Note from the director of the Sub-Saharan Africa office

Josh Ounsted

Director of Sub-Saharan Africa office

+254 20 367 3017

In Sub-Saharan Africa, we work regionally with a range of partners to promote human rights and good governance.

We have been engaged in cooperation in Sub-Saharan Africa since the 1990s, with numerous regional, sub-regional and bilateral cooperation programmes. The current RWI Regional Africa Programme commenced on 1 July 2011 and continues until 28 February 2017.

The main objective of the current regional cooperation programme is to strengthen the capacities of key programme stakeholders to promote human rights and good governance in Sub‐Saharan Africa, and thereby enhance their role and that of others (such as regional and sub‐regional institutions and mechanisms) to advance peace and security (including preventing, solving and managing conflicts) through regional cooperation.

The current cooperation concerns four main areas:

  • Cooperation with strategic African academic institutions to support the development of regional academic centres and institutions in promoting human rights, peace and security, good governance, and ethical leadership through education, policy research and resources development, including through partnership with the Institute for Peace, Leadership and Governance at Africa University in Zimbabwe
  • Cooperation with African National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and their regional cooperation mechanisms to enhance the capacity and in doing so the role of NHRIs and their regional cooperation mechanisms to effectively fulfil their mandates in promoting and protecting human rights in Sub-Saharan Africa, in partnership with the Secretariat of the Network of African NHRIs
  • Cooperation with the East African Court of Justice to improve access to justice for East African citizens through the services of an effective regional court
  • Strengthening Human Rights of Women and Peace Building in East Africa to enhance regional approaches for addressing gender in peace and security initiatives in the EAC region, in partnership with Africa Youth Trust

An independent evaluation of the Regional Africa Programme conducted in 2016 found that there had been significant achievements under all the above four areas. It concluded that:

“The Raoul Wallenberg Institute, over the decades of engagement in eastern and southern Africa, has built an extensive knowledge and understanding of the human rights needs in the region and a solid reputation as a constructive international human rights organisation with an honest commitment to supporting local institutions and actors. This is an important added value on which the organisation can build its future strategies and engagement in the region.”

Our current regional cooperation programme in Sub-Saharan Africa is financially supported by Swedish Development Cooperation.

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