NEPAD's vision: NEPAD commits African governments to address democratic governance issues from a standpoint that goes beyond institutional reforms and technical adjustments toward a willingness to be more fully engaged with civic organizations, where critical alternatives may be advanced from civil society and the NGO community without being perceived as threats to power. Further, African governments commit themselves through NEPAD to be more attuned to gender inequality and to take concrete steps to advance participation of African women in governance; to establish and sustain independent mechanisms to provide reliable assessments of election processes, and to provide multinational avenues to demand adherence to internationally-recognized standards for political participation; and to demonstrate commitment to democratic institutions by taking no actions to undermine the independence of the judiciary, the capacity of political opposition to function, a free press, and the right of civil society to organize, meet, and publish.
US responsibility: To support these aspirations for greater freedom of expression and participation, and as a recognition of the US responsibility to support, though not to define, democratic processes, we note the following indicators for US policy:
- The US government will respect the political integrity of each county, acknowledging that the internal political process must be settled, fundamentally, by the people of that country or region.
- While recognizing and acknowledging its own democratic failures, the US government will contribute to multilateral election monitoring initiatives, and will provide appropriate support for independent monitoring initiatives in African civil society.
- The US government will neither fund nor otherwise involve itself in assisting or undermining political parties on the continent.
- The US government will seek opportunities to support and strengthen African civil society in civil society efforts to define their own agenda and to articulate alternatives, including civil society representation in the African Peer Review Mechanism.
- The US government will find avenues to indicate its support for a free press, including a commitment to an African-controlled independent press.