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The Economic, Social and Cultural Council
) is an advisory body of the African Union
The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...
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
Wangari Muta Mary Jo Maathai was a Kenyan environmental and political activist. She was educated in the United States at Mount St. Scholastica and the University of Pittsburgh, as well as the University of Nairobi in Kenya...
. In 2008, she was replaced as President by Cameroonian lawyer Akere Muna of the Pan-African Lawyers Union (PALU).
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
- 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....
- Political Affairs Committee
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...
- 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* TourismThe Chairperson of the Committee is Yvette N. Rekangali...
- 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...
- Human Resources, Sciences and Technology Committee
- Trade and Industry Committee
- 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* Desertification...
- Economic Affairs Committee
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....
- Women and Gender Committee
- 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....
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.
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:
- Central Africa. M. Maurice Tadajeu
Maurice Tadadjeu is a Vice-President of the African Union's Economic, Social and Cultural Council of Central Africa.He was a co-creator of the General Alphabet of Cameroon Languages in the late 1970s....
- North Africa. Mme. Fatima Zohra Karadja
Fatima Zohra Karadja is a Vice-President for the African Union's Economic, Social and Cultural Council for Northern Africa.Ms Karadja was born on April 20, 1949 in Algiers, Algeria. She is a child therapist, holding a PhD in psychology and specialising in working with children affected by trauma...
- Southern Africa. Mr. Charles Mutasa
Charles Mutasa is a Vice-President of the African Union's Economic, Social and Cultural Council, for the region of Southern Africa....
- West Africa. Mr. Ayo Aderinwale
Ayodele Patrick Aderinwale MFR is the West Africa Vice President of the African Union's Economic, Social and Cultural Council for West Africa.He is the Executive Director of the Africa Leadership Forum in Ota, Nigeria.-Personal life and education:...
The Council also maintains a Standing Committee
, whose interim members are listed below:
- Yvette N. Rekangali
Yvette N. Rekangali is a Gabonese politician. She is one of three members of the African Union's Economic, Social and Cultural Council representing Central Africa. She is also Chairperson of the Infrastructure and Energy Committee....
- 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....
- Zainab 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.-References:...
- El Hussein Abdel Galil Mohammed
El Hussein Abdel Galil Mohammed is a member of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union representing East Africa and the United States....
- Patrick Kayemba
Patrick Kayemba is a Ugandan politician. He is a member of the African Union's Economic, Social and Cultural Council representing East Africa . He is also Chairman of thee Rural Economy and Agriculture Committee, one of the ten Sectoral Cluster Committees of the African Union....
- Armany Asfour
Dr. Amani Asfour is a member of the African Union's Economic, Social and Cultural Council representing North Africa as well as the President of the Egyptian Business Women Association. She is also Chairperson of the Human Resources, Science and Technology Committee.-References:...
- Saida Agrebi
Saida Agrebi 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...
- Ahmed Abdel Fattah
- Moses Tito Kachima
Moses Tito Kachima is a Botswana politician and member of the African Union's Economic, Social and Cultural Council, representing Southern Africa.- References :...
- Joyce Nondwe Kanyago
- 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....
- Mama Koite Doumbia
Mama Kotie Doumbia is a Malian politician and a member of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union, representing West Africa.Mama Koité Doumbia was born in Thiès, Senegal in 1950.She holds a higher diploma in youth training....
- Landing Badji
Landing Badji is a Senegalese politician and a member of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union, representing West Africa....
- Omar Gassama
Omar Gassana is a Gambian politician. He is a member of the African Union's Economic, Social and Cultural Council, representing West Africa....