frequently asked questions (FAQ)
What is ECOSOCC
The Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) was established in July 2004 as an Advisory Organ composed of different social and professional groups of AU Member States. The mandate of ECOSOCC is to contribute, through advice, to the effective translation of the objectives, principles and policies of the African Union into concrete programmes, as well as the evaluation of these programmes.
What does it promise for Africa?
ECOSOCC provides an opportunity for African civil society to play an active role in charting the future of the Continent, organizing itself in partnership with African governments to contribute to the principles, policies and programmes of the African Union.
How have CSO's contributed to the implementation of the African Union's Agenda 2063?
Civil Society Organizations in Africa are doing a great job in taking the African Union closer to its citizens as well as being the voice for the voiceless. Since the launch of the AU’s Agenda 2063 in 2015, CSOs within the continent have championed its implementation.
How does ECOSOCC enhance the participation of CSOs in AU’s decision-making policies?
AU ECOSOCC has 10 Cluster Committees which mirror the departmental structures of the African Union Commission. Through these thematic divisions, CSO members of each cluster contribute their experience in shaping relevant policies that are sent to the African Union Commission as advisory opinions. ECOSOCC, in convening the continental CSOs, brings them in close collaboration with professional groups and other partners within the continent while also ensuring they are in close contact with their corresponding AUC departments to help the organ give robustly informed advisory opinions with strong research and statistical support as appropriate. ECOSOCC has since been a key organ in offering critical advisory opinions to the Commission.
Who can join ECOSOCC and what are the requirements?
There are various entry points in joining the African Union ECOSOCC which include:
National Chapters: This is usually the first entry point for prospective members. It will require identifying/registering with your national chapter. In AU Member States where there are no national chapters, organizations at the national level are at liberty to request ECOSOCC for the establishment of their national chapter to be expedited.
ECOSOCC Permanent General Assembly: This is the highest decision and policy making body of ECOSOCC and is composed of all members as provided for in Article 4 of the ECOSOCC Statute. Elections to be a full-fledged member of the ECOSOCC General Assembly are held every four years; The following groups can become members:
a. Social groups such as those representing women, children, the youth, the elderly and people with disabilities and special needs;
b. Professional groups such as associations of artists, engineers, health practitioners, social workers, media, teachers, sport associations, legal professionals, social scientists, academia, business organizations, national chambers of commerce, workers, employers, industry and agriculture as well as other private sector interest groups;
c. Non-Governmental Organizations, Community-Based Organizations and voluntary organizations;
d. Cultural organizations.
How can I engage with ECOSOCC on individual capacity?
ECOSOCC is a member-based activity. However, we have made room for pro-bono experts/consultants, academia and industry practioners to serve in pro-bono capacity. Please check out https://www.auecosocc.org/connect for more details
Does ECOSOCC provide funding to its members/member CSOs?
ECOSOCC is an advisory organ of the African Union and as per the latter’s financial Rules & Regulations, no funding is given to members/CSOs.
Does ECOSOCC offer employment?
It provides a great opportunity for CSOs to shape the policies, focus and actions of the African Union;
It provides a critical platform for CSOs to engage state actors in a meaningful and more impactful way;
Being a member of ECOSOCC brings one into the mainstream of a Pan African network that contributes strongly in shaping the development of Africa;
ECOSOCC is a channel through which AU Citizens can champion the goals of AU’s Agenda 2063.
For further inquiries, please email us on ECOSOCC@africa-union.org
Lusaka October 2020