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NGOs on Africa to meet in Gambia for human rights discourse

Oct 28, 2015, 9:24 AM | Article By: Lamin Jahateh

About 200 organisations from across Africa and beyond will converge in The Gambia for three days to discuss the current human rights and democracy challenges in the African continent.

They are also expected to review corresponding strategies to address the identified challenges.

The meeting, dubbed ‘NGO Forum’, will be held at a local hotel in Kololi from 31 October to 2 November 2015.

It is a bi-annually meeting organised and hosted by the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies in collaboration with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. 

The forum precedes the 57th Ordinary Session of the African Commission, which is also scheduled to take place in The Gambia from the 4th to 18th November 2015.

Organisers said the NGO Forum provides an important platform for stakeholders to address challenges, exchange views and explore practical approaches and experiences with the objective of fostering cooperation among and between NGOs and other stakeholders.

The forum will discuss reports assessing the human rights situations in Africa, particularly in Algeria, Burkina Faso, Kenya and Sierra Leone. 

The state reports of the four countries will be reviewed by the African Commission at the 57th session in fulfillment of Article 62 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Organisers said resource persons and facilitators during the forum will be experts in the field of human rights and democracy, primarily from the African continent. 

At the end of the three-day forum, recommendations emanating from the sessions will be forwarded to the African Commission for consideration during its 57th ordinary session. 

Meanwhile, the 31st African Human Rights Book Fair will run concurrently with the NGO Forum, with the objective of giving human rights NGOs the opportunity to share their publications, working tools and other materials with other NGOs. 

The fair also serves as an avenue to promote networking on the continent and beyond.