Africa Economic Justice Programme
Within the Africa Economic Justice programme, Diakonia supports about ten regional partner organizations who are pushing for fair financial flows in and out of Africa, and economic equality throughout the continent. Diakonia supports their efforts financially and through capacity building. This allows our regional partners to access centres of power and influence economic policies.
Within the framework of the Africa Economic Justice programme (AEJ) Diakonia and its partner organizations strive for:
- Debt reduction – to mobilise resources for development and to promote responsible lending/borrowing practices.
- Aid effectiveness – to promote aid and development effectiveness.
- Gender equality in economic issues – to ensure equal participation and economic opportunities for women and men.
- Sustainable private sector investments and operations – to ensure that all people benefit from private sector investments and economic growth.
- Fair trade regimes – to enable Africa to make use of its competitive advantages and to contribute to poverty eradication.
Diakonia’s work makes a difference
The AEJ is a strategic programme that creates a platform where new practices and innovative ideas on social and economic justice and economic empowerment of women can be tested and developed. The AEJ works with regional civil society organizations because they complement the work of the national and local actors by providing linkage to the regional and global authorities including intergovernmental and non-state international actors.
Over the years, the AEJ has achieved social and economic justice related policy changes at the regional and national levels by supporting partners to engage with regional policy and decision makers. For instance, recently, the AEJ, through Eastern Africa Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI), played a key role of influencing and pushing for the enactment of the EAC Gender Policy in 2017.
The new policy provides critical guidelines for the realization of gender equality and economic empowerment of women in the region and the partners will continue to monitor its implementation by providing regular reports to the regional parliaments.
The AEJ partners also actively participated in the development of the Africa Mining Vision, which provides a model for natural resources governance in Africa, and the first ever report that highlights the magnitude of Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) from Africa. The report is dubbed the African Union High Level Panel report on IFFs. Diakonia partners; Third World Network and Tax justice Network – Africa played a critical role in these initiatives with the financial and technical support from the AEJ Programme.
Gender Links and EASSI are two partners of the programme who are working on gender equality in Southern Africa and East Africa respectively. Through collaboration with the SADC and EAC secretariats, Gender Links and EASSI developed gender barometers that annually assess and report on the progress being made by the regional blocks to advance gender equality.
Based on these outcomes and the many years of experience gained by the programme, it is clear that working at the regional level through member based organizations such as the ones working with the AEJ achieves tangible outcomes at the regional level. This approach allows the AEJ to mobilize large constituencies at the sub regional levels and to advocate for policy changes, allowing the rights holders, to benefit in the long run.