The Forum on the Participation of NGOs in the Ordinary Sessions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (African Commission), also known as the ‘NGOs Forum’ is an advocacy platform coordinated by the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies to promote advocacy, lobbying and networking among and between human rights NGOs, for the promotion and protection of human rights in Africa.

The NGOs Forum shares updates on the human rights situation in Africa by the African and international NGOs community with a view of identifying responses as well as adopting strategies towards the promotion and protection of human rights in the continent.

‘Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for building the Africa we want’ At its virtual meeting held on 6 February, 2021, the Assembly of Heads of States and Governments of Africa at the 34th Ordinary Summit emphasized the need for no country to be left behind in its continental response to Covid19 as it enhances integration. The Summit further declared 2021 theme as ‘Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for building the Africa we want’. The theme will seek to consolidate and support the growth and recognition of Africa's cultural and artistic riches as a common unifying foundation that can galvanize the common will of the African people, those of the continent as well as those of the Diaspora To ensure that the right to culture, like every other human rights are fully enjoyed, there are international and regional policies, legal frameworks that promote and protect the said right and related subjects as is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Art. 27), the Cultural Charter for Africa, Charter for African Cultural Renaissance, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Art. 17), the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (Art. 12) amongst others. Unfortunately, the level of awareness of the existence of the stated treaties remains on the low side and by large the enjoyment of the said freedoms and rights. Considering the importance of the theme in the current and post Covid19 environment, the theme for the Forum on the participation of NGOs in the 68th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights which will take place virtually from 12-13 April, 2021 will be framed around the 2021 AU theme ‘The Africa we want: the role of arts, culture and heritage in the realization of human rights and democracy in a post COVID19 environment’. The NGOs Forum will also seize the opportunity of the theme of the year to take stock of the implementation of the decisions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights regarding indigenous people (ACHPR communication 276/03). The discussions of the said Forum would greatly contribute to the increase of knowledge about the treaties to promote and protect cultural rights in Africa and of Africans in the diaspora.


The general objective of the NGOs Forum is to consolidate collaboration between and among NGOs to enhance partnership with the African human rights mechanisms for the Africa we want as stipulated in the African Union Agenda 2063. The specific objectives of this NGO Forum is to adopt strategies for the implementation of the African Commission’s resolution on ‘Human and Peoples’ Rights as central pillar of successful response to COVID-19 and recovery from its socio-political impacts – ACHPR/Res. 449 (LXVI) 2020’ amongst others which were adopted during the 66th Ordinary Session as an essential tool for the promotion and protection of human rights, good governance, peace and development in post COVID19 Africa. Furthermore, the forum will pay particular attention to the declaration by the African Union Peace and Security Council’s flagship project of Agenda 2063 which is a manifestation of the AU’s determination to achieve the goal of a conflict-free Africa, to make peace a reality for all our people and to rid the continent of wars, civil conflicts, human rights violations, humanitarian disasters and violent conflicts, and to prevent genocide: ‘Silencing the Guns in Africa By 2020 in Africa’. It is important to note that that this year despite its numerous challenges brought by the COVID19 Pandemic, marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security as well as the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Conference on Women.

The general content of the Forum will cover three (3) main thematic areas namely:

Status of Human Rights and Democracy in Africa

(update from sub-regional Focal Points on the general situation)

Special Interest Groups Discussions

(Kindly note that the list is not extensive, new interest groups are welcome)

Networking for Human Rights in Africa

(sharing experiences, best practices and lessons learnt towards durable solutions for forced displacement in Africa) A series of panel discussions on general human rights related issues will be organized within the main agenda of the NGOs Forum as well as at side events, and even extending to the margins of the Ordinary Session.


English and French are the languages of the NGOs Forum with available simultaneous interpretation facilities.


Representatives from African civil society/NGOs, international NGOs from Africa and beyond working on youth, democracy, human rights and the rule of law issues, academia, media, etc.



Expected Outcomes

  • Adopted strategies for the implementation of adopted resolutions (NGOs Forum/African Commission) in post COVID19 Africa
  • NGOs Statement at the official opening of the 68th Ordinary Session (highlighting deliberations of the NGOs Forum)
  • Adoption of Recommendations and Resolutions to be forwarded to the African Commission for its consideration during the 68th Ordinary Session
  • Report of the NGOs Forum





Administrative Fees for side events:

Some duties, amongst others that will be undertaken by the African Centre include booking of meeting venue, distribution of invitation letters, registration of participants, booking and confirmation of interpreters (if any), facilitate purchase of stationery (if any), prepare folders, prepare name tags, badges, tying of banner, planning sitting position, distribute documentation, photocopying, etc.

However, if the African Centre is informed of the organization of the side event only for its information, then the Partner would not be required to pay the administrative fee.

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For further informations or clarifications, contact: