Democracy, Human Rights and Governance

Southern Africa

In Southern Africa, multi-party democracy has more popular support than any other form of governance. Yet democratic values and practices remain shallowly rooted, and progress toward open, transparent governance is slow. USAID strengthens the legitimacy and capacity of key governmental institutions and develops the capacity of civil society groups and regional organizations to promote democratic values and practices. USAID is building the competencies of electoral officials to support free, fair and transparent elections across the continent, and has certified officials from 22 countries and regional institutions. 

Effective judicial systems and strong civil society provide balance to powerful executive branches. USAID supports a regional network of judges, lawyers and activists who are effectively advocating for all persons in society. They facilitate rule of law and the protection of individual civil, political, economic and social rights.   USAID is also supporting the rehabilitation of victims of torture in South Africa through more effective and rigorous psycho-social services.  Clinical evidence and best practices are shared across the region to put an end to torture in all its forms.

South Africa

USAID works with the South African Government to address the crisis of rape and gender based violence in the country.   The USAID-supported Thuthuzela Care Centre network provides support for rape and sexual assault survivors, offering the medical, legal, and psychological services necessary for justice and healing. Since 2009, USAID has helped to establish services and staff forty rape crisis centers across the country.  In a second phase of partnership, USAID is establishing new centers, providing support for 24-hour services, and educating thousands of community and health care workers to prevent and address gender-based violence effectively.

USAID is also supporting South African leadership to promote lasting development solutions in other developing countries.  Through an innovative government-to-government partnership, USAID enhances South Africa’s national capacities to deliver demand-driven technical assistance, exchange programs and capacity development through the National Treasury’s International Development Cooperation arm.  As South Africa emerges as a donor in its own right, decades of experience and lessons learned from USAID shape a new legacy for South Africa as a leading African nation that is able to advance stability on the continent.  

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Last updated: October 09, 2015

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