High Level Dialogue

The High Level Dialogues on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance (HLD) have been taking place on an Annual basis for the last four years. The fourth HLD will take place in Kigali, Rwanda from 7-8 December, 2015. It will be discussing Women’s Equal Participation and Leadership in Political Parties in Africa, in line with the AU Year of Women Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063.

The Dialogue is a flagship programme of the African Governance Architecture. It provides a frank, open and inclusive space for African Governance Architecture Platform Members, Member States and non-state actors to reflect and account on the impact of their work towards consolidating democracy and strengthening good governance in Africa.

The Dialogue is organised in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Rwanda through the Rwanda Governance Board (RGB). GIZ, International IDEA and ISS will provide technical and financial support towards the dialogue.

The Fourth High Level Dialogue will be preceded by a Youth Pre-Forum on the theme on 4-6 December 2015 aimed at providing an opportunity to assess and analyse youth participation in political parties, as well as deliberate on how to enhance their participation in political parties in Africa.

• The first Dialogue was held in November, 2012 in Dakar, Senegal on the state of democratic governance in Africa.

• The second Dialogue was held in November, 2013 in Dakar, Senegal and focused on enhancing constitutionalism and rule of law in Africa.

• The third Dialogue was held in October 2014 in Dakar, Senegal on the theme silencing the guns: strengthening governance in resolving conflicts in Africa.

The Fourth High Level Dialogue aims to review and address the state of women’s equal participation and leadership in political parties in Africa.



It seeks to address structural challenges, share comparable experiences and practices and opportunities for women in enhancing their participation and leadership in political parties such as:

• Systematic structural barriers relative to culture, patriarchy and gender equality

• Political economy constraints especially financing and economic empowerment of women

• Normative and institutional framework hurdles including the effects of various electoral laws and systems

• Internal party politics, dynamics and structures including party policies and manifestos

• Capacity constraints including training, mentorship, partnerships and leadership


The main outcomes will include:

• Enhanced synergy, cooperation and collaboration among AGA Platform Members in promoting gender equality and leadership of women in political parties

• Renewed commitment of Member States to ratify, domesticate and implement AU Shared Values Instruments that promote gender equality;

• Increased numbers and quality of women representation in decision-making structures and political leadership in AU Member States;

• Consolidated handbook on select comparable lessons and practices in Africa for women’s participation and leadership in political parties;

• Enhanced strategic partnerships and alliances between AUC and African Political Parties Council among other political parties’ networks and groupings towards enhanced women’s participation and leadership in political parties in Africa


Participants to the Fourth High Level Dialogue will include:

• Women leaders in political parties from select Member States at all levels ensuring regional diversity of the continent (leadership in Parliament, cabinets, ruling and opposition political parties, including independent candidates)

• African Statesmen/women renowned for their contribution to women’s empowerment and political participation

• Members of the African Governance Platform

• Think tanks, academic/research institutions with experience of working on women participation in political parties and political processes in general.

• Media practitioners (working on/with women in political parties)

• International Organizations/partners working on/with women in political parties

• Civil Society Organizations working on/with women in political parties at National, Regional, and Continental levels

• Individual Youth/Youth-led organizations working on issues of women's political participation, including young women in politics

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