The Foundation for Democracy in Africa (FDA), is a development organization committed to promoting participatory democracy, sustainable development and economic growth throughout Africa. FDA maintains institutional linkages with universities in USA and Africa. Founded in 1994, FDA is a Washington, DC-based non-profit 501 (c) 3, non-governmental, non-partisan institution with offices in Miami, Florida, and several African countries including, Nigeria; Sierra Leone and Liberia.
The FDA’s mission is to: (1) implement culturally sensitive programs designed to strengthen and enhance the fundamental principles of democracy, freedom and economic plurality throughout Africa, and (2) integrate emerging African democracies into the mainstream of the global economy, thus cultivating the pathway for peace and prosperity in Africa.
In 1996, the Foundation was granted consultative status (special) as a non-governmental organization (NGO) with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). FDA is also registered with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) as a Private Voluntary Organization (PVO). FDA collaborates with the African Union (AU) on programs and projects.
FDA carries out its mission by developing innovative culturally sensitive strategies and programs that are designed to enhance human and institutional capacity, create opportunities that reduce poverty, foster democracy and good governance, and accelerate development in select sectors of Africa’s economy. We also provide and support development through education, and hands on technical assistance for existing and future leaders in government, civil society and the private sector. We provide expert technical assistance to strengthen the rule of law, democracy and governance, elections, elections administration, and political processes through education and training.
FDA network of global associates and professional’s staff has extensive experience in more than thirty countries in Africa, as well as engagement in other continents. FDA has a proven track record of working with indigenous organizations by developing strategies which remove constraints that impede development. FDA has worked with contracts, task orders, and grants from US federal agencies, state and local governments, public and private corporations and foundations.
FDA’s areas of expertise include:
- Education and Training in Democracy and Governance
- Elections and Political Processes
- Business Development, Trade and Investment Promotion
- Humanitarian and Emergency Relief Program Refugee Relocation
Democracy and Governance
FDA supports democratization and good governance through innovative programs and projects that are aimed at solving Africa’s sociopolitical and economic problems. FDA’s goal is to implement culturally based programs designed to strengthen and enhance the fundamental principles of democracy, educate and increase citizen participation in the democratic process and encourage accountability and transparency in government. In pursuit of its objectives FDA established the Institute for Democracy in Africa (IDA). IDA serves as the “think tank” for FDA and conducts training and research and develops strategies and programs that build institutional capacity.
Election and Political Processes
Elections are the central institution of democratic representative government. In a democracy, the authority of the government derives directly from the consent of the governed. A fair and transparent election enables citizens to choose new leaders and tests the strength of existing democratic institutions and processes. However, transitional and emerging democracies often lack the institutional capacity to effectively support the management of elections and/or political processes. FDA provides technical assistance to governments, NGOs and citizen’s groups in the following areas:
- Election training and administration
- Campaign management
- Election observation
- Records and technology management
- Adjudication of election disputes
Trade and Investment Promotion
Africa is the least developed and most impoverished continent in the world, yet US trade with Africa is greater than the level of US trade with either the former Soviet Union or Eastern Europe. The average return on investment in African nations has consistently averaged 30% over the last several years – higher than any other region. Various constraints have discouraged private investments in many African countries, thereby impeding economic development, employment, income growth and adequate government revenue generation, are increasingly being overcome. As more African countries have moved from civil war to peace, from dictatorships to democracies, from socialist to free enterprise economies, there is an urgent need to make these gains permanent by demonstrating that peace; democracy and private enterprise are the foundations for progress and prosperity.
FDA’s annual AfrICANDO conference brings together African and US business men and women, educators, government policymakers and administrators, trade and investment experts, bankers and representatives from international organizations to conceive, discuss and recommend strategies that remove constraints and create opportunities to accelerate US-Africa-Caribbean trade and investment. Trade development missions to Africa and the Caribbean, the West Africa Economic Policy Support Program, Capacity Building for the Nigerian Association of Women Entrepreneurs – are all projects/programs that the FDA uses to foster trade and investment.
Humanitarian and Emergency Relief Program
Saving lives and reducing human suffering are the two essential missions of all humanitarian relief strategies. While relief commodities can supplement a humanitarian relief effort, it is the immediate rehabilitation programs that yield the greatest and most productive results in making people self-sufficient.