Vision & Mission




To advance the development of the Ombudsman institution for the furtherance of good governance, the rule of law, and human rights in Africa. 




To be a leading international Association of ombudsman offices, practitioners and scholars dedicated to the promotion of open, accountable and people-centered democratic governance in Africa.



Core Values

  • Integrity: Reflects the ombudsman’s to being a trusted, competent, honest and reliable organisation
  • Independence and impartiality: Refers to the ombudsman’s belief that it must discharge its role without deference, fear or favour to any individual or authority 
  • Human Rights: This relates to the ombudsman’s fundamental commitment to human rights and human dignity, and to serving humanity with respect and compassion
  • Justice and fairness: Refers to a fundamental commitment to natural justice and the rule of law as well as timely and quality service regardless of a person’s background or dispositions   
  • Equality: The ombudsman is an essentially people-centered organisation that promotes inclusion and access for every person to its services
  • Accountability and Transparency: The ombudsman must be an accountable, transparent, open and responsive institution; more so that it demands the same of those organisations it has oversight.


  • General Assembly is the highest governing body
  • Executive Committee is the governing and managing body of the Association
  • Secretariat provides the secretariat support to the Executive Committee and the Association
  • AOA Sub-regions, co-coordinating all activities of the Association within the six sub-regions: Northern Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa and Indian Ocean


The first African country to appoint an Ombudsman was Tanzania in 1968. There are now 36 ombudsmen at a national level of government in Africa.

Since 1990, African Ombudsmen have come together for regional conferences every second year.  These Conferences have been held across the African continent.

In 1995 the Khartoum Regional Conference (of African Ombudsmen) resolved to create the African Ombudsman Centre (AOC) as a regional structure for ombudsman offices.  Membership was open to any of the (then) 23 African countries with a recognized ombudsman office and to any newly recognized ombudsman office.  The AOC was located, and incorporated as a trust, in Tanzania in association with the University of Dar Es Salaam and managed by a Board of Trustees. 

The first AOC Board of Trustees was elected in 1997 and held their first meeting in Dar Es Salaam in 1998.  In 2001 in Seychelles, the Board of Trustees appointed the Ombudswoman of Namibia as the AOC Executive Secretary.  The Board further resolved that the AOC assets and property were to be transferred to the Executive Secretary. 

The Board's decision in Seychelles was complimented by a Regional Conference resolution tasking the Executive Secretary with the creation of an African Ombudsman Association.  The AOC was to remain as a resource and archive centre. 

The African Ombudsman Centre (AOC) Board of Trustees came together in Windhoek, Namibia from 13 to 15 November 2002 to bring to fruition the 2001 Seychelles Regional Conference resolution calling for the creation of an African Ombudsman Association (AOMA).  At that Regional Conference, the Ombudswoman of Namibia, Adv. Bience Gawanas, was named the Executive Secretary of the Association and tasked to establish the AOMA. 


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