Africans United for Democracy (AUFD) is a nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization whose aim is to support democracy and protect fundamental freedoms and the rule of law as a means to preventing human rights violations. Hopefully, AUFD will be a catalyst for change as well as help to spread good practice and raise awareness and standards throughout the continent.
The goal of AUFD is to prepare individuals for civic and political participation through the articulation between empowerment and civic participation, with the conviction that citizenry is a pattern of democratic behavior based upon a balance between rights and shared responsibilities. Ultimately, AUFD hopes to be the watchdog for human rights for Africa’s citizens, and a custodian of democracy and the rule of law.
Democracy, adapted to local sociocultural norms, is the preferred system of governance in multicultural or heterogeneous societies. Hence, “The spirit of democracy cannot be imposed from without. It has to come from within. In true democracy, every man and woman are taught to think for himself or herself”, said Mahatma Gandhi. Emphasis in education and reinforcing cross-cutting cleavages will reduce conflict in African societies and find common goals, with a view that promoting democracy and protecting fundamental human rights will benefit the entire world.
Desmond Tutu, South African Archbishop & Nobel Peace prize, argues that “What dehumanizes you dehumanizes me”. This notion aligns with the argument that human rights are universal and that “there is no rule of law within societies if human rights are not protected (UN)”. It suggests above all that the way out of Sub-Saharan-African systemic political crises is supporting the rule of law combined with liberal societies cultivating sincere relations of proximity, solidarity, and fraternity with the oppressed, not with the oppressors.