Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Tanzania Civil Society Community commits to ECOSOCC.

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Dar-es–Salaam, Tanzania, 15th September 2014 – Several civil society organizations in Tanzania attended the ECOSOCC Sensitization and Motivation Campaign held in Kebby’s Hotel and Conference Centre in Dar-es-Salaam today.

In his Welcome Address to the gathering, Mr. Ngunga Tepani, Executive Director, Tanzania Association of NGOs (TANGO), observed that Tanzania has about 8000-registered Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in addition to large number of unregistered organizations that were also in active operation and doing valuable work. CSOs in Tanzania had challenges but participation in ECOSOCC would be a fruitful way to address and overcome such challenges. It would enable more constant and productive interaction with Governments and policy makers at various levels and create avenues for developmental inputs and channels for increasing institutional and funding support.

Description: Description: ::Pics:Orig copy 2:IMG_7016.JPGThe main obstacle that Tanzania CSOs would encounter is the eligibility requirement that 50 percent of the funding must be internally derived. He lamented the situation of the continent in which governments and the private sector were niggardly in providing support for CSOs leaving them at the mercy of external donors. Thus CSOs should seek to use the provision to challenge governments and their internal constituencies on the need to provide effective funding support for CSOs.

He urged the AU mission to provide clarity on the processes of ECOSOCC, the role, functions and performance of the organ and its varied uses as well as the processes and procedures for application and how ECOSOCC would function in the aftermath. It would be important to relate these to the activities of CSOs as they are at present so that they can adapt to ECOSOCC and add value to its processes as they grow.

Description: Description: ::Pics:Orig copy 2:IMG_7357.JPGIn turn, Amb. Lazarus, the Advisor to the AU Chairperson, elaborated on the objectives of the mission that were clearly designed to respond to the needs and requirements underlined by the Executive Director of TANGO.

“The purpose of this mission here today is to ensure the faithful implementation of the decision of our executive organs on ECOSOCC in close collaboration with Member States of the Union in general and the civil society community in particular. This is a mission that involves cooperation with governments but is not primarily directed at Governments. It is an outreach program for the people at the grassroots that is designed and implemented in the spirit of the people –driven focus and people driven agenda of the African Union. The mission is truly reflective of the ECOSOCC agenda. ECOSOCC is an organ that seeks to connect he people at the grassroots in Africa directly with the continental governance structures”
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In the keynote and official opening address, Ambassador Yahya Simba, the Director for the Middle East who was representing the Director for African Affairs in the Tanzania Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also recalled the genesis and origin of ECOSOCC as a vehicle for achieving the people-oriented and people driven character of the Constitutive Act of the African Union. Tanzania, he added, has been consistent in its engagement with the ECOSOCC process from the time of its establishment to its subsequent progress. He recalled the fact the 1st Permanent ECOSOCC General Assembly was launched in Tanzania under the leadership of the current President of the Republic, HE Jakaya Kikwete while he was the Chairperson of the African Union.

“The visit by the AU mission today is not because Tanzania was not represented in the first Permanent General Assembly but rather to give new impetus to as many civil society organizations to take part in the forthcoming ECOSOCC election process in a manner that will surpass all expectations. Your (CSO) presence here in large numbers here is assurance that we will be able to achieve these goals end ensure that Tanzania continues to play a significant role in the affairs of the AU. I therefore, call on you all to listen closely, understand the process and take subsequent steps to register and participate appropriately.”

Description: Description: ::Pics:Orig copy 2:IMG_7509.JPGThe opening session was followed by the main presentations on the sensitization program. Mr. Chilengi, the member of the 1st ECOSOCC Permanent General Assembly provided a detailed insiders view of the functions, role and history of ECOSOCC, it performance, achievements and challenges in its first two phases of its existence as an interim Assembly under Prof. Wangari Maathai and later as a Permanent General Assembly. He saw the experience as a learning process that would orient ECOSOCC to greater heights in its subsequent incarnations.
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Dr. Jinmi Adisa, the Director, Citizens and Diaspora Directorate that also serves as the Secretariat of ECOSOCC then took the participants through the history of the electoral process and the process of decision making that led to the current sensitization exercise and its imperative demands. In an interactive session, he guided the participants through the application processes and procedures and noted that the application forms may be completed in about one hour. He provided a checklist for CSOs to use in reviewing their own applications to be sure that they have met all the requirements. He ended with a word of counsel to the gathering. “ It has been said that ECOSOCC has an advisory role but an advisory role is defined by its quality, efficacy and purpose. If an advisory role is handled with care, commitment and dedication, it would become much more. An office has latency, it is as big as the person who occupies it.”

Another lively, intensive interaction session followed in which participants offered comments and observations and requested further clarification of certain issues. The discussion touched on a series of issues including the issue of observer status for CSOs that were not eligible for election in the wider AU structures and within ECOSOCC, the role and circumstances of cultural organizations in the ECOSCC set up, the operation of sectorial cluster committees, accountability and responsibility of elected ECOSOCC representatives to their national, regional or continental constituencies, the distinction between national, regional and continental CSOs and levels of applicability, the 50 percent funding criteria, the sharing of reports of the sensitization exercise, campaign opportunities in the ECOSOCC election process, the nature of the ECOSOCC electoral college and the  recent AU resolution regarding the immunity of Heads of States or political leaders while in office.

The meeting ended with a number of conclusions. First, was a clear commitment by CSOs at the meeting to register and participate in the ECOSOCC process. TANGO will serve as the rallying point for this process and those present will carry the message to others that are absent.  The CSOs also agreed on the need for a national ECOSOCC cluster as a mechanism for consultation, accountability.  and to provide direction to national representatives. There was also a preference for the inclusion of provisions for recall in the ECOSOCC Statutes when it is revised and amended to support the processes of accountability.

Description: Description: ::Pics:Orig copy 2:IMG_7571.JPGThe CSOs also advised on the need for extensive applications by Tanzania CSOs to enlarge the AU database of CSOs and give it comprehensive coverage in Tanzania. Tanzania CSOs also committed to work extensively within the ECOSOCC cluster committees. In conclusion, the gathering expressed appreciation for the work of the AU mission as it has offered closer intimacy with the operations of the AU and its people-centered agenda. It was imperative for the AU to continue with its sensitization exercise including and beyond ECOSOCC to build up an affective constituency for the activities of the continental organization.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

African Union to immediately receive USD 18.5 Million direct support to its Ebola operation

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia –12 September 2014: The African Union and partners met Monday on the sidelines of the emergency meeting of the African Union’s Executive Council, to announce pledges by the African Union Partners Group (AUPG) to the African Union Support to Ebola Outbreak (Operation ASEOWA).

The United States Government announced USD10 million and the European Union 5 million euros to be made available immediately, to support the African Union Operation to end the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The People’s Republic of China last week announced USD2 million to ASEOWA.

The Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr. Erastus Mwencha, expressed gratitude to partners for their generous response to support the African Union operation and for all the concerted efforts to respond rapidly to the outbreak.
“The focus should be on containing the epidemic to make sure that it does not spread further, improve the capacity of health facilities, which have been overstretched and monitor contacts and manage the confirmed cases”,  the Deputy Chairperson said.

The African Union this week received the assessment report from the mission that it sent to the affected countries which will inform its path breaking response.

“The United States is absolutely committed to working with the international community to increase response efforts in West Africa and help bring this outbreak under control”, said Ambassador Reuben E. Brigety, “We commend the AU for sending an assessment team and welcome its findings, and we urge the AU to ensure that its mission is working through its operations on the ground and in accord with the World Health Organisation (WHO) Ebola response roadmap”.

The ASEOWA operation aims at filling the existing gap in international efforts and will work with the African Humanitarian Action in mobilizing medical and public health volunteers across the continent and will complement ongoing efforts by various humanitarian actors who are already on the ground.

The African Union made a historic decision end of August by declaring Ebola a threat to peace and security in Africa, invoking article 6 (f) relating to its mandate with regard to humanitarian action and disaster management at its 450th meeting. The meeting authorised the immediate deployment of a joint AU-led military and civilian humanitarian mission to tackle the emergency situation caused by the Ebola outbreak. WHO estimates that about USD600 million is needed to bring the epidemic under control.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Press Release Nº 215/ 2014

African Union appoints Dr. Julius Oketta to head the AU Ebola operation

Description: Description: H:\DCIM\101D5100\DSC_0033b.jpgAddis Ababa, Ethiopia–10 September 2014: The African Union Commission has appointed Dr.  Julius Oketta to head the African Union Support to Ebola Outbreak (Operation ASEOWA) that is deploying civilian and military volunteers from across the continent to ensure that Ebola is brought under control. The mission comprises medical doctors, nurses and other medical and paramedical personnel.

“I am confident that Dr. Julius Oketta’s long experience with humanitarian work, commitment to and experience with the control of Ebola will lead to the achievement of the mission objectives”, said Dr Olawale Maiyegun, the Director for Social Affairs at the African Union Commission.

As the Head of Mission he is expected to provide the necessary leadership, advice and guidance to guarantee a smooth and efficient emergency operation.

Dr. Oketta, as a Major General led the Regional Reserve Forces Command when the Uganda People's Defence Force helped in combating the Ebola epidemic in Northern Uganda. He is the Director of the National Emergency Coordination and Operations Center (NECOC) in the Office of the Prime Minister of Uganda and has been seconded to the African Union led the humanitarian mission. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration and attended Senior Command and Staff College (SCSC).

Dr. Oketta is a Member of the Parliament of Uganda  and is currently a Member of the Advisory Board of the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (UN CERF) and has served as the Chief of Logistics and Engineering  for the Ugandan Army. He has over 9 years of experience in the field of civil-military humanitarian response.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

AU Campaigning in Botswana for the ECOSOCC General Assembly Election

Description: Description: C:\Users\mine\Pictures\Bots-1.jpgGaborone, Botswana,  September 2014: The African Union Commission (AUC) convened a sensitization and motivation meeting on the Economic, Social, and Cultural Council of the African Union (ECOSOCC) for civil society organizations based in Botswana. The meeting took place on Tuesday, 9th September 2014, at Cresta President Hotel, Gaborone, Botswana.

Mr. John Thomas Dipowe, Permanent Secretary in the Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in his welcome remarks, he appreciated the role the African Union is playing in contributing towards the implementation of the critical steps identified in the roadmap for the overall ECOSOCC election process.

Mr. Thomas stressed the need to work together to achieve the objectives through fostering and consolidating partnerships between the African Union Commission, member states and the CSOs, followed by the effective sensitization of its members and the general public at large in order to benefit from extensive feedback.
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Dr. Alhaji Sarjoh Bah, AU Liaison Officer to SADC and Representative of the African Union Commission said on his part that the 23rd AU Assembly directed the AUC to undertake a sensitization and motivation campaign after the election process was constrained by lack of eligible candidates in several Member States. The African leaders mandated the AU to ensure that it worked constructively with the African civil society groups to facilitate the establishment of the next ECOSOCC General Assembly by the end of 2014.

Beyond fostering interest in the purposes of electioneering, Dr. Sarjoh said that the meeting aimed for the African civil society to buy into ECOSOCC and make it their own so that the framework of partnership that would support the integration and development project of the continent would be truly people-centered and people-driven.

He also noted that the African Union ECOSOCC is a unique institution that has no existing parallel. It not only provided the civil society with direct presence at the portal of decision-making, but it is also elected and managed by civil society, and in which they share visibility, privilege, power and responsibility in active interaction with other stakeholders in the African policies and programmes processes.

The Representative of the CSOs community Dr. Bookie Kethusesile thanked the AU for providing this superb opportunity to Batswana CSOs to get acquainted to the election process of ECOSOCC. She said this event was a sign that the transformed Union really wanted to see the African CSOs engaged and involved vigorously in the activities of the continental organization, and encouraged all the participants to apply for a seat in the General Assembly as the country should be represented in this important organ. 

The Head of the Delegation, Mr. Filipe Furuma, made a thorough presentation on the history, role, functions and importance of ECOSOCC.  He stressed on the need of all eligible CSOs to submit their candidature towards the next 2nd General Assembly as a commitment to voice out the concerns of the national CSOs. By taking part in this organ, it would be an opportunity to improve the Statutes and the engagement of other organizations into the Sectoral Clusters, he added.
Focusing on the ECOSOCC election process, Mr. Bright Mando, the Representative from the Office of the Legal Council explained to the gathering  the details of the application procedure and process. In his presentation, he highlighted on the earlier steps taken till the present phase.

Emphasizing on Africa’s need of all its children in government and in civil society for renaissance and development, he called the civil society community of Botswana to participate in ECOSOCC and the affairs of the African Union.

Organized by the AU Citizens and Diaspora Organizations Directorate, the meeting is part of the AU sensitization and motivation campaign in preparation for elections of the ECOSOCC 2nd General Assembly.

The consequent discussion reflected on broad range of issues related to ECOSOCC election. These included the requirement for registration and the need for continental ECOSOCC to be complemented and interlinked to correspondent regional structures at RECs level. Some CSOs also stressed the need to balance obligations arising from participation in policy-making processes with normal watchdog responsibilities of CSOs.

The campaign was held in compliance with Decision EX.CL/Dec.849(XXV), adopted at the 23rd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea fro, 24-27 June 2014. The Decision called on the AU Commission to conduct a sensitization campaign among Member States that did not have a sufficient number of eligible candidates for elections into the 2nd ECOSOCC General Assembly.

The meeting was attended by representatives of Botswana civil society community and representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Labour and Home Affairs of the Republic of Botswana.


Ecobank’s $200 million Afreximbank-supported bond issuance concludes

Media Contact: Obi Emekekwue (; Tel. +202-2456-4238)

Cairo, 09 September 2014 – With advisory services provided by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), leading Nigerian bank and member of the Ecobank Group, Ecobank Nigeria, has successfully concluded a highly-anticipated $200 million bond issuance aimed at raising needed capital for its operations.

The publicly place coupon bonds, which were listed on the Irish Stock Exchange, attracted an oversubscription from investors.

In mandating Afreximbank to advise it on the bond issuance, Ecobank assigned the trade finance bank with the responsibility to assist in preparing documentation for the transaction as well as preparing Ecobank’s presentations to potential investors and arranging investor road shows.

Afreximbank’s was also tasked with the marketing and placement of the securities to be initially issued under the transaction.

“Afreximbank’s support for this transaction is part of our continuing effort at leveraging funds into Africa to finance trade activities,” said Jean-Louis Ekra, President of Afreximbank. “We remain fully committed to providing African financial institutions with much-needed access to the international financial market to enhance their capacity to support economic growth in Africa.”

Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered Bank were the joint lead managers on the transaction while Afreximbank, Ecobank Capital and Nedbank Capital served as co-lead managers.
AU Mission Arrives in Kigali to Mobilize Rwanda Civil Society to Participate in ECOSOCC

Description: Description: IMG_6503.JPGKigali, Rwanda, September 2014 – The African Union (AU) Mission for the sensitization of the African Civil Society Community to register and participate in the continent-wide process of elections into the 2nd Economic Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) General Assembly landed in Kigali, Rwanda, today, on the second leg of its campaign in East Africa.

The delegation is composed of Ambassador Lazarous Kapambwe, Advisor to the AUC Chairperson, Dr. Jinmi Adisa, AUC Director for Civil Society and Diaspora (CIDO), Mr. Joseph Chilengi, IDP, Zambia - Member of the 2nd ECOSOCC General Assembly as well as concerned Departmental focal persons. The AU delegation was received at the airport by Ambassador Mutanguha.

Following a successful stopover in Kampala, Uganda, the campaign mission will continue on to cover Tanzania, Seychelles and eventually, Eritrea. Parallel missions are currently being conducted in Central and Lusophone Africa.

The meeting with African Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Rwanda is scheduled to take place in the Conference room of the Gorillas Golf Hotel on Thursday 11th September 2014 and will be followed by media, radio and television interviews.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

African Union’s Executive Council Urges Lifting of Travel Restrictions Related to Ebola Outbreak

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Addis Ababa, September 2014- Member States of the African Union (AU) have been called upon to urgently lift all travel bans and restrictions related to the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak, to respect the principle of free movement, and to ensure that all restrictions are in line with recommendations from the relevant international organisations.

An emergency meeting of the Union’s Executive Council held on the 8thof September 2014 at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, to craft a united, comprehensive and collective response to the Ebola outbreak, agreed that any travel related measures should be in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recommendations, in particular the recommendation for proper screening.

Council requested the AU Commission to work closely with Member States, international and regional organizations, and African partners, with a view to mobilizing adequate resources to respond to the EVD crisis.

The Council requested the Commission to take all the necessary steps for the rapid establishment of an African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ACDCP), pursuant to Assembly Decision AU/Dec.499 (XXII) on the establishment of the centre; and ensure the functioning of the ACDCP by mid-2015, including the enhancement of the early warning systems to address all health emergencies in a timely and effective manner.

The Commission was requested to engage with media and advocacy groups to ensure proper communications about EVD to the general population and the international community at large.

To guarantee adequate funding for emergencies, Council asked the Commission to ensure the replenishment of the AU Special Emergency Assistance Fund for Drought and Famine in Africa and called on Member States to make voluntary contributions to the fund.

Further, the Council decided to facilitate the expansion of the mandate of the AU Special Emergency Assistance Fund for Drought and Famine in Africa to include public health emergencies and other calamities.

The Executive Council expressed support for the AU Support to the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA), and called upon Member States to respond positively and provide adequate numbers of qualified health personnel for ASEOWA, to assist the affected countries to combat the EVD.

It expressed appreciation for the solidarity of many organizations and countries, including African countries, as well as the active mobilization of AU support to ASEOWA.

Council expressed its high appreciation to all the Member States which have provided generous financial, personnel and material assistance to the Member States affected by the epidemic, and called upon all Member States to contribute human, material, and financial resources to contain the spread of the virus. WZM/HMC

Validation Workshop on the Draft Framework for the Intervention of the African Union and Other Relevant Partners in the Post-Conflict Reconstruction Process in Central African Republic

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Bangui, Central African Republic, 08 September 2014: An Expert technical workshop on the validation of the Framework for the intervention of the African Union (Department of Political Affairs and Department of Peace and Security) and other relevant partners in the Post-Conflict Reconstruction Process in C.A.R opened on 8th September in Bangui, Central African Republic. The meeting is jointly convened by the AU Departments of Political Affairs and Peace and Security as part of the implementation of the AU Executive decision EX.CL/Dec.302 (IX) and EX.CL/274 (IX) instructing the African Union Commission to elaborate a policy framework document on Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD), in order to address the critical situation of countries emerging from conflict.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr. Mamadou Dia Representative of H.E. Dr. Aisha Laraba Abdullahi, Commissioner for Political Affairs emphasized on the fact that this aims to create a synergy between the different actors of the international community in order to propose a concrete response to the reconstruction process in CAR. He expressed his hope that the deliberation and recommendations of the workshop will be fruitful and relevant to the development of the framework for the Post-Reconstruction Process in Central African Republic.

The meeting has as its objectives, (i)The Development of a Policy Framework for the AU Post-Conflict Reconstruction Process in C.A.R, (ii) Assess areas that need support for the post conflict recovery in CAR, (iii) Develop a range of activities for a sustainable post conflict reconstruction, (iv) Identified a strategy for fund raising to support the post conflict projects in CAR, (v) Establish a framework for human resources mobilization and partnership in support to specialized projects, (vi) Identify ways to build synergy between the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) and the African Governance Architecture (AGA) on the post reconstruction and (vii) the establishment of an action plan for the AU presence in C.A.R after the transformation of MISCA to MINUSCA. It is expected that a thematic framework on key priority areas will be developed will be developed to sustain the Post-Conflict Reconstruction programme in C.A.R.

Participants include experts from the different regions of the continent including representative from International IDEA. The remaining participants are national/local experts from the affected Ministries dealing with issues of Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Public Service and Territorial Administration.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

 Rais Jakaya Kikwete akizungumza na wananchi hivi karibuni   
   Na Habel Chidawali, Mwananchi
Rais Jakaya Kikwete amesema zaidi ya asilimia 80 ya ahadi alizotoa wakati anaingia madarakani zimetimizwa na zilizobakia atazimaliza kabla ya kuondoka madarakani. 

Rais Kikwete alitoa kauli hiyo juzi katika Kijiji cha Gulwe, Mpwapwa mkoani Dodoma, alipokwenda kuweka jiwe la msingi la ujenzi wa daraja.
Alisema wakati anaingia madarakani mwaka 2005, alitoa ahadi mbalimbali katika maeneo tofauti zikiwamo zilizoandikwa katika Ilani ya Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM), ambazo zimeendelea kutimizwa kwa kadiri ya upatikanaji wa fedha.
“Sasa tumefikia asilimia 80 ya utekelezaji wa ahadi zetu, naamini tunaweza kufanikiwa kwa zote na kama tutashindwa basi tutaacha kidogo sana, lakini kumbukeni tumetekeleza hata yale ambayo hayakuwa katika ahadi,” alisema Rais Kikwete.
Akizungumzia daraja hilo la Gulwe, aliwaagiza makandarasi kufanya kazi usiku na mchana ili likamilike kama ilivyopangwa.Alisema wananchi wanataka kuona kazi hiyo inakwisha.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014