Banjul area Head Office
Zoe Tembo Bldg, Kerr Serign
(n. Kololi, Senegambia area)
Kanifing Municipality, Ksmd
P.O. Box 2728, Serrekunda
The Gambia, West Africa
Tel no: +220 4462340
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.
The 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 continent.