AFRICA | AOMA held its 7th General Assembly

The African Ombudsman and Mediators Association (AOMA) successfully concluded its 7th General Assembly in Kigali, Rwanda, from 27-29 November 2023. Themed "Navigating Ethical Dilemmas in Mediation and Ombudsman Roles," this assembly was a pivotal forum for leaders and delegates from across Africa to engage in meaningful discussions regarding the evolving ethical considerations in mediation and Ombudsman services.

The assembly began with compelling keynote addresses; these included a keynote from the minister in the Presidency, Hon. Judith Uwizeye, and a message of support by Hon. Prof. Sam Rugege, retired Chief Justice of Rwanda, emphasizing the transformative role of Ombudsman offices in fostering individual rights, accountability, and efficient public administration across Africa.

Acting AOMA President and Ombudsman of Rwanda, Hon. Madeleine Nirere expressed gratitude for choosing Rwanda as the host country. She highlighted the importance of AOMA in promoting good governance, human rights, and collaboration among Ombudsman offices.

A dedicated training session on "Navigating Ethical Dilemmas" equipped participants with essential knowledge and skills for addressing complex ethical challenges in mediation and Ombudsman roles.

The training session included a segment on understanding ethical frameworks, with insightful presentations by prominent figures such as Hon. Jeanne Manomba Kombila, Hon. Antonia Florbela Araujo, and Hon. Nichole Tirant, exploring principles and common dilemmas. Protector of Zambia, the Public Protector of Zambia, facilitated this segment.

Another segment, facilitated by Hon. Florence Kajuju, Ombudsman of Kenya, focused on ethical decision-making, featuring speakers like Dr. Joseph Ryarasa Nkurunziza, a distinguished civil society representative from Rwanda, Adv. Kholeka Gcaleka, the Public Protector of South Africa, and Hon. Retired Major General Oswald Reddy, the Western Cape Police Ombudsman in South Africa, brought the session to life with case studies and role-playing.

In the afternoon of November 28, an AOMA EXCO meeting and Regional meetings took place, setting the stage for the General Meeting scheduled for the following day. The discussions during these sessions were integral to the preparations for the General Meeting, which included the crucial election of Regional Coordinators for each of the six regions within AOMA. These meetings played a vital role in shaping the direction and coordination of AOMA's regional activities.

A significant moment in the assembly was the election of new office bearers, ushering in a new chapter for AOMA. The newly elected leadership is poised to guide the association toward greater heights, ensuring its objectives are met with precision and dedication.

    (Angola - Southern Africa Region)

  • 1st Vice President: HON. BETI KAMYA TURWOMWE
    (Uganda - East Africa Region)

  • 2nd Vice President: HON. LAURENT NGON-BABA
    (Central African Republic - Central Africa Region)

  • Secretary General: HON. CAROLINE SOKONI
    (Zambia - Southern Africa Region)

  • Deputy Secretary General: HON. ABIMBOLA AYO YUSUF
    (Nigeria - West Africa Region)

  • Treasurer: HON. PASCAL ESSOU
    (Benin - West Africa Region)

  • Deputy Treasurer: HON. ALEXIS BOUTAMBA MBINA
    (Gabon - Central Africa)

  • Coordinators: Representing regions, including Central African, East African, Indian Ocean, Southern African, West African, and Northern African Regions.

    (South Africa)

The assembly adopted resolutions crafted during deliberations, encapsulating collective wisdom and agreements. The 8th General Assembly is declared for November 2025, with Seychelles as the first option and Zambia as the alternative venue.

An International Ombudsman Expo (IOE) is scheduled for Botswana in July 2024, underlining AOMA's commitment to expanding its global footprint.

The assembly concluded with a cultural interlude and a panoramic tour of Kigali, fostering informal networking and celebrating Rwandan heritage.

As the echoes of the 7th General Assembly linger, AOMA's legacy is a guiding force shaping the future of mediation and Ombudsman roles in Africa. The newly elected leadership adopted resolutions, and the visionary roadmap unveiled during this assembly reflected AOMA's commitment to advancing justice, fairness, and good governance across the continent. The association looks toward the horizon, where the sun of the 8th General Assembly awaits, promising new opportunities, challenges, and triumphs in advancing mediation and Ombudsman roles in Africa.


Source: The African Ombudsman Research Centre (AORC)

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