The African Centre of Excellence for Access to Justice (ACE-AJ)

2024-2025 Steering Committee

  • Contact
  • Work & Expertise
  • Current Commitment
  • Past Commitment
  • Resource

Basic Information

Organization Name:
The African Centre of Excellence for Access to Justice (ACE-AJ)
Organization Regions:
  • Africa
  • Organization Country Location:
  • Organization City/Locality:
Operating Languages:
  • English
Organization mission and work description:

The African Centre of Excellence for Access to Justice (ACE-AJ) is a continent-wide network of African civil society organizations working to promote access to justice, universal human rights, the rule of law and legal aid for marginalised and poor communities. The objective of establishing an African Centre of Excellence for Access to Justice was to develop a place that would serve as a memorial to the struggles for social justice of Africa’s people and carry forward the traditions of African and international practices and thought leadership in how best to craft a vision for a society that upholds human dignity and affords justice beyond the narrow legal conceptions to the most vulnerable sectors of society. The Center was also intended to be internationalist in nature, embodying Africa’s pursuit of justice for all while also bringing lessons and experiences from efforts in other parts of the world that have kept the flag of legal empowerment, the rule of law and access to justice flying, with a specific bias and emphasis on indigent African knowledge about justice and redress. To make this concept a reality, respected human rights advocates interested in empowering marginalized and underprivileged communities and advancing access to justice on the African continent got together to establish a center that would later become the “African Centre of Excellence for Access to Justice” (ACE-AJ).

Organization's Contacts

  • Primary Contact Name:
    Abdul Tejan-Cole
  • Primary Contact Title:
Additional Contacts Names:
  • Additional representative #1:
    Clifford Msiska
  • Additional representative #2:
    Annette Mbogoh
  • Additional representative #3:
    Andrew Kananga
  • Additional representative #4:
    Tshenolo Tshoaedi


Learn about TAP Members & Partners


Organization's Work & Expertise

Organization's SGD16 Expertise:
  • 16.2 - End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children
  • 16.3 - Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
  • 16.6 - Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
  • 16.7 - Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
  • 16.8 - Broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance
  • 16.9 - By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration
  • 16.10 - Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements
  • 16.a - Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime
  • 16.b - Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development
Organization's Areas of Expertise:
  • Global/UN Engagement & Advocacy
  • Accountability for the 2030 Agenda
  • SDG Data and Indicators
  • HLPF and UN Development System Reform
  • Gender Equality
  • Children & Youth
  • Capacity building/CSO training & education

Current Commitment to SDG16+

Summary of commitment:

ACE-AJ, a continent-wide network, dedicates itself to promoting access to justice, universal human rights, and legal aid for marginalized communities. Our commitment involves establishing a memorial for social justice struggles, embodying African and international practices, and fostering a vision that upholds human dignity. As an internationalist endeavor, we aim to integrate lessons from global legal empowerment efforts, prioritizing indigent African knowledge about justice and redress.

Organization's priorities and work in relation to commitment:

The African Centre of Excellence for Access to Justice (ACE-AJ) is deeply committed to advancing access to justice, universal human rights, and legal aid for marginalized and underprivileged communities across the African continent. Our organization operates as a continent-wide network of civil society organizations, bringing together respected human rights advocates who share a common vision of justice for all. 1. Memorializing Social Justice Struggles: Our commitment begins with the establishment of a memorial that serves as a testament to the historic struggles for social justice within Africa. This memorial will act as a physical representation of the resilience and determination of Africa's people in the pursuit of justice. It will serve as a beacon, reminding current and future generations of the importance of upholding human dignity and fostering inclusivity within legal conceptions. 2. African and International Practices: ACE-AJ recognizes the value of embracing both African and international practices in shaping our vision for a just society. Our commitment involves actively studying and incorporating lessons from global efforts that have successfully championed legal empowerment, the rule of law, and access to justice. By amalgamating diverse experiences, we aim to enhance our understanding and application of practices that have proven effective in advancing justice for marginalized communities. 3. Internationalist Nature: We emphasize an internationalist approach, symbolizing Africa's collective pursuit of justice while fostering cross-cultural exchanges. ACE-AJ seeks to engage with and learn from initiatives worldwide that share our commitment to legal empowerment. This internationalist perspective allows us to contribute uniquely to the global discourse on access to justice while ensuring that the African context remains central to our endeavors. 4. Prioritizing Indigent African Knowledge: At the heart of our commitment is a specific emphasis on indigent African knowledge about justice and redress. ACE-AJ recognizes the importance of amplifying the voices of marginalized communities, ensuring that their experiences and perspectives shape our understanding of justice. This prioritization reflects our dedication to fostering inclusivity and acknowledging the invaluable contributions of diverse communities in crafting effective legal solutions. Through these priorities, ACE-AJ aims to create a lasting impact on access to justice across Africa. By memorializing social justice struggles, embracing global and local practices, adopting an internationalist perspective, and prioritizing indigent African knowledge, our commitment aligns with the S.M.A.R.T. criteria—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. We are confident that these priorities will not only contribute to the realization of SDG16 but also create a meaningful and sustainable impact on the broader 2030 Agenda. ACE-AJ remains dedicated to championing justice, empowering communities, and fostering a society that upholds the principles of human dignity and equality for all.

Organization's work related to TAP network's SGD16+ work & accountability for 2030 Agenda:

The work of the African Centre of Excellence for Access to Justice (ACE-AJ) aligns seamlessly with the TAP Network's overarching goals related to SDG16+ and Accountability for the 2030 Agenda. Our specific contributions and synergies are outlined below: 1. Advancing Access to Justice (SDG16.3): ACE-AJ's primary focus on promoting access to justice, universal human rights, and legal aid directly contributes to SDG16.3, which aims to promote the rule of law and ensure equal access to justice for all. Our commitment to establishing a memorial for social justice struggles and prioritizing indigent African knowledge underscores our dedication to creating an inclusive justice system. 2. Memorandum as a Knowledge Resource (SDG16.6): SDG16.6 emphasizes the development of effective, accountable, and transparent institutions. ACE-AJ's commitment to establishing a center of excellence serves as a valuable knowledge resource. By memorializing social justice struggles, we contribute to preserving institutional memory, fostering transparency, and providing a platform for shared experiences, aligning with the objectives of SDG16.6. 3. Global Collaboration and Learning (SDG16.7): Our internationalist approach aligns with SDG16.7, emphasizing inclusive and participatory decision-making. ACE-AJ actively engages with and learns from global initiatives related to legal empowerment, the rule of law, and access to justice. This collaboration contributes to the development of a global community committed to advancing justice and accountability. 4. Contributing to TAP's Collective Advocacy Efforts: ACE-AJ recognizes the importance of collective advocacy in advancing SDG16+ and Accountability for the 2030 Agenda. Through our commitment to embracing both African and international practices, we contribute valuable perspectives to TAP's collective advocacy efforts. By actively participating in discussions and sharing insights, ACE-AJ aims to strengthen the broader advocacy initiatives led by TAP. 5. Strengthening Grassroots Systems (SDG16+): Our commitment includes partnering with established grassroots systems, such as Chiefs’ Camps, Cyber Cafés, and Huduma Centres. This aligns with the broader SDG16+ framework by recognizing the significance of local, community-driven approaches in achieving sustainable development goals. 6. Bridging the Digital Gap (SDG16.10): SDG16.10 emphasizes the need to ensure public access to information. ACE-AJ's commitment to improving ICT infrastructure and bridging the digital gap aligns with this goal. By enhancing digital access, we contribute to making information and justice services more widely available, fostering transparency and accountability. In summary, ACE-AJ's work not only directly addresses key elements of SDG16 but also complements the TAP Network's objectives by contributing diverse perspectives, promoting global collaboration, and actively engaging in collective advocacy efforts. Our commitment to justice, inclusivity, and knowledge-sharing positions us as a valuable partner in advancing SDG16+ and Accountability for the 2030 Agenda.

Plan on engaging in TAP's work as a Partner:
  • Regional Engagement Platforms and/or Regional Focal Point
  • Thematic Working Groups
  • Interest in leadership/coordination opportunities within the TAP Network
  • Storytelling /Showcasing your organization's work via the TAP Network platforms
  • Exploring partnerships with like-minded organizations
  • Global engagement via the UN and other opportunities
  • TAP Network joint global advocacy
  • Exploring opportunities for hosting TAP Network national or regional-level capacity building activities


Voices of SDG 16+: Stories of Global Action

Reports on Organization's Past Commitments