The APRM is an extensive, voluntary process of self- and peer evaluation applied in each participating country. The goal is to create and effectively implement a National Plan of Action (NPoA) based on the feedback and evaluations of the review processes. Togo joined the mechanism in June 2008 and is at the stage of gradually setting up the necessary structures to conduct its first national self- evaluation. As a preparatory step, the president for the future APRM National Commission of Togo was named and the composition of the Commission is being discussed. In order to support this initial phase, the Hanns-Seidel-Foundation assists in augmenting the awareness of the authorities and the population about the APRM process on a national level. Furthermore, it supports the dialogue and exchange of information and experiences among different member countries of the mechanism on the regional level. This enables participating countries to inspire themselves with successful experiences on the one hand, and avoid difficulties and obstacles others have encountered, on the other hand. The long-term goal of such a dialogue is the elaboration of development strategies likely to stimulate the synchronization of the currently disparate development levels, to thereby promote regional integration and to foster a climate of harmony beyond linguistic and cultural cleavages.
The young population in Togo is often deprived of opportunities due to the state’s neglect even though their role in the development of the country is crucial. Therefore, the Hanns-Seidel-Foundation commits itself to strengthen their professional and social capacities. In cooperation with the Ministry of Technical Education and Professional Training as well as the Regional Center for Technical Education and Professional Training of Lomé for the Maritime Region (CRETFP-RM), the Hanns-Seidel-Foundation offers technology trainings, in addition to the dual-type handicraft training at CRETFP-RM. These trainings facilitate the integration of the apprentices into the professional world, through more applicable, adapted qualifications for the national and international employment market. Furthermore, with the goal to integrate the youth into the political process, the Hanns-Seidel-Foundation plans to implement civic education classes at CRETFP-RM. A newly established partnership with the National Youth Council (CNJ) is also a part of this initiative.
A new partnership with the Working Group for Women’s Action, Democracy and Development (GF2D) was established to foster democratic sustainable development of Togo by ameliorating the socio-legal situation of women. The GF2D aims to raise the awareness of women about their rights, which in turn enables them to free themselves from socio-culturally imposed constraints and thus, to contribute to the development of the country. This should furthermore encourage an increased participation of women in the social process.
After a visit of respected members and the Chief Justice of the Ghanaian Supreme Court at the Togolese Constitutional Court, a return visit of the Togolese delegation to Ghana was undertaken. These meetings, organized by the Hanns-Seidel-Foundation, were the first step to enhance regional dialogue between national judiciaries. The key topic prioritized was a debate about the resolution of electoral disputes. In reaction, the Chief Justice of Ghana announced the issuance of an official document on the matter, reflecting a wider impact on civil society. Taking this project further, the Hanns-Seidel-Foundation is planning a regional dialogue platform between experts of the judiciaries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Togo and Ghana, commencing in early 2012. The goal is to prioritize six relevant subject areas after thorough discussions. Each country’s judiciary is then to develop one area further. Meetings are held regularly to exchange information and promote spill-over effects, as the understanding of each other’s judicial laws, regulations and practises is enhanced. This allows for the identification of best practises, while the adaption of such into one’s own system may be stimulated, thus benefiting each participating country’s civil society. The local partners in Togo are the Togolese Constitutional Court and the African Training and Research Centre in Administration for Development (CAFRAD).
In cooperation with the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the Hanns-Seidel-Foundation organizes symposiums with the principal aim to deepen the dialogue between the Togolese population and the decision-makers of the country. These efforts should lead to the promotion and consolidation of Good Governance in the form of institutional reforms and the increased communication between political parties and a strengthened civil society.
In the framework of its partnership with the Working and Action Group for Dialog, Democracy and Development (GRAD), the Hanns-Seidel-Foundation focused on training journalists and other media representatives to effectively assume their role as social disseminators. The main objective was to transform the trainees into trainers so that they could in turn inform, train and equip the population and accompany them in their quest to place themselves on the political and economic scene as social actors. Opinion- and traditional leaders were also accompanied in their search to redefine their functions as grass-roots disseminators in the modern society. Due to future plans of GRAD to reorganize itself into a scientific think tank, the successfully developed partnership will not be renewed.