About the Fellowship

Awarding courage and outstanding contributions to the promotion and protection of the human rights in Africa

AU Watch Defenders Awards celebrate those who are courageously making outstanding contributions to the promotion and protection of the human rights in Africa, often at great personal risk to themselves. There are three categories: Female Defender, Male Defender, Organisation. Winners are honoured at a gala celebration during a session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. They also and receive dedicated training and support. The Award focuses international attention on the HRDs work, providing them with a greater national, regional and international platform to speak about and advocate for their work


AU Watch has several tiers of sponsorship, from Gold, Silver and Bronze to Seat Sponsorship. All of the money raised goes towards supporting our work defending freedom of expression in Africa. If you are interested in sponsorship you can contact [email protected].

Gala Dance & Dinner

On the last day of the Open Session of the African Commission on Human Peoples’ Rights, the Governing Council of AU Watch under the direction of AU Watch’s Bureau will invite everyone to a concert to honour Africa’s defenders.

The focal point of the Dinner is the presentation of our Human Rights Awards to some of the exceptional organisations and individuals who risk their loves promote and protect human rights in these challenging times. It will feature a cocktail reception followed by a delicious three course meal.

More information coming soon.


AU Watch is rolling out its ‘Freedom of Expression Awards Fellowship’ to celebrate individuals or groups who have had a significant impact fighting media freedom and censorship in Africa. Through the fellowship, AU Watch works with the winners – both during an intensive week in Banjul, The Gambia or Arusha, Tanzania and the rest of the awarding year – to provide long-term, structured support.

For more information about the Fellowship, please take a look at what we are offering.