AFRICAN COURT COALITION PARTICIPATION TO THE TANZANIA CSOs WEEK￼African Court Coalition
The African Court Coalition participated in the Tanzania annual CSOs week in Arusha, Tanzania from 24-28 October 2022. The CSOs Week is the largest gathering of civil society organizations in Tanzania that offers an opportunity to engage with multi-sectoral actors for purposes of enhancing relations and partnerships geared at bolstering civil society’s engagement in Tanzania’s development. The event brought together more than 400 representatives of CSOs from Mainland Tanzania, Zanzibar and East Africa.
During the event, the Coalition held a session on Thursday 27th October under the theme, “Implementation of the African Court Decisions in Tanzania: Challenges and Prospects”. The session which was attended by CSOs and legal practitioners was geared towards creating awareness on the challenges of implementation of the African Court decisions in Tanzania; identification of the role of CSOs and the Bar Association in strengthening implementation of the African Court decisions by the government of Tanzania; and sharing of thoughts on how to engage the government of Tanzania to redeposit Article 34(6) of the African Court Protocol in order to allow direct access to the African Court for individuals and NGOs.
The session was moderated by Mr. Harold Sungusia, and advocate of the High Court of Tanzania. The panel of speakers was made up by the following;
- Elibariki Maeda (Tanganyika Law Society-African Court Coalition Chair)
- Fulgence Massawe (Director of Advocacy & Reforms; Legal & Human Rights Centre-LHRC)
- William Kivuyo (Executive Director, Pan African Legal Empowerment Initiatives -PALEI)
- Mwiza Nkhata (Principal Legal Officer, African Court)
- Meredith Lwanga (Head, Legal Aid Unit- Legal Division, African Court)
The following recommendations were made from the session;
- There is a need to create awareness to the general public on the procedures of implementation of the African Court decisions and other Human Rights organs like the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights;
- The Coalition should enhance its coordination efforts to mobilize CSOs and the Bar Association in Tanzania to form a strong voice in the advocacies for implementation of the African Court decisions and redeposit of Article 34(6) Declaration of the African Court Protocol to allow direct access to the African Court for Tanzania citizens;
- There is a need to conduct a study on the reasons for Tanzania withdrawal of Article 34(6) and form an advocacy strategy for redeposit;
- CSOs in Tanzania should create awareness on the obligations that Tanzania has under the African Court Protocol and under International Law and the need to observe such obligations;
- The African Court Coalition and CSOs in Tanzania should create awareness to the general public on the impact of decisions of the African Court in their daily lives
- There is a need to learn from other regional Human Rights mechanisms on how they deal with compliance challenges in relation to implementation of decisions.
Participants also shared their views on what should be done to strengthen the African Court and its mandate;
- More public sensitization and awareness is needed on the existence of the African Court and its functions in Tanzania and Africa as a whole;
- African States and Governments should re-evaluate the commitments that they have made through ratification of African Human Rights instruments and other relevant Treaties whether it was all in good faith or is it just for political reasons.
In the course of the CSOs Week event, the Coalition also had an opportunity to promote its work and create awareness about the African Court and its mandate; an opportunity to disseminate the Coalition and the African Court publications; an opportunity to attend various sessions on other important topics relevant for CSOs; and an opportunity to network with other stakeholders within the CSOs industry in Tanzania.
This activity was implemented under the Raoul Wallenberg Institute (RWI) Regional Africa Program (RAP) which is financially supported by Swedish Development Cooperation (Sida).