The Southern Africa Trust, Trust Africa, Institute for Global dialogue and Continental Advisory Research Team of civil society organisations launched two publications; (Dis) Enabling the Public Sphere: Civil Society Regulation in Africa (Volume 1) and the State of the Union South Africa Report. 92 participants attended the launch including government departments, foreign diplomats, civil society and the private sector.
In 2009, a consortium of 14 non-governmental organisations’1working in the African continent initiated a project called the State of the Union. The project aimed to assess the compliance of the African Union decisions and instruments by African Union member states. The first phase of the project focused on 10 African countries including South Africa. The State of the union project tracks and engages governments and the African Union on their commitments by managing in-country research, community hearings and national consultations. There is a huge gap between law and practice as well as between signing, ratification and implementation of international statutes. The other problem is the lack of harmonisation between African Union decisions and the practice of most member states. As a result, many important decisions being taken at continental level risk the danger of not being nationally implemented. The Africa Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government called for the prioritisation and acceleration of the signing and ratification of African Union treaties. The findings of the Study will help stakeholders to monitor progress, hold government accountable and support government to deliver the African Union Policy Standards and Framework.
The State of the Union South Africa Report assesses South Africa’s compliance with African Union instruments. The report analyses South African compliance with 12 African Union instruments; human rights and governance, women’s rights, children and youth rights, agriculture and conservation of nature and natural resource, and health. The report analysed each instrument from its legal status, objectives and popularisation of each instrument.