylvian Ore said the forum would provide an opportunity to consolidate the gains already made over the years and ensure better coordination of human rights bodies on the continent, based on the ideals encapsulated in the AU’s Agenda 2063.
“It is hoped that the celebrations will initiate an advocacy and coordinating campaigns that will effectively reach out to African stakeholders and partners at all levels,” he added.
At least 300 delegates, including representatives of AU member states, are expected to attend the forum.