Democratic Leadership Training Workshop (DLTW)
The Democratic Leadership Training Workshops (DLTW) held seven times in 2006. The workshops were held with the support of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) in the months of March, April, May, June, July and August 2006. This brings the total of the workshops held between 2004 and 2006 to 18.
Altogether, in 2006, two hundred and twenty (220) young men, women and youths between the ages of 18 and 40 from the public and private sectors, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society organisations (CSOs) attended the workshops.
DLTW has been one of ALF's most enduring programmes. The main goal of the programme is to promote democratic leadership ideals among the successor generation by building their capacity to demand and practice good governance towards institutionalising the norms and principles of liberal democracy in Nigeria and Africa.
The Objectives are to:
1. initiate a process of empowerment for male and female youth leaders in democracy and human rights issues towards meeting the challenges in sustaining the democratic processes in Nigeria.
2. improve the capacity of young leaders in the country to continuously expand their liberal political space.
3. provide opportunities for inter-political networks, inter-party networks and linkages towards positive collaboration at both lateral and vertical levels.
The targeted group beneficiaries for each workshop are mostly young professionals, members of community-based organisations, non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations, students, private and public sector officers who have demonstrated leadership qualities and are in various positions of influence and authority in their respective space of operation and sphere of influence.
These included: Africa in a Globalising World, What is Leadership? Case Study on Nelson Mandela and Personality Audit, Others are: Attitude Building, Leadership and the Challenge of Ethics, Understanding Freedom of Information Bill, Deliberative Democracy 1 & 2, Communication and Negotiation Skills and Coalition Building and Alliance Formation. Each of the topics covered specific areas and was designed to adequately equip participants on the subject matters treated.
Assessment/ Impact and Sustainability
DLTW workshop sustained its objectives. There were a number of spiral developments and achievements visible at the end of each workshop. ALF, as part of its dream to develop and sustain leadership capacities and skills in Nigeria and Africa as a whole, provided the needed technical backstopping and logistics supports in achieving the desired goals.
There was a successful formation of platforms to affect governance. Each group of the DLTW formulated projects for organised inputs into governance process. Some of the platforms include “Hope for Tomorrow,” an educative documentary dealing on core or burning issues like HIV/AIDS, which will metamorphose into an NGO; and “Today for Tomorrow,” a media project to encourage good governance in Nigeria.
Individually, participants left the workshop venue sufficiently challenged to take up a number of positive spiral developments discernible from the workshop. These include: workshop against examination malpractices for students in primary and secondary schools; enlightenment campaign on HIV/AIDS and literacy; seminar/workshop programme for People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAS) and the community at large; youth meetings to encourage train-the trainer ways of passing messages across to the people on core issues and Training of school prefects in five selected secondary schools on leadership, citizens’ rights and responsibility, and mentorship.
Participants commended Africa Leadership Forum for providing a platform for them to enhance their leadership qualities. They also thanked NORAD Foundation for investing so much in Nigeria and for believing that the future of Nigeria truly lies with the youth who must be adequately trained to take up the challenges of the millennium.
“I want to thank God for the wonderful opportunity of being a participant. It is indeed an informative, educative and interactive workshop. It has really given me an edge over my peers...As I step out of ALF, I hope to make a whole lot of difference in my community... thumbs up ALF...for a job well done.”
“The programme was no doubt a good one. It changed perceptions and misconceptions to positive views. It’s simply one of the ways of preparing people for the task ahead. Such trainings make us take right decisions to make a change. Thank you.”
“I have been taught and have learnt all that would assist (propel) me in life. I have met some of the most interesting people in the world, and I have been enriched deeply.”
“The programme has enhanced my leadership skills and motivated me to think of achieving more in my immediate environment. Also the programme has been very educative, inspiring and enlightening.”
“Unique Women Initiative Nigeria (UWIN) non-governmental charity organization is hereby thanking the management of ALF for their wonderful Workshop and prays that the good Lord will inspire each and every one of us to put in practice what we have learnt for a better tomorrow.”
“I enjoyed all the sessions. It has gone a long way to improve my leadership skills and also informed me on how I could play an active part in the governance of my country. I intend to share the leadership skills learnt here with others and also for it to reflect in my work and interaction with others.”
“The facilitators are bundle of knowledge, the personnel of ALF, environment and accommodation is incomparable. Please, I hope to be in attendance for future programmes. Thanks.”
“Dear Executive Director, I didn’t meet you but met team spirit, love, and understanding that your Leadership has enabled in the lives of all ALF workers.”
It has opened my eyes to see those things that I need to succeed in life and make a positive influence on people around me. … Thanks for extending your invitation to me.
APRM Technical Workshops
ALF, in conjunction with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Office organised more of the technical workshops for the implementation of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) for stakeholders in 2006. This was in continuation of the steps that both organisations took in 2005.
The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is an instrument voluntarily acceded to by member states of the African Union as an African governance and self–monitoring mechanism, specifically under the New Partnership for
Africa’s Development (NEPAD). The mandate of the African Peer Review Mechanism is to ensure that the policies and practices of participating states conform to the agreed political, economic and corporate governance values, codes and standards contained in the Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance as a means of fostering stability, economic growth, sustainable development and accelerated sub-regional and continental integration.
The APR process, more or less, focuses on assessing the performance of African countries and their development partners in working towards achieving the MDGs by focusing on improved governance. The adoption of APRM posed a challenge of implementation that the United Nations and UNDP in particular is striving to meet through strengthened institutional and technical support to APR countries and organisations involved in its implementation process. This project thus falls within the purview of the support programmes of UNDP for the APRM in Nigeria. For effective country level of the APRM, a structured and interpretative understanding of the process by the identified stakeholders is critical. In order to put Nigeria on firm footing for the APR process, a series of technical workshops is being organised for ten groups of stakeholders that will include the media, the civil society organisations, legislators, judiciary, private sector executives, public officials and labour union leaders, etc. These technical workshops will seek to consolidate the gains of the earlier zonal sensitisation workshops organised by the Africa Leadership Forum.
Objectives of the workshop
- To broaden the support base and deepen the understanding of the African Peer Review Mechanism among the various stakeholders in Nigeria.
- To create a conducive environment for the implementation of the APRM process in Nigeria.
- To ensure effective domestication and integration of the APR process into the Governance process in all tiers of government in Nigeria.
The objectives are to:
- increase the required level of legitimacy through the creation of broad based awareness of NEPAD and APRM among the stakeholders in Nigeria;
- deepen the understanding of the structure and processes of APRM among critical stakeholders to be involved in the review process;
- increase the level of interpretative understanding and overall technical competence of the key stakeholders;
- identify, mobilise, sensitise and prepare all the key stakeholders that will be involved in the implementation of the APRM in Nigeria;
- review and redefine the role of key stakeholders in the implementation process based on the lesson learned from Ghana, Rwanda and Kenya;
- identify the immediate challenges that are likely to confront the implementation process;
- create a forum for information sharing and collation of inputs for implementation of the APRM process in Nigeria.
Focus of the Technical Workshop
The workshops have been designed to increase the level of interpretative and structured understanding and overall technical competence of the key stakeholders in the implementation the APR process in Nigeria.
Specifically, the focus groups are:
- Media practitioners and professionals
- Labour and trade union leaders
- State speakers and their deputies
- Academics and civil society organisations
- Federal and state public service officials
- Chambers of commerce and professional associations in Nigeria
- Members of the National Work Group on the APRM
- Private sector Executives
- Federal legislators and state legislators.
- Workshop I: Media practitioners and professionals.
- Workshop II: Members of the national working group and technical research institutions.
- Workshop III: Executive members of the private sector in Nigeria.
- Workshop IV: Labour unions/ trade association leaders.
- Workshop V: Heads of chambers of commerce and professional associations.
- Workshop VI: Heads of higher academic institutions.
- Workshop VII: State legislators speakers, clerks, house majority and minority leaders.
- Workshop VIII: Federal legislators and legislative aides.
- Workshop IX: Federal and state directors of public services.
Description of the Workshop Modules
Intensive workshops that involve in-debt interrogation and analysis of the primary issues around the concept of APRM, its implementation procedure, possible challenges as well as its capacity and potential for the improvement of governance process in Nigeria. Modular presentations by knowledgeable resource persons and professionals involved in the implementation of the APRM process within Nigeria provided the basis for discussions with the guide of an experienced and distinguished Chair while rapporteur capture the essence and recommendations from the workshops. The following modules were delivered during the workshops.
Module 1: Understanding the Principles of APRM Process
- Governance Challenges in Africa and Nigeria
- The Evolution, Objectives and Benefits of NEPAD and APRM
- The Management Structure and the Current Continental status.
Module 2: The Generation of Country Assessment Report: The Procedure, Validation and Acceptability
- Statutory Requirements and Preparation for APRM
- The Tools of Assessment (Thematic Questionnaires and Domestication Process)
- Country Self - Assessment Process and the Role of Stakeholders and the Validation Process.
Module 3: The Generation of NPOA: Process, Procedure and the Inputs of Stakeholders
- The Purpose and the Procedure for the Generation of NPOA
- The Inputs of Stakeholders and the validation Process
Module 4: The Role and Purpose of Country Review Team in the APRM Process
- The Role of the Country Review Team in the APRM Process
- The Management of the CRT and the Utilisation of the Country Review Report.
Module5: The Implementation of NPOA
- NPOA as Development Framework (NEEDS, SEEDS and LEEDS)
- Funding the NPOA
- Integration of NPOA into National Legislations
- Developing Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for NPOA.
Module 6: Coordination Framework for APRM Process and Periodic Review
- The Nature and Structure of Existing Coordination Mechanism
- The Political Peculiarity of Nigeria and the APRM Process
- Decentralisation and Devolution of the APRM Process in Nigeria.
All workshops were conducted as technical workshops with resource persons drawn from professionals and senior government officials who are in the core of the implementation of the APR process in Nigeria. Sessions objectives and expectations were carefully drafted for impartation by the relevant resource persons. The workshop used the participatory approach where participants brainstormed on issues after in-dept presentations and analysis by resource persons. Group-works amongst participants were conducted so as to enable participants identify those areas and opportunities that the APRM presented for inputs. Individual and group actions plans were administered to enable participants develop their own ideas and projects so as to extend the sensitisation as well as the implementation of the process in Nigeria.
In order to assess the efficiency of the workshop, in relation to the achievement of the stated objectives, the participants were allowed to freely and anonymously assess the workshop as related to their own perception from various angles. The comments and preferences of the participants were then analysed using percentages, the outcome is presented below.
Quality and Value of the Workshop
In all, about 47 per cent of the participants rated the workshop as 100% satisfactory while the remaining 53 per cent awarded it 75%, thus giving an average rating of 84% on the quality of the workshop. It can then be deduced from this that the average quality of the workshop is excellent, going by the assessment of the participants. Following the same line of reasoning, 53 per cent of the participants saw the workshop as 100% valuable while 42 per cent valued it with 75% rating and only 5 per cent saw it as 50% valuable. From this, participants on average attached 86.8 per cent value to the workshop. It thus follow that the quality and value of the workshop to the participants are excellent.
Participants’ Assessment of the Workshop
There are ten modules all together in the workshop, which covered different topics. The reaction of each and all the participants to each and all of these topics differ one from another and also vary from one participant to another. In order to give a qualitative justice to this analysis, the assessment is viewed from two different angles. 42 percent of the participants are 80% and above satisfied with all the workshop sessions, while the remaining 58 per cent of the participants believed it to be between 60-70% satisfactory. Aside this average conclusion, it is evident from the analysis that there is a considerable degree of variation in the assessment by the participants with the range of 30, that is, one participant assess it to be 97.5% satisfactory and another participant assessed it to be 67.55% satisfactory. The differences in the opinion can be attributed to factors, which are not covered by the assessment form. For instance, the familiarities of some participants with facilitator, initial understanding of the concept or a general mood or state of mind of the participants during the workshop may go a long way to determine the satisfaction from the session(s). The variation not withstanding, as much as the assessment of the sessions all together is above 60%, can be concluded that the participants enjoyed all the sessions of the workshop.
Participants Assessment of Each Workshop Session
The participants’ satisfactions from each of the workshop sessions differ from session to session. A quick run down shows for instance, that, the participants attributed 84% of satisfaction to the topic; “The Political Peculiarity and the Challenges of Institutionalisation of APRM in Nigeria”, this is followed by 78.9% assigned to “The Process, Procedure and the Inputs of Stakeholders in NPOA”. Following this is 77.6% valuation given to “Revisiting the Tools of Assessment: Current Challenges, Issues and Roles of NWG” and “Country Self Assessment Process and the Role of NWG in the Validation Process”. Next to this is the “Fund Management and Integration of the NPOA into National Legislations” which was rated with 76.3%. The session least valued was “Current Update and Situation Report on the APR Process” and it was given 65.8% assessment. The range of assessment is 18.4, which is relatively small.
The variation of the sessions’ assessment can also be attributed to many factors such as the nature of the topic, the period of the day, the time allotted, the pre-knowledge of the participants about a session and the facilitators, teaching methodology. It can be concluded, regardless of these variations, that the sessions are fully articulated.
Follow-up, if Any
Workshop 1: Support group for the APR process formed to expand media interest in the APRM process as well as ensure its extensive coverage by members of the public.
Workshop 2: Members of the national working group to initiate and implement a stepped down sensitisation on the APR process. A letter was prepared and sent to the President and Commander in Chief to initiate a process that will lead to launch the APRM at the federal, state and local government levels.
Workshop 3: Strategic partnering to further expand private sector inclusion in the APRM process in Nigeria, and the inclusion of chambers of commerce in the subsequent technical workshops.
Workshop 4: To inaugural formal activities that would lead to the establishment of APR Desks in all the State branches of the Labour/Trade councils and associations.
Workshop 5: Committee formed to work out the modalities for forming the private sector APRM support group. They outline the structure of the support group as follows: ALF mandated to follow through with group logistics and initial facilitation.
Workshop 6: Setting up of intellectual support group which the criteria of selection of its members includes geo-political zones, gender, and the three levels of educational institutions present at the workshop.
Workshop 7: Letter should be sent to the Council of Speakers by ALF, informing them of the need to have house committee on APRM in addition to a request of the possibility of having a sensitisation session for them on the Peer Review process. ALF should warehouse the process of advocacy at the level.
Workshop 8: The Africa Leadership Forum should write a letter to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Head of Civil Service, intimating them of the need for them to send a memo to the National Council of States and the National Economic Council on the importance of creating an APRM Civil Society Desk at both the federal and state government levels.
Workshop 9: The ALF should propose to the National Assembly an induction course for the incoming parliamentarians and the staff of the National Assembly where an action plan of the APRM would be spelt out, monitored and implemented.
African Union’s Civil Society Consultative Workshop on Enhancing Collaboration on Peace and Security Agenda - Abuja, Nigeria on April 5-7, 2006
The African Union (AU) organised a civil society consultative workshop on “Enhancing Collaboration on Peace and Security Agenda” at Chelsea Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria on April 5-7, 2006. The Workshop was organised for the AU by Africa Leadership Forum (ALF) with the support of The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Participants were drawn from the CSOs involved in the security sector and those working in the area of conflict prevention, management and resolution; think tanks, academics and networks involved in research and analysis; Women’s group; the Diaspora and international organizations working in the field.
Recommendations and Conclusions
- Explore ways of evolving a practical, effective and sustainable working relationship between the AU and civil society organisations working in the field of peace and security at all levels, in both Africa and the Diaspora.
- Develop guidelines for such a relationship.
- Share the experiences from both policy and grassroots work.
- Explore the role such organisations can play in the evolving AU peace and security architecture, particularly in the Peace and Security Council, the Panel of the Wise and ECOSOCC Peace and Security Cluster.
- Identify the capacity gaps within both civil society and the AU, and how such gaps can be reduced through collaboration and other means.
- Identify ways of enhancing the participation of civil society in peace processes, drawing on lessons learned from both past (e.g. Burundi) and current (e.g. Cote d'Ivoire) peace processes.
- Explore ways in which more rational use can be made of civil society skills and capacity in AU peace missions.
- Explore the possibility of utilising CSO research capability as a tool for enhancing AU’s conflict prevention work.
- Explore modalities for utilising CSOs to disseminate information about the peace building activities of the AU.
The workshop provided a forum to develop a framework to operationalise the peace and security cluster of the ECOSOCC, as well as Article 20 of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council (PSC), relating to the activities of civil society in the PSC. The meeting articulated the broad strategic vision and guidelines for civil society and involvement in the AU’s work discussed the best ways and means to feed the activities of the civil society into the AU’s own work on peace and security.
There were three sessions, work group presentations, and discussions. The paper for the first session was titled, “Follow-Up on the Accra Consultation on Enhancing AU-Civil Society Relations in the Management of the Peace and Security Agenda in Africa.” The second paper was titled, “The AU Draft Framework on Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development (General Considerations for Civil Society Inputs),” while session three paper was titled, “Civil Society Input and Participation in the AU Draft Framework on Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development: General Considerations”.
The Working Group recommended that the CSSDCA/CIDO Coordinating Unit of the AU should adopt and implement the following proposals as part of this framework through the Danish Grant process.
- Create an African Union Journal of Peace and Security with an editorial board including major think tanks in peace and security.
- Establish an AU-Civil Society Policy Paper Series to encourage research and feed ongoing research and analysis into the work of the AU.
- Expand the work of the African Centre for the Study of Terrorism to include CSOs.
- Make provision for CSO consultations and their inputs in peace efforts such as Darfur, Côte d’Ivoire, etc. Such consultations should be regional and bilateral involving exchanges with AU mediators and key political leadership.
- Development of civilian aspects of AU peacekeeping efforts including an effective CSO component in peacekeeping missions.
- The need to place emphasis on gender mainstreaming and gender related efforts as part of this process.
Other Recommendations centred on:
- Direct support for the work of the peace and security council
- Broad-based support for the development of the peace and security cluster of ECOSOCC and its immediate activation.
- ECOSOCC advisory opinions on peace and security.
- A culture of nurture and use of research and analysis.
- Security sector reform/governance.
- Structure of partnership.
ECOSOCC Consultative Meeting for Central and West Africa, (ECOSOCC Regional Conference, Ota, Nigeria) - June 15-17, 2006
As a response mechanism, the Africa Leadership Forum, in collaboration with the UNDP, Regional Bureau for Africa, New York, organised a three-day consultative meeting for CSOs for the Africa region. The first consultative meeting for West and Central African CSOs held on June 15-17, 2006, in Ota, Nigeria. Participants were drawn from the civil society and media organisations as well as the intelligentsia.
The meeting was aimed at defining requisite modalities and strategies for operationalising the Economic Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) at the regional, sub-regional, national and Diaspora levels. It was also aimed at updating representatives of the CSOs on the implementation status, as well as, the operationalisation of some of the strategic development initiatives in the continent such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Specifically, the objectives of the meeting included:
- the reviewing of ECOSOCC’s activities since its inauguration till date and facilitation of intensive discussions on its nature, importance and operationalisation;
- defining appropriate framework and strategies that will guide ECOSOCC’s interactions with the various organs of the African Union;
- considering the options and strategies for activating the various thematic groups required for robust engagement on topical issues;
- defining the process for election of members to the ECOSOCC General Assembly and strategies on the modalities and guidelines for institutionalising national processes; and
- designing the appropriate national networks and feedback mechanisms for the ECOSOCC
Conclusions and Recommendations
On the operationalisation of the regional processes, the following specific recommendations were made:
- The Interim Bureau and the Presiding Officer should delegate powers to the Deputy Presidents to set up their respective Management Committees and constitution of the electoral committee for each region, the Chairperson of which should be one deputy president from a different region.
- Organisation of African Civil Society (OSCA) in conjunction with Economic Community of Central Africa States (ECCAS) in Central Africa and West Africa Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) should be the technical organisations to warehouse the processes at the sub-regional levels.
- The management committee should comprise the deputy presiding officer of the region and Focal point from the technical organization.
- The electoral committee comprises a deputy president and two members of standing committee from other regions.
- The technical partners should fund extra budgetary spending of the process to supplement ECOSOCC Resources.
- The regional consultative meeting and election should hold in West Africa along with the annual conference of the technical partner in December 2006 with a full day devoted to the activities. And that the background documentation should be sent to the secretariat by August 2006.
Specific recommendations were made on the operationalisation of the national process:
- The two interim ECOSOCC General Assembly members should facilitate the process at the national level by consulting with those who have been involved in the various consultations on AU-ECOSOCC formation, strategic partners, particularly along the thematic clusters and existing networks, national governmental bodies, particularly, ministries such as foreign affairs, integration and cooperation, internal affairs, and authority of government-CSO relations with the expectation that the consultations should lead to a preparatory meeting for the formation of the steering committee.
- Steering committee for the national ECOSOCC process should consist of 2 interim ECOSOCC General Assembly members, one person representing the ten members of ECOSOCC sectoral Clusters and one representative of the media to facilitate the publicity required for the process. One of the two interim ECOSOCC General Assembly members shall be designated to lead the Steering Committee as the “coordinator” and should warehouse the national process.
- The Steering Committee should be guided by the principles of adequate consultation, inclusiveness (gender parity and youth, along the ECOSOCC sectoral clusters), sensitisation, popularisation, mobilisation, legitimacy, representation and democracy with transparency and accountability.
- The activities of the committee should include: compilation of list of existing CSOs, national consultations, establishment of an electoral committee for the national chapters of ECOSOCC, using the ECOSOCC Statutes as guidelines, including nomination and screening processes and the election of a substantive management, Coordinating organ for the National ECOSOCC, among others.
- The terminal date for the completion of the national process should be March 2007 when the tenure of the Interim ECOSOCC General Assembly would end.
ECOSOCC Regional Conference, Nairobi (The Nairobi, Kenya Meeting)
As a follow-up to the first consultative meeting for West and Central African CSOs held on 15-17, June 2006, in Ota, Nigeria, Africa Leadership Forum held the East African Sub-regional Consultative Meeting on ECOSOCC, APRM and the MDGs between August 7 and 9, 2006. This second edition of the meeting was held at the Windsor Golf and Country Club, Nairobi, Kenya. The meeting drew participants from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Seychelles, Mauritius, Ethiopia, Somalia, Burundi and Rwanda. Others are from Sudan, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Cameroon and the members of the Interim Bureau of the ECOSOCC. The UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa supported it.
Conclusions and Recommendations
- The Interim Bureau under the leadership of the Presiding Officer, Prof. Wangari Maathai, should liaise with the African Union Commission (AUC) in ensuring the actualisation of the following:
- Release of funds for the activation of the National and Sub-regional processes.
- Facilitate the setting up of an ECOSOCC secretariat which must be supported in terms of staff, logistics and funds as a way of giving ECOSOCC visibility and ensuring effective linkage with the activities and programmes of the other organs of the union. In this regards the meeting called on the Presiding Officer to provide the Chairperson of the AUC with the profile of the officer expected to coordinate the secretariat.
- Ensure that the level of information sharing on ECOSOCC is increased and made more visible especially on the official website of the African Union.
- Participants averred that the CSOs in Africa under the aegis of ECOSOCC should be more proactive in terms of inputs and advocacy instead of waiting for the platform and space that will be provided by the union.
- They also recommended that the issue of credibility in the emergence of the national representatives is very critical to be objectives of the ECOSSOC. In this regard, participants suggested that each country should ensure that “competent CSO national authority” or “framework” is created as part of the National process. In the same vein, each country should endeavour to populate the clusters at the national level just as Kenyan ECOSOCC chapter has done.
- That the assembly of heads of state and government should consider the possibility of changing the name of ECOSOCC to that of “Council of the United People of Africa” (CUPA) as a way of reflecting what the CSO desired to achieve with ECOSOCC for the people of Africa.
- Participants further recommended that the Presiding Officer put forward, to the appropriate organ of the union, the budget proposal for 2007 based on the priorities enunciated within the ECOSOCC strategic plan.
- That the Interim Bureau should consult the appropriate organs of the AU and ECOSOCC to consider the possibility of extending the tenure of the General Assembly, the Bureau and the Standing Committee by another one year due to various logistical and financial constraints that have made it impossible for the Bureau to effectively deliver its mandate.
- Participants also recommended that the Interim Bureau should articulate and disseminate the guidelines for the credentials committees at all level in terms of eligibility and qualification.
- Participants further recommended the following popularisation strategies for the ECOSOCC both at the national and sub-regional level:
- On funding strategies the meeting suggested that each member state of the African Union should double their funding commitment while the African people should embrace people-driven funding mechanism that allows regular contribution by the citizens to the activities of ECOSOCC and the Union.
- On the operationalisation of the national processes, the following specific recommendations were made:
- Due to the uniqueness of each country, it is expected that each one will define the levels of coordination suitable to her environment.
- That each country should have a consultative national meeting, which must include all the stakeholders, from where the members of the clusters can be selected and operationalise.
- That each country should develop media strategy for the promotion of the activities of ECOSOCC and also create awareness among the citizens.
- That the executive members of the National CSO Authority referred to above should be competent people who must not be interested in elective positions in any of the organs of the ECOSOCC.
- For the Credential Committees the group is of the opinion that members should be drawn from other countries in the region as a way of guaranteeing the integrity of the process
- The group is also of the opinion that each country to select a credible Organisation like the Green belt Movement in Kenya for instance, to warehouse the process and assist in administration of the ECOSOCC at the national level
Recommendations made on the regional processes include:
- Establishment of regional offices to facilitate the national processes. This must be followed by the establishment of a consultative forum which will lead to the election and emergence of the regional representatives.
- Need for each region to develop advocacy and fund raising mechanisms which of course will differ from one country to another
- In terms of structure, the group is in agreement that ECOSSOC should have a coordinating unit at AUC, six regional chapters including the Diaspora, and 53 national chapters all feeding in into the activities of all the organs of ECOSOCC especially the thematic clusters
- That the national chapters should be formed within the next six months before the regional chapters can be activated
- On the selection of the regional representatives, it was recommended that the process should maintain a balance in terms of gender, age group and language, merit and knowledge of regional issues.
- That the ECOSOCC should consider a slight modification in terms of coordination in the region that produces the Presiding Officer. This will involve the appointment of either a substantive Deputy Presiding Office or a Regional Coordinator who will eventually report to the Presiding Officer.
ECOSOCC Regional Conference Addis Ababa
The Africa Leadership Forum in collaboration with United Nations Development Program (UNDP), RBA, New York again organised a three - day Africa-Wide Consultative meeting on ECOSOCC, APRM and the MDGs from December 8-10, 2006 at Sheraton Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The opening session of the conference was chaired by Ms Zemenay Lakew, Senior Regional Programmes Coordinator, UNDP-RBA Support Office for NEPAD. Dr Olumide Ajayi gave the welcome address on behalf of Mr Ayodele Aderinwale, the Executive Director of the Africa Leadership Forum, Deputy Presiding Officer ECOSOCC. The UN Resident Coordinator, Mr Fidele Sarassoro, delivered the opening remarks while the Executive Secretary of UNECA, H.E. Abdoulie Janneh, gave a solidarity statement read on his behalf by Prof. Okey Onyejekwe. The AU Statement from the office of the Principal Coordinator, CIDO, Dr Jinmi Adisa was read by a staff from the ECOSOCC Secretariat, Dr Francis Ikhome.
Participants commended ALF for organising the meetings across Africa. The meeting was convened as a follow-up to the three previous sub - regional consultations organised for CSOs in Southern Africa, West and Central Africa and East African sub-regions.
In attendance at the meeting were representatives of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from eighteen African countries, members of the interim bureau of the ECOSOCC, representatives of the Africa Union (AU) United Nations Development Programs (UNDP), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), APRM Secretariat, CSOs from the Diaspora, technical experts and specialists in governance, the media and members of the academia.
Conclusions and Recommendations
The following recommendations were adopted:
- That report emanating from these consultative meetings should be formally presented to the ECOSOCC Secretariat while an appropriate follow-up mechanism should be developed by ALF and Interim Standing Committee to ensure that recommendations emanating from these meetings are properly implemented and widely circulated in all the working languages of the AU.
- That ECOSOCC provides the most effective and legitimate entry point for the CSO engagement with the APRM in following areas:
- Stakeholders awareness and validation process.
- Engagement of the various Peer Review Missions (CSM and CRT).
- Inputs into the design of instruments and tools for the production of the Country Self Assessment Report (CSAR).
- Monitoring and evaluation of the National Programmes of Action (NPOA).
- The advocacy to facilitate the proposed and recommended changes emanating from the reports as indicated by APR Panel and APR forum of heads of state.
- The broad-based consultation and advocacy that characterized the APRM process at the national level should be maintained at the sub-regional and continental levels in order to sustain the dialogue with governments by using it to promote learning and sharing of experience in the peer review process.
- ECOSOCC and the PAP should engage the media in publicising the APRM findings and plan of action. Peer pressure should not only be at the level of heads of state, but also at the level of civil society putting pressure on governments.
- That a Peer Review Sub-Committee within ECOSOCC should be created through which a number of countries’ efforts towards achieving the MDGs are assessed, using the recommendations of the APRM reports. This could operate in a publicly transparent and broadly consultative manner as another tier of the peer review process.
- That the ECOSOCC Secretariat should as a matter of urgency, and in line with the recent recommendation of the Interim Standing Committee, use the existing US$1 million for the national processes of consultations and elections.
- The participants call on the Interim Bureau to work with African Union Commission to achieve the goals and objectives of ECOSOCC within the extended mandate;
- That the recommendation on the change of name of ECOSOCC that came out of the East Africa consultation be deleted and any other attempts at amending the ECOSOCC Statute should be put in abeyance until such a time that ECOSOCC takes proper form and shape as an organ of the African Union.
- That the Diaspora CSOs be fully represented within the Interim ECOSOCC Assembly as the sixth region of the African Union.
- The Diaspora CSOs and groups should engage the African heads of state and government in a more pro-active manner on the need for them to support ECOSOCC process while the leadership of the ECOSOCC should involve the Diaspora in integrative and holistic manner that will facilitate effective understanding between the Africans and the Diaspora in terms of developmental requirements of the continent.
- National Chapters of ECOSOCC should work to popularise and brand the organ in their various countries and among African citizens. In this regard, national CSOs Groups should mount road shows in different locations in their country as a way of raising awareness on what the ECOSOCC stands for and why the African people should support its programmes and activities.
- That a research study should be conducted to determine and analyse the perception of the CSOs of ECOSOCC, particularly as a mechanism for engaging the state on MDGs and APRM.
- That the Interim Bureau should revisit and continue to push for the adoption of the ECOSOCC resolution on the use of air travel tax to fund the activities of ECOSOCC and the African Union by the heads of state in collaboration with the other organs of the union.
- That the existing clusters of ECOSOCC should become more proactive in engaging developments and issues within their thematic areas. For example, the cluster on peace and security should actively be involved in conflict resolutions.
- The ECOSOCC Youth Advisory Panel should be adopted as a concept that is implementable within the provisions of Articles 4, 7, and 11(4) of the existing statute and without any recourse for amendment to the statute. It was also agreed that the concept be further shared and integrated to the sub-regional and national processes of AU-ECOSOCC.
- That the ECOSOCC should engage the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through the following processes:
- Provide a platform to raise awareness about the MDGs and support ongoing development initiatives in the continent;
- Support the campaign to build networks and coalition with the regional bodies across the continent;
- Support CSO advocacy and lobby initiatives with AU to ensure that political leaders honour the commitments they made when they signed the Millennium Declaration in 2000;
- Assist in monitoring the progress towards the attainment of MDGS at the National level;
- Assist in information sharing to ensure that countries are aware of the progress on the MDGs;
- Enhance dialogue and partnership between CSOs and the government;
- The meeting agreed that the recommendations from the working groups be sent along with summary report of this meeting to the ECOSOCC Secretariat and the ECOSOCC Interim Bureau as inputs for the guidelines on the oper;
- Nationalisation of the ECOSOCC processes at the national, sub-regional and the Diaspora level to be issued by the two offices.