The Levy Mwanawasa Regional Centre (LMRC) for Democracy, Good Governance, Human Rights and Civic Education is a regional Think Tank created by the Heads of State and Government of Member States of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) in December 2006 as a key institution for the promotion of Democracy, Good Governance, Human Rights and Civic Education. Its establishment epitomised the realisation of the will expressed by the Heads of State and Government of ICGLR Member States not only in the 2004 Dar-es-Salaam Declaration on Peace, Security, Democracy and Development in the Great Lakes Region but also in the Pact on Security, Stability and Development (with a Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance) signed in Nairobi on 15th December 2006. The willingness of the Heads of States was based on the analysis of conflicts and political crises situations that had characterized most of Great Lakes Region countries since the 1990s.
The Regional Centre was formally launched during the August 2009 Heads of State and Government Summit that was held in Lusaka, Zambia. It was on this occasion that it was named after the late former President of Zambia – Levy Mwanawasa, who died during his term as President of the ICGLR Heads of State and Government Summit. The Zambian Government agreed to host the Regional Centre and on March 24th, 2011, a Host Agreement was signed between ICGRL Secretariat and the Government of Zambia.
Since becoming operational in 2011, the Regional Centre provides a strong foundation to the ICGLR’s Programme of Action on the promotion of Good Governance and Democracy whose vision is that of “a Region characterized by deeply entrenched values, principles and norms on democracy, good governance and observance of human rights“.
The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) is an inter-governmental organization of the countries in the African Great Lakes Region. Its founding history began in 2000 when the United Nations Security Council, as stated in its resolutions 1291 and 1304, called for an International Conference on peace, security, democracy and development in the Great Lakes region. Later that year, the Secretariat of the International Conference was established in Nairobi, Kenya, under the umbrella of the United Nations and the African Union. Its establishment was based on the recognition that political instability and conflicts in these countries have a considerable regional dimension and thus require a concerted effort in order to promote sustainable peace and development.
The ICGLR Executive Secretariat was inaugurated in 2007 at its headquarters in Bujumbura, Burundi. Its responsibility is to coordinate, facilitate, monitor and thereby ensure the implementation of the Pact on Peace, Security and Development in the Great Lakes Region as well as its ten Protocols and Programmes of Action.
For more information visit www.icglr.org
Decision Making Organs of ICGLR
The ICGLR has three decision making organs as follows:
Heads of State and Government Summit
This organ comprises of the Heads of State and Government of ICGLR Member States. It is chaired by a Head of State and Government of a Member State in rotation. The summit is held every two years to assess the implementation and domestication of the 2006 Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region. It is during this summit that various policy actions to accelerate the implementation of the Pact are approved.
The Regional Inter-Ministerial Committee (RIMC)
The RIMC is an organ composed of Ministers in-charge of Foreign Affairs in ICGLR Member States. It is the Executive organ of the conference that meets in an ordinary session twice a year or in an extraordinary session on the request by one Member State with the consent of absolute majority of other Member States.
The role of the RIMC is to report progress on the implementation the 2006 Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region and recommend policy options to the Heads of State and Government Summit.
The National Coordination Mechanism (NCM)
This organ is present in all ICLGR Member States and its role is to facilitate the implementation of the 2006 Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes
Since 2011, the Regional Centre is engaged in implementing its mission through the Strategic Plan based on the following five Programme Objectives:
Strategic Objective 1:
To undertake and promote operational and multi-disciplinary research and analysis on governance processes, peace building, conflict prevention and resolution at the Local, National and Regional levels.
The purpose is to develop a database on best practices and challenges as well as promote sharing of experiences and best practices between and among ICGLR Member States.
Strategic Objective 2:
To facilitate and undertake Capacity Development and Training Programmes in the areas of Democracy, Governance, Human Rights and Civic Education.
The purpose is to strengthen Public Institutions and Civil Society Organisations and promote Accountable Leadership for an active and effective National and Regional engagement in the promotion of Democracy, Good Governance and Human Rights.
Strategic objective 3:
To monitor, evaluate and advise on the implementation of the ICGLR Protocols and other relevant legal Instruments.
The purpose is to create a database on the status of ratification, domestication and implementation of the ICGLR Protocols and other relevant Legal Instruments and make appropriate proposals for their ratification, domestication and implementation.
Strategic objective 4:
To facilitate Dialogue between different Actors on Governance Reform Agenda.
The purpose is to create spaces where various Stakeholders can dialogue on Public Policies and build consensus on important issues.
Strategic objective 5:
To establish and maintain an Information Hub on Democracy, Good Governance, Human Rights and Civic Education.
The purpose is to make the Centre the Regional Data Hub and Centre of Reference for the Region.
Frank Okuthe–Oyugi, PhD
FORA & Observatory
Head of FORA & Observatory Department
Head of Research, Training & Documentation Department
Head of Finance & Administration Department
Programme Assistant- Democracy and Good Governance
Programme Assistant - Operational Research and Partnerships
Personal Assistant to the Executive Director
Information and Communication Technologies Assistant
Key partners include the following institutions:
The Levy Mwanawasa Regional Centre is also a member of the following Fora:
– African Union Governance Platform;
– UN/UNECA/AU African Governance Forum VII (AGF VII).
Added Value of the Regional Centre in the Region
The Levy Mwanawasa Regional Centre for has a niche which makes it unique in the Great Lakes Region because of its:
- Unique position as a regional Think Tank in an extremely complex Region where there is limited institutional density of African organizations that can work structurally on Democracy, Governance and Human Rights issues.
- Dual legitimacy, i.e. as a Think Tank embedded and mandated by a regional multilateral organization on the one hand, and linked to real constituencies on the field on the other.
- Capacity to act as a “catalyst” i.e. to ensure the “trickle down” of Democratic Governance policies of Regional and International Organizations to the field and to make sure that the “realities and voices” of the ground are transmitted to these higher levels.
- Capacity to work in a structured, long term way on capacity development issues (which by definition are not “quick wins”) while mobilizing relevant expertise from the Region and abroad to deliver on its mandate.
- Capacity to act as a “Change Agent” and a “Catalyst” precisely because it is working with political/public organizations in the Region and because it has the necessary “relays” in the field (with other potential “change agents” such as Civil Society and Parliaments). In this perspective, the niche of the Regional Centre relies in the capacity to “move and shake” the official bodies, public institutions to effectively implement policies on Democracy, Governance and Human Rights.