African civil society will work closely with the European civil society in the implementation process. It has been agreed that the Steering Committee set up during the Accra civil society consultation be revitalised to work closely with CIDO, particularly on issues such as mapping. Other stakeholders such as ECOSOCC, research institutes and think-tanks will also play a role.
The AU Civil Society Interim Steering Committee, established in Accra in March 2007 and reconstituted within the framework of ECOSOCC in Nairobi in March 2009, will actively follow the implementation of the strategy, additionally a European counterpart has been constituted in spring 2008. View the relevant document
The group has been following actively the implementation of the strategy and participating in the work of the JEGs. The AU Commission has maintained that African civil society engagement in the JAES should be done only through the AU’s Economic, Social and Cultural Council (AU ECOSOCC). The civil society steering group includes organisations that are not members of the AU ECOSOCC, but it should be chaired by an ECOSOCC member and its input apparently be channelled through the ECOSOCC. The AU Commission (Directorate for Citizens and Diaspora – CIDO) is also a member of the steering group.
As decided by the African Union, the Steering Committee will be led by ECOSOCC and will operate under the overall guidance of the Presiding Officer of ECOSOCC. The Steering Committee should comprise of 21 members selected by ECOSOCC and other CSOs in the consultation. A member of the previous steering committee is included to allow for continuity. In addition, eight chairpersons of ECOSOCC cluster committees would approximate the eight strategic areas of the partnership and work in tandem with them. One representative of CIDO is also included to provide effective linkage and interface with AU Commission activities particularly those of its task force and feed these into civil society intervention process.
More about the general role of the civil society in the Joint Africa-EU Strategy – click here.