The APT Facilitated CPTA Strategic Planning Workshop

Friday, August 5, 2011

In its statement during the 49th session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights held in Banjul, Gambia, from 28 April to 12 May 2011, the APT encouraged the Committee for the Prevention of Torture in Africa (CPTA) to organize a strategic planning meeting to discuss its vision, mission, strategic objectives and possible activities for the next three years, in order to increase the CPTA capacities and effectiveness in accomplishing its mandate. The APT offered also to assist the CPTA in the organisation and facilitation of such a meeting.

It is in this context that, under the facilitation of the APT Institutional Development Officer, a three days CPTA Strategic Planning Workshop was organised from 14 – 16 July 2011 in Dakar, Senegal. The workshop brought together CPTA members and Secretariat staff supporting the CPTA. For three days, CPTA members brainstormed on and critically assessed the performance of the mechanism, its challenges, its vision, mission, strategic objectives and activities amongst others.

The workshop came up with a draft three year strategic plan for the CPTA to run from 2012 to 2014. The strategic plan will be finalized before the end of the year and is expected to be formally adopted during the 50th session of the ACHPR in November 2011. It is hoped that the strategic plan will give more clarity to the CPTA mandate, add impetus to its work and improve its performance and visibility in the discharge of its mandate of making effective the prohibition and prevention of torture on the African continent.

Indeed, a strategic plan is timely and most welcome as it provides the CPTA with a clear view on how it has to operate in order to implement its mandate. In fact the Resolution 61(XXXII) 02 on the Guidelines and Measures for the Prohibition and Prevention of Torture, Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in Africa – also known as Robben Island Guidelines (RIG) - has conferred to the CPTA a very broad and general mandate without any clear guidelines on how this can effectively be executed.

This strategic planning process is therefore an important milestone which will allow the CPTA to be more coherent, systematic and effective in promoting and facilitating the implementation of the RIG in Africa.