Report from the African regional workshop on Protecting Civic Space


U.S. President Barack Obama hosted 47 African heads of state in Washington, DC on August 4-6, 2014 for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. Civil society’s contributions to development and the trend of closing civic space in Africa were among the topics addressed during side events such as the Civil Society Forum. Convening a regional workshop focused on protecting civic space was among the key recommendations coming out of the Forum.


Participants in the Forum identified the need to deepen conversations, foster collaboration among key actors and to translate broader principles into actionable strategies for protecting civic space.  To  address  this,  the  co-conveners held  an  African  regional  workshop  on  “Protecting  Civic Space” on November 17-18, 2014 at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.


The workshop included 48  participants,  including  19  African civil society representatives from 14 countries in East, West, Central and Southern Africa and 9 Africans representing international organizations and donor agencies. One third of workshop participants  are  women.  Participants were chosen based on their knowledge of key issue areas, experience  in  mobilizing civil society, history of  engaging with government actors, influence on other civil society actors within their own  countries  and  the  region,  and  success  in  defending  and/or  expanding  civic  space.


Download report here