The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced the launch of a new fund that will support the implementation of transitional justice efforts in Africa.
With the goal of strengthening civil society's capacity to engage with and advocate for national and regional transitional justice processes, the Africa Transitional Justice Legacy Fund will support efforts to achieve truth, justice, and accountability for crimes and human rights violations in societies experiencing or transitioning from conflict situations and dictatorships.
Funded by MacArthur and another U.S.-based private foundation and administered by the Institute for Democratic Governance in Ghana, the multiyear, multimillion-dollar fund initially will focus on seven West African countries: Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. Among other initiatives, it will support the recently adopted African Union Transitional Justice Policy, a road map for developing and strengthening peace agreements and transitional justice institutions and initiatives that was developed with support from the two foundations through the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) and the African Union's Department of Political Affairs. The foundations also supported CSVR in developing the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights' Study on Transitional Justice and Human and Peoples' Rights in Africa, which was released in April.
"These are timely policies that guide policy makers, civil society organizations, and practitioners in implementing transitional justice that addresses the lived realities and experiences of African people, seeking solutions that are grounded in the African context," said CSVR executive director Nomfundo Mogapi.
"This newly created fund is Afro-centric in approach and seeks to consolidate gains made in transitional justice mechanisms in Africa," said Makmid Kamara, the fund's project director. "It will build on the growing desire within Africa to have enduring transitional justice policies and processes that address the needs of victims of atrocity crimes. Through community-based initiatives and survivor-led groups, we will help to rebuild communities and reactivate the agency of victims and survivors in societies."