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Socio-political activities in Africa

Democratization and the emergence of political pluralism in Africa have been accompanied by new conflicts. Since competition between parties is necessary but not sufficient for participatory democracy, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation has focused its work in Africa on the promotion of "civil society." We believe that the development of a constitutional, democratic culture is best served through the collaboration of a wide range of social groups, such as associations and federations, women's and farmer's organizations, and trade unions. Decentralization, whereby the lower levels of government are strengthened according to the principles of subsidiarity and federalism, brings state action closer to the people and facilitates their participation in political and economic life.

Our activities include:

Cooperation with forces willing and able to bring about political, social and economic reform;
The promotion of an effective non-governmental sphere ("civil society") and support of the organizational and negotiating capacity of socio-political groups that are committed to consensus-building, such as trade unions, independent agencies, and non-governmental organizations;
The strengthening of democratic structures and procedures, such as constitutional and legal reform, parliamentary and multi-party procedures, and support for human rights organizations;
The creation of decentralized, local, autonomous levels of government as the basis for self-government and democratic participation;
The support of "good government" through specialized consultancy on topics such as economic and social policy, education, and the environment;
The promotion of socio-political dialogue and of democratic consensus-building with forums for discussion and round tables on regional and national policies;
Support for regional cooperation, South-South cooperation and the North-South dialogue.

The Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Africa:

Programs in 29 countries
32 representatives in 21 countries; 1 project assistant
196 local staff members in 25 offices of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation
Expenditures totaling DM 32.3 million.(1996)

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©Friedrich Ebert Stiftung | technical support | net edition mv&ola | August 1997