Economic, Social and Cultural Council

The Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) is an advisory body of the African Union designed to give civil society organizations (CSOs) a voice within the AU institutions and decision-making processes. ECOSOCC is made up of civil society organizations from a wide range of sectors including labour, business and professional groups, service providers and policy think tanks, both from within Africa and the African diaspora.

The Interim President of ECOSOCC was Kenyan Nobel Prize winner Prof. Wangari Maathai. In 2008, she was replaced as President by Cameroonian lawyer Akere Muna of the Pan-African Lawyers Union (PALU).

Legal framework

ECOSOCC is provided for in the African Union Constitutive Act, but does not have its own protocol, relying rather on Statutes approved by the AU Assembly. The ECOSOCC Statutes provide for four main bodies:

  • A 150-member General Assembly, made up of 144 elected representatives (two from each Member State, ten operating at regional level, eight at continental level and 20 from the diaspora) and six representatives of CSOs nominated by the AU Commission, to be the highest decision-making body of the organ.
  • A 15-member standing committee with representatives from the five regions of Africa to coordinate the work of the organ.
  • 10 sectoral cluster committees for feeding opinion and inputs into the policies and programmes of the AU.
  • A five-person credentials committee for determining the eligibility of CSO representatives to contest elections or participate in the processes of the organ.

The 10 Sectoral Cluster Committees are:

Membership criteria

The criteria established by the ECOSOCC Statutes for membership include that candidates should:

  • Be national, regional, continental or African diaspora CSOs, without restriction to undertake regional or international activities.
  • Have objectives and principles that are consistent with the principles and objectives of the Union.
  • Be registered in a Member State of the African Union and/or meet the general conditions of eligibility for the granting of observer status to non governmental organizations.
  • Show proof that the ownership and management of the CSO is made up of not less than 50% of Africans or African diaspora.
  • Show that the resources of the organisation derive at least 50% from contributions of the members of the organization.

The requirements on funding from membership contributions mean that many African NGOs are not eligible for membership of ECOSOCC.

Establishment

Interim ECOSOCC structures were established in 2005. Elections to replace these structures were finally held in 23 African states and at continental level in late 2007. Although elections had not been completed in the remaining countries, the official launch of the new ECOSOCC General Assembly took place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on 9 September 2008.

The Citizens and Diaspora Office (CIDO) in the AU Commission acts as secretariat for ECOSOCC.

Membership of interim structures

The council also has four vice presidents. The interim presidents were:

The Council also maintains a Standing Committee, whose interim members are listed below:

Central Africa

East Africa

North Africa

Southern Africa

West Africa

President

Wangari Muthaai Akum

External links

Amani Asfour

Amany Asfour is a businessperson from Egypt.

Cross-Cutting Programs Committee

The Cross-Cutting Programs Committee of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council for the African Union deals with issues not explicitly dealt with by other committees. They are:

HIV/AIDS.

International cooperation.

Coordination with institutions and organs of the African Union.The Chairperson of the committee is Kalusambo Musonda

Economic Affairs Committee (African Union)

The Economic Affairs Committee of the ECOSOCC deals with financial matters within Africa, like:

Economic integration.

Monetary and financial affairs.

Private sector development, including the informal sector and resource mobilization.The Chairperson of the Committee is Moses Tito Kachima

Helder Francisco Malauene

Helder Francisco Malauene is a Mozambican politician. He is a member of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union and is also Chairman of the Social Affairs and Health Committee.[1]

Human Resources, Science, and Technology Committee

The Human Resources, Science and Technology Committee of the African Union was created to deal with the issues surrounding the development of Education, Illiteracy, Information technology, Communication, Human resources and Technology in Africa.

The Chairperson of the Committee is Armany Asfour.

Infrastructure and Energy Committee

The Infrastructure and Energy Committee of the African Union's Economic, Social and Cultural Council is responsible for: Energy, Transport, Communications, Infrastructure and Tourism.

The Chairperson of the Committee is Dr Gowtam Raj Chintaram of Mauritius, with the Secretary being Mr Patson Malisa of South Africa.

Guided by the deliberations of the Nairobi Meeting on the operationalization of Sectoral Cluster Committees as stipulated in Article 11 of the ECOSOCC Statutes, the Infrastructure and Energy cluster convened in Cairo for the Constitutive Meeting for the Activation of the Sectoral Cluster Committee.Dr Chintaram gave the Keynote Address in which he thanked the Presiding Officer, the Secretariat and the staff of both CIDO and ECOSOCC for their efforts to ensure the successful activation of our cluster. He went on to highlight the focus areas of initial operation to be partnerships with Continental Stakeholders, Air Access, Sustainable Transport, Communication, Renewable Energy and Tourism. He emphasized that Agenda 2063 would be the guiding document throughout deliberations for the work plan.

The session then received three presentations from Cluster members, Mr. Samuel Dotse, Dr Malick Sane and Mr. Patson Malisa.

Mr Dotse gave a presentation on Energy Solutions in the wake of Climate Change. He emphasized on the need of the IE cluster to adopt a climate-sensitive approach in its work-plans and future advocacies.

Dr Sane expanded on the issues surrounding Sustainable Transport Policy in Africa. In his presentation he gave an overview on the Negative Externalities of transport in Africa, the Concept, Policy, Promotion and Practice of Sustainable Transport in Africa.

Mr Patson Malisa gave a speech on enhancing Air Transport to realise the goals of Agenda 2063. He advocated that the infrastructure and Energy Cluster Deliberates on instituting a mechanism for establishing a policy position on meeting the goals of Air Transport Market Liberation based on the ensuring of Enhanced Cooperation, Cost Effectiveness, Security and Succession He highlighted the need for the IE Cluster to encourage the members of the African Union to move forward in implementation of the Yamoussoukro Declaration by establishing a Single Air Transport Market as affirmed by Assembly/AU/Dec.1(XXIV): Declaration on the Establishment of a Single Air Transport Market.

The opening session was followed by two extended working sessions over a two-day period. Subsequently, the Cluster meeting was concluded on 8 April 2016 with the following conclusions and recommendations:

I. On the Mandate of the Infrastructure and Energy Cluster

a) The Committee recognized that its mandate of operation was derived from the ECOSOCC Statutes and specifically Article 11(c). Article 11 provided the legal framework for the establishment of ten (10) Sectoral Cluster Committees as key operational mechanisms of ECOSOCC to formulate opinions and provide inputs into the policies and programmes of the African Union. Article 11(c) then spells out the core areas of the mandate of the Infrastructure and Energy Cluster as including Energy, Transport, Communication, Infrastructure and Tourism etc.

As such, we have also embraced the need for us to be conscious of the environmental impact of Infrastructure Development on Climate Change and factors propagating it. Thus, our efforts are to be in promotion of ensuring that these developments are implemented in the spirit of the African Common Position on Climate Change. This will be manifested in the formulation of policies on key infrastructure issues such as the production of an Africa Sustainable Transport Policy etc.

b) The Committee also recognized the need for its programmes and workplan to give priority to programs on forging partnerships with Continental Stakeholders, Air Access and transport, Climate Change, Renewable Energy and Tourism. Agenda 2063 was the guiding document throughout deliberations for the work plan.

II. On Structure and Category of Membership

The Cluster devised a generic framework for Sectoral Cluster Committees and proposed the same to be adopted by other clusters to ensure homogeneity in cluster composition and operations. The core team of members present for the meeting would henceforth be known as Cluster Steering Group (CSG).

It was agreed that the Cluster would distribute its membership in the following order:

• Cluster Steering Group

• Cluster Members

• Pro-Bono Experts and Consultants

The Cluster Steering group would comprise the following portfolios:

- Chairperson

- Cluster Secretary

- Coordinator for CSO & Stakeholders Engagement

- Coordinator for Financing, Projects and Monitoring

- Coordinator for Strategic Planning & Partnerships

- Coordinator for Research and Policy

III. CSO Engagement

CSO Mapping would be conducted via the Infrastructure and Energy Webpage via google links as well as social media adverts as the budget permits.

IV On Partnerships

It was agreed that Phase 1 of our Partnerships strategy would be initiated from the month of May till June 2016. Amongst other stakeholders, we have identified The Africa Development Bank, NEPAD, The United Nations Commission for Africa, SADC and ECOWAS as partners for engagement in this phase. This phase will aim to enhance the capacity of the cluster for future collaborative work.

We will also Launch a Phase 1 engagement of Research Institutions in the continent for collaborative efforts in attaining information for the producing of Advisory Opinions and Policy Briefs. The first institutions to be approached will be the Pan African University and the University of Energy and Natural Resources (Ghana).

VI General Issues

The CSG agreed to a communication strategy that embraces ICT platforms for the dissemination of information and regular contact amongst members of the Cluster. This would primarily be implemented through the already running ENS ( enterprise social networking) platform, Groupspaces set up for the Cluster. It was also agreed that a newsletter would be released periodically for the popularization of the work being conducted by the IE Cluster. It was further agreed that the CSG will meet in ordinary sessions twice a year.

Jean Collins Musonda Kalusambo

Jean Collins Musonda Kalusambo is a member of the African Union's Economic, Social and Cultural Council representing Central Africa.

Julienne Mavoungou Makaya

Julienne Mavoungou Makaya is a politician from the Republic of Congo. She is a member of the African Union's Economic, Social and Cultural Council representing Central Africa.[1]

Landing Badji

Landing Badji is a Senegalese politician and a member of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) of the African Union, representing West Africa.Badji is also chairman of the Political Affairs Committee, one of the 10 Sectoral Cluster Committees of the African Union, and is a director of ANRAC (l'Agence nationale pour la relance des activités économiques et sociales en Casamance), dedicated to the development of the Senegalese region of Casamance.

Mama Koite Doumbia

Mama Koite Doumbia is a Malian and a member of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union, representing West Africa.Mama Koite Doumbia holds a higher diploma in youth training.

She was elected chairperson of the African Women's Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) in 2003.

In this role she was a member of the Permanent Committee of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union.

In February 2011 she received the 2011 FAMEDEV Gender Award.

Moses Tito Kachima

Moses Tito Kachima is a member of the African Union's Economic, Social and Cultural Council, representing Southern Africa.

Omar Gassama

Omar Gassama is a Gambian politician. He is a member of the African Union's Economic, Social and Cultural Council, representing West Africa.

Peace and Security Committee

The Peace and Security Committee of the African Union's Economic, Social and Cultural Council deals with the following issues:

Conflict anticipation, prevention, management and resolution.

Post conflict reconstruction and peace building.

Prevention and combating of terrorism.

Use of child soldiers.

Drug trafficking.

Illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons.

Security reforms.The Chairperson of the Committee is Muhammed Algalil.

Political Affairs Committee (African Union)

The African Union's Economic, Social and Cultural Council's Political Affairs Committee concern themselves with:

Human rights

Rule of law

Democratic constitutional rule

Good governance

Power sharing

Electoral institutions

Humanitarian affairs and assistanceThe Chairpersomn of the Committee is Landing Badji.

Rural Economy and Agriculture Committee

The Rural Economy and Agriculture Committee of the African Union's Economic, Social and Cultural Council deals with:

Rural economy

Agriculture and food security

Livestock

Environment

Natural resources

DesertificationThe Chairperson of the Committee is Patrick Kayemba.

Saida Agrebi

Saida Agrebi (born January 22, 1945 in Tunisia) is a member of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union, representing North Africa. She also sits on the Pan-African Parliament representing Tunisia. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Masters Degree in Public Health.

Social Affairs and Health Committee

The Social Affairs and Health Committee of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council for the African Union is responsible for:

Health

Children

Drug control

Population

Migration

Labor and employment

Family

Aging

The physically challenged

Sports

Youth and protection

Social integrationThe Chairperson of the Committee is Helder Francisco Malauene

Trade and Industry Committee (African Union)

The Trade and Industry Committee of the African Union's Economic, Social and Cultural Council deals with the following:

Trade

Industry

Handcrafts

Customs and immigration mattersThe Chairperson of the Committee is Hassan Sumonu

Zeinab Kamel Ali

Mrs. Zeinab Kamel Ali is a Djiboutian politician and a member of the standing committee for the African Union's Economic, Social and Cultural Council representing Eastern Africa.

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