AOMA President Public Protector in Nigeria attending International Ombudsman Expo
Public Protector Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane in her capacity as President of the African Ombudsman & Mediators Association (AOMA), is attending the week-long International Ombud Expo in Abuja, Nigeria. It has brought together over 500 grievance handling offices from over 100 countries.
Earlier in the day, Public Protector Adv. Mkhwebane spoke to millions of Radio Nigeria listeners about the expo, where the role of Public Protector-type institutions in facilitating better governance and driving performance in governments across the world is being exhibited.
Today, on the sidelines of registration and accreditation for the Expo, Adv. Mkhwebane is chairing the AOMA Executive Committee meeting. EXCO is AOMA’s highest decision making structure in between its biennial General Assemblies.
AOMA is a body of PP-like institutions across the continent. It aims to entrench a culture of good governance, among other things, in the continent.
As AOMA President, Adv. Mkhwebane, who was elected to the position in December 2018, has vowed to use her four-year term of office to grow the association’s influence in global governance matters.
Adv. Mkhwebane also plans to dedicate the rest of her time at the helm encouraging members institutions to implement their respective mandates with a view to turning continental development plan, Agenda 2063: The African We Want, into reality.
In particular, Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane is focused on the 3rd & 4th aspirations of the plan, which deal with good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice, the rule of law, and peace & security, respectively. This includes continental efforts to silence the guns by 2020.
Also close to Public Protector’s heart is the full implementation of the OR Tambo Minimum Standards for Effective Ombudsman Institutions. The historic declaration sets out ten minimum standards that African states ought to comply with when establishing such institutions.
The standards include the independence and autonomy of such institutions; the establishment of such institutions that is preferably guaranteed in the constitutions of the individual states; and the security of tenure for heads of such institutions.
They also touch on the mandates, resources, operations, accessibility, conditions of service, impartiality and accountability of such institutions.
The declaration is aligned to Article 15 of 2011 of the African Union’s African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, which deals with the establishment of, support and effectiveness of ombudsman institutions and other institutions supporting democracy.
In addition, upper most in Public Protector’s priority list is to secure of future of the association’s subsidiary, the African Ombudsman Research Centre (AORC), which is based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s (UKZN) Howard College campus in Durban.
The AORC, whose board of directors Adv. Mkhwebane chairs, renders research, information-sharing, capacity-building and advocacy services to AOMA members. Launched in 2011, the centre is fully funded by the SA government through Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s African Renaissance Fund.