Promoting Women’s Rights, Accountability, Security, and Integrated Governance in the ECCAS Region
The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) is an economic union of 11 countries created to facilitate regional development and integration. ECCAS includes Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo Republic, DR Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Rwanda, and São Tomé and Príncipe. The level of development of the ECCAS region is far from matching its immense socio-economic potential and abundance of natural resources. Furthermore, ECCAS has a low level of economic integration, which has direct implications for the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. The region is often singled out for its governance, which is not always up to international standards, and frequent intercommunal and transnational conflicts.
Think tanks, or independent policy research institutions, are critical in promoting open governance, accountability, the rule of law, and respect for basic human rights. Unfortunately, ECCAS think tanks remain institutionally fragile and have been unable to exert real influence in promoting the emergence of an open society in this region. To see major progress in the ECCAS region regarding curbing the rise in authoritarianism and the emergence of a democratic society, the voices of independent think tanks must be significantly strengthened.
The specific objectives of the project are to:
- Strengthen the ability of ECCAS think tanks to influence policy at the local, regional, and continental levels;
- Enhance the leadership capacity of think tank researchers, especially women researchers (leadership and capacity development) to produce high-quality policy research and advocacy; and
- Expand the visibility and reach of ECCAS think tanks across the continent and globally.
It is expected that at the end of this project, think tanks from the ECCAS region will become increasingly influential on the continental level, especially with regard to the African Union Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want, and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement.
Partnership for the effective implementation of the RASIG project
The Nkafu Policy Institute, the project implementer, plans to work in partnership with a consortium of think tanks from the ECCAS region to achieve the project’s expected results. The consortium will conduct policy research in each of the 11 ECCAS countries, organize multiple events (working sessions, panel discussions, training workshops, seminars, and annual forums), and the project will directly support partner think tanks to strengthen their capacity and advocacy reach. Emphasis will be placed on supporting women think tank leaders and researchers.
This 2-year project will allow the improvement of collaboration between ECCAS think tanks, policymakers (national and international), and civil society actors in the ECCAS region toward the goal of curbing authoritarianism, addressing security sector challenges, promoting women’s rights as well as democratic and accountable governance.