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East and Southern Africa Regional Governance Forum and International Day for Democracy 2023

13 September 2023 - 15 September 2023

International IDEA invites you to the East and Southern Africa Regional Governance Forum and International Day for Democracy 2023 celebrations from 13 until 15 September 2023 in Lusaka, Zambia.

African countries have long exhibited heterogeneity in their economic performance but also increasingly display divergence in good governance and peacebuilding, despite efforts at articulating and adopting several common normative frameworks. Moreover, despite the progress made in institutional and regulatory areas, the human rights situation and access to justice, especially for women, in many countries has not improved.

Given the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) broadly, and Goal 16 and AU Agenda 2063 (Aspirations 3 & 4) specifically, it is vital to consider how best to reorient – where necessary – and accelerate the democratic governance agenda in Africa. It is also pertinent to establish the constitutional imperatives for achieving the African Union (AU) vision of an “integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens, representing a dynamic force in the international arena” to which member states of the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) are committed.

Enabling conversations to draw on national, sub-regional and continental experiences towards promoting constitutions, constitutionalism and good governance can contribute to the achievement of the AU vision in the EAC and SADC regions. Building on the national and international commitments made at the second Summit for Democracy (S4D) in Zambia in March 2023, it is important to provide a platform where African leaders can revisit these commitments towards deepening democracy on the continent.

Based on lessons learned from previous Governance dialogues in the regions, International IDEA’s first Democracy Day Roundtable and the second Summit for Democracy, the 2023 East and Southern Africa Regional Governance Forum and Democracy Day Roundtable (the Forum) aims to:

Facilitate dynamic discussions and critical reflections on the regional and continental democratic governance trajectory with a focus on constitutional transitions, and the kind of governance models suitable to help the countries, and regions meet their peace and development aspirations.

Foster conversation on how to ensure that constitutional democracy is conceptualized in a manner that has legitimacy and meaning for the regions and African political elites and local populations alike. 

The Government of Zambia, United Nations Development Programme UNDP

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