We provide support to pro-reform candidates, leaders and governments committed to free and fair elections, democracy and accountability.


THE PROBLEMs

A democratic recession is currently sweeping through parts of the African continent. Over the past decade, study after study has shown an overall decline in the respect for basic democratic rights, a phenomenon that has coincided with highly flawed election processes. A primary cause of this problem has been a lack of sustained public advocacy, which has allowed highly entrenched, corrupt and abusive regimes to prolong their stay in power without the outside world taking note and without consequences. What is more, pro-reform leaders and candidates for political office often lack the support and global solidarity that is required to create lasting social change. 

Vanguard Africa fills this evident void and addresses the root causes of Africa’s democratic retreat by partnering with the region's best, bravest and brightest pro-reform leaders to advance their visions of change. At Vanguard Africa, we help connect these courageous individuals with the necessary resources to advance democracy and good governance at home, and build a network of likeminded advocates who stand up for and support free, fair, peaceful and fully transparent elections.


Our SolutionS

Vanguard Africa offers a holistic program of support to strengthen the capacity of pro-reform leaders in Africa, while highlighting the need for free and fair elections. Vanguard Africa's cohesive efforts -- informed by decades of experience working in Africa and other challenging environments across the world -- will address the fundamental obstacle that leaders often face: supplementing their vision and political acumen with the vital resources, support, and global connections that are required to advance a reform agenda. 

Our dedicated support to ethical leaders simply does not exist elsewhere. Among the strategic services that we can readily provide: 

  • International Media Support – Access to international media outlets and top journalists is crucial for pro-reform leaders, particularly those who operate in highly repressive environments where increased media attention can help to add a vital layer of security. Additionally, a sustained international spotlight on African elections is often missing, allowing abusive leaders and their machinery of repression to thrive in the shadows. Our invaluable media network will counteract these negative trends, leading to your increased influence and notoriety -- domestically, regionally and internationally -- while also positively impacting your fundraising efforts by opening up crucial new channels of potential support. 
     
  • Third-Party Channels – Opening lines of communication and building trusted relationships with international NGOs, civil society leaders, influential elected officials and other shareholders in your country's future are often overlooked components. We will partner with these individuals and constituencies to help form a compelling narrative on your candidacy, including an emphasis on the promotion of the rule of law and the need for free and fair election processes.
     
  • Branding and Messaging – Insights gathered through research and personal consultation will be used to develop a compelling narrative for your reform campaign and requisite messaging. These cohesive efforts will raise your international profile, increase focus on your campaign's strengths and boost your association with pro-reform policies.
     
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Research – We are positioned to run polls and focus groups for leaders to measure their existing levels of support, which will in turn inform our branding and messaging. Demonstrating the existent demand for democracy and ethical leadership -- and highlighting its evident lack of supply -- will help to form the bedrock of our support. 

At Vanguard Africa, we are here to ensure your long-term success and impact. Given our expertise, extensive networks and unique professional backgrounds, we can provide a range of other services tailor-made to fit your specific needs. From coalition building to media training and marketing communications to embedded on-the-ground support, we are here to assist you.


Photo: Flickr/Kabwe

Photo: Flickr/Kabwe

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