The New Times Kigali
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The Fifth Annual African Union (AU) Dialogue on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance in Africa will open today in Arusha, Tanzania.

The Vice President of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassan, will grace the opening of the meeting due to run from November 23-26.

The dialogue is part of the celebrations to mark the 10th Anniversary of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights; 13 years of the Maputo Protocol on the Rights of Women; 15 years of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child; 29 years of African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights; and 35 years of the adoption of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

The AU has declared 2016 the African Year of Human Rights with particular focus on the Rights of Women.

In a statement ahead of the meeting, the African Court President Justice Sylvain Orě underscored that the dialogue would provide an opportunity to consolidate the gains already made over the years and ensure better coordination of human rights bodies on the continent, based on the ideals encapsulated in AU’s Agenda 2063.

« It is hoped that the celebrations will initiate an advocacy and coordinating campaigns that will effectively reach out to African stakeholders and partners at all levels, » he added.

The dialogue is expected to be attended by about 300 delegates, including the representatives of AU member states; members of the African Governance Platform; academia; researchers; distinguished African statesmen/women; civil society organisations; media; international partners; and youth organisations, among others.