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ECOSOCC moves to foster strong partnership between CSOs and African Union

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Awareness–raising and popularization workshop on National Chapters of the African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) has held in Accra as part of efforts to foster a strong partnership between Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and African Union working towards the development and integration of the African continent.

The two days workshop also forms part of ECOSOCC’s efforts to formalize and operationalize the ECOSOCC National Chapters in the AU Member States, thus calling on CSOs in Ghana on board.

The Head of Secretariat, ECOSOCC, Mr. William Carew speaking at the opening ceremony further explained that they will structurally formalise the establishment of the interim national chapter in Ghana, and enhance civil society engagement and collaboration with the African Union (AU) and ECOSOCC.

In 2015, the Executive Council of the AU tasked ECOSOCC to establish National ECOSOCC Chapters through the development of an ECOSOCC National Chapters Framework.

The framework is meant to be a mechanism for the accountability of elected members, serve as a conduit for the dissemination of information about the work and progress of the AU to civil society in each member state and enable capacity-building and training of CSOs.

The framework also guides the work of the National Chapters in providing CSO support to the AU’s national-level work.

According to him, the Framework was validated at the 4th Permanent General Assembly of ECOSOCC in December 2022, in Nairobi, Kenya, and subsequently adopted by the AU in February 2023.

“Since its establishment, ECOSOCC has made great strides in promoting the participation of CSOs in the development of Africa by convening platforms for engagement between the AU and CSOs and we continue to seek ways to enhance our capacity to deliver on this core component of ECOSOCC’s mandate.

It is in that vein that we are here today to discuss the formalization and operationalization of the ECOSOCC National Chapter for Ghana which will play a critical role in ensuring that the voices of the people and civil society of Ghana are heard and their views incorporated in the AU’s policies and programs,” he elucidated.

“We hope that the operationalization of this national chapter will further strengthen the partnership between the AU and CSOs in Ghana and thus provide a platform for meaningful engagement and collaboration in the pursuit of a better Africa,” he emphasized.

The Deputy Director, of Regional Integration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Wilson Adja-Kwesi, who delivered a statement on behalf of the  government of Ghana commended the African Union Economic, Social, and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) for organizing the workshop through the support of Expertise France.

According to him, the workshop exemplifies a crucial bridge that ECOSOCC has built between civil society organizations (CSOs) and the African Union.

It also underscores the spirit of partnership and inclusivity that drives the African Union’s efforts to address the challenges confronting the African continent.

“Ghana has always been a steadfast advocate for the engagement of civil society in shaping policies and strategies that affect our people and communities.

Our nation recognizes that the strength of any democracy lies in the active involvement of its citizens, and this includes CSOs that tirelessly work toward the advancement of governance, democracy, gender equality, peace, security, and human rights.

We firmly believe that the collective expertise and diverse perspectives of CSOs are essential for crafting solutions that are relevant, sustainable, and impactful,” he stated.

According to him, the journey towards a more integrated and prosperous Africa demands the active involvement of all stakeholders, especially civil society partners.

Stressing that the Ghana Interim National Chapter of ECOSOCC stands as a beacon of this engagement, bringing together CSOs working tirelessly for governance, democracy, human rights, and gender equality.

The formalization and operationalization of the ECOSOCC National Chapters is a significant step in amplifying the voices of CSOs across Africa.

“Our government recognizes the pivotal role that civil society plays in shaping the destiny of our nation and the African continent as a whole.

The establishment of the African Union Economic, Social, and Cultural Council, ECOSOCC, provides a platform that resonates with our values of inclusivity, participatory governance, and collaborative development,” he added.

However, he reaffirmed the Government of Ghana’s unwavering commitment to fostering a conducive environment for CSOs to flourish.

The Head of African Governance Architecture (AGA) Secretariat, Ambassador Sallah Hammad, also lauded the formalization and operationalization of the ECOSOCC National Chapters, in Ghana since it will play a crucial role in providing a platform that resonates with the values of inclusivity, participatory governance, and collaborative development.

This he said, will foster a strong partnership between Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the African Union working towards the development and integration of the African continent. He commended the participants for their dedication to the continent’s betterment.

The Awareness –raising and popularization workshop on National Chapters of the African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) was supported by Expertise France.

The workshop attracted civil society organizations (CSOs) working on governance, democracy, and human rights issues in Ghana.

Background
In 2015, the Executive Council of the AU tasked ECOSOCC to establish National ECOSOCC Chapters through the development of an ECOSOCC National Chapters Framework.

The framework is meant to be a mechanism for the accountability of elected members, serve as a conduit for the dissemination of information about the work and progress of the AU to civil society in each member state and enable capacity-building and training of CSOs.

The AU Assembly of February 2023 adopted the ECOSOCC National Chapters Framework to guide the setup of the National Chapters and guide their work in providing CSO support to the work of the AU.

After the adoption, ECOSOCC has now embarked on the sensitization phase and aims to start the activation phase in Q1 2024.

Source: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/newsghana.com.gh

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