The African Union's Economic, Social and Cultural Council (AU-ECOSOCC) yesterday convened its Second Ordinary Session of the third Permanent General Assembly (GA).
The GA is the highest decision-making body within ECOSOCC and is required to meet in Ordinary Session once every two years and may meet in Extra-Ordinary Sessions under conditions specified in the rules of procedure of the Organ.
Officially opening the Assembly, AUC's Chief of Staff H.E Amb. Abdoulaye Diop representing AUC Chairperson, H.E Moussa Faki said ECOSOCC had played a critical role in representing CSOs on the continent, therefore giving credence to the AU as a Union of the People.
Amb. Diop further commended ECOSOCC's contribution to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic through sensitizing and educating the public using awareness creation webinars in collaboration with Africa Centre's for Disease Control (CDC) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
"I congratulate you all for your positive contribution in supporting Agenda 2063 and acknowledge the critical importance of giving you the opportunity to help shape the future of Africa just as our founding fathers of the African Union did," he said.
ECOSOCC Acting Presiding Officer, Denise Kodhe, applauded the Zambian Government for hosting the Secretariat and providing a conducive environment for the Secretariat to operate from. Mr Kodhe reiterated his commitment to working with the Organ to effectively implement its agenda.
ECOSOCC's Principal Coordinator, Mr. William Carew informed the Assembly that the Organ was going through a reform process to determine its effectiveness and efficiency and to propose key recommendations that would revamp its operations.
Mr. Carew further guided on the planned activities for 2021 including finalization of the implementation of the establishment of ECOSOCC National Chapters, the development
of the Accreditation Framework and the roll-out of new partnerships formed on program cooperation.
AUC's Citizens and Diaspora Directorate (CIDO) Ag. Director H.E Amb. Jalel Chelba also gave remarks at the opening session and urged the GA members to work together to achieve the aspirations of the AU and Agenda 2063.
This year's GA is being held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The GA will discuss and review progress and workplans from its sectoral cluster committees; discuss the national chapters' framework and chart the Organ's programmatic approach for its activities, more especially in view of the COVID19 Pandemic restrictions.