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The Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) is an advisory organ of the African Union (AU) whose purpose is to actively engage civil society in the processes and work of the AU.  Executive Council Decision EX/CL 890 (XXVII) of June 2015 calls upon ECOSOCC to collaborate with the African Commission and Member States to actively pursue a harmonised mechanism and clear criteria for the granting of AU consultative and observer status to Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Africa. Likewise, Executive Council Decision EX/CL/Dec. 869 (XXVI) of 23-27 January 2015 calls on ECOSOCC to facilitate the establishment of national ECOSOCC Chapters as a framework for accountability of elected members, as well as a conduit for disseminating information and mobilising support for AU programmes and activities, in close collaboration with Member States.

As part of the process for developing these frameworks, ECOSOCC is reaching out to civil society stakeholders and representatives within AU organs, Member States, and Regional Economic Communities to better understand their experiences of engaging in the work of the AU and their perspectives on the development of these crucial mechanisms for enabling CSO and public participation in the work of ECOSOCC and the AU.

ALT Advisory has been engaged by the ECOSOCC Secretariat to assist with facilitating and managing this process.

The public consultation process involves three phases: online questionnaires, regional consultation workshops, and document review.

  • Phase 1: Questionnaires (January – February 2022)

  • Phase 2: Regional consultations (March 2022)

  • Phase 3: Document review (September 2022)

Facilitating meaningful public participation

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  • The purpose of this project is to design a harmonized mechanism through which CSOs can obtain observer and consultative status and thereby engage with the organs of the AU.

    The granting of observer and consultative status will serve as a mechanism through which a formal relationship between CSOs and the AU can be established in order to regulate the interactions between them, and will serve as the single entry point for CSOs wishing to participate in the work of AU institutions, organs, and agencies.

Ensuring diverse and relevant consultations

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As a second step in this process, ECOSOCC, supported by ALT Advisory, has arranged a series of five regional consultations from 7-11 March 2022:

  • 7 March 2022 at 13h00 CAT – Central Africa Consultations
  • 8 March 2022 at 13h00 CAT – Eastern Africa Consultations
  • 9 March 2022 at 13h00 CAT – Southern Africa Consultations
  • 10 March 2022 at 13h00 CAT – Northern Africa Consultations
  • 11 March 2022 at 13h00 CAT – Western Africa Consultations