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Crisis prevention

Democracy and the rule of law

People queuing in front of a polling station in Watumu, Kenya

In fragile states, government institutions only function to a limited extent, or not at all. Policymakers as well as the judiciary, the police and the military often do not act in a neutral manner or in the public interest. Rather, they mainly focus on serving their own interests and preserving their power. Nepotism, corruption, lack of legal certainty and the violation of fundamental human rights undermine people's confidence in the state and its institutions and prevent them from developing their capacity to help themselves.

Germany therefore uses its development cooperation to foster the establishment of democratic principles such as free elections, transparent governance and an independent judiciary. Within the framework of the cooperation programmes, policy advice and training are offered to government institutions and authorities. Support is provided, for example, to reforms towards democratic control of security forces and towards the introduction of transparent budgeting systems. If cooperation with a given government is not possible for the time being, cooperation programmes focus on long-term efforts such as support for civil society groups that can start and bolster processes of social transformation and democratisation.

At the regional level, too, the BMZ supports the development of institutions that facilitate crisis prevention and non-violent conflict management. One example is the African Union's African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), which is receiving significant support under German development cooperation.

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