area Head Office
Zoe Tembo Building, Kerr Serign
(near Kololi in the Senegambia area)
Kanifing Municipality, Ksmd
P.O. Box 2728, Serrekunda
The ACDHRS is situated in the Kololi area of The Gambia and
is governed by a Pan-African Council, whose Chairman is Mr.
Mohamed Genedy, a human rights lawyer.
The Governing Council comprises 11 African members and includes
a number of international advisors, appointed in their own
capacities as eminent human
rights functionaries. It meets twice a year. These Advisors
make up the Advisory Committee, but do not have voting rights.
The work of the Governing Council is aided by the Executive
Committee - the Chairman, Vice Chairman and two other members of the
Governing Council with the Executive Director as Secretary. It also
meets twice a year for matters requiring prompt attention.
Centre's activities are carried out in four main units: Management;
Training; Information and Documentation; and Legal and Research.
The initial staffing of the Centre was devoid of the requisite
professionalism necessary for managing its activities. This created an
overload on management, which had to do much of the work. The ACDHRS
is now staffed with very competent personnel, who provide the required
expertise to man all functional Units. Job descriptions have been
provided for the staff and a Co-ordination Committee, comprising all
heads of units, has been established. It meets regularly to plan the
Centre's activities, supervise implementation of programmes and manage
the daily tasks.
More than ever before, the African Centre now serves as a bridge
between the African human rights NGOs, the governments and the general
public. It also acts as a valuable resource in disseminating valuable
information on the activities of various human rights bodies and the
human rights situations in various African countries.
The African Centre also serves as an educational channel by
introducing the human rights NGOs, particularly the new ones,
to a variety of subjects dealing with human rights such as
the international human rights instruments, management of
human rights NGOs, civic education, the preparation and presentation
of communications, etc. The Centre is also concentrating on
the preparation of manuals for human rights teaching in schools,
from the primary to higher levels.
Also of concern and interest to the Centre are gender issues, in
particular current global efforts to attain equality between men and
women and remove the barriers that impede women's growth and
development. To this end, the Centre runs a Women's programme which
recently included a training course on the International Human Rights
Procedures specifically for women and a seminar on "Women in conflict
situations in Africa". The Centre has been very supportive to the
Working Group on the Additional Protocol to the African Charter on the
Rights of Women in Africa. Apart from its active membership of the
Working Group, it financed the Group's first meeting held in Banjul in
1998 and co-financed the second and third meetings held in Dakar in
June 1999, and in Kigali, Rwanda in November, 1999, respectively.
The profound confidence, credibility and international reputation
enjoyed by the organisation over the years, arising from its activities,
including its accountability and transparency, have led several donors
to support its work. An evaluation carried out by NORAD in 1998,
following the reorganisation of the Centre, recognised the strides
made by the new management and recommended that its research capacity
be strengthened. Another evaluation undertaken by FORD FOUNDATION a
few months earlier, encouraged the Foundation to support the Centre.
In 1998, the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (Sida)
also commissioned a major evaluation of the work of the Centre. This
brought to light the importance of the Centre's activities and the
need for sustainable core support by donors. BILANCE also undertook a
similar evaluation of the work of the Centre at the end of 1999.
Through donor support, the African Centre For Democracy and Human
Rights Studies have moved into a new office building
Kololi, in a beautiful area in The Gambia.
The new building serves the whole of Africa as the home for all those
who strive for the promotion and protection of human rights on the