By Drake Nyamugabwa
A budget to finance activities by one of the organs of African Union Commission; known as Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) has been approved to finance the organ’s operations and programs. ECOSOCC is the AU organ which is responsible for Civil Society, Trade, Religious, Cultural and Diaspora. This decision was reached at during the 29th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of States of the African Union held recently in Addis Ababa Ethiopia; where delegations were drown from relevant clusters and ECOSOCC General Assembly members. During a stakeholders meeting at Hotel Africana last week, The Presiding Officer of ECOSOCC, Richard Ssewakiryanga, who is also Executive Director of Uganda National NGO Forum (UNNGOF), says that the approval
of the budget to finance activities of the organs, will make the organ able to plan and deliver critical output during the two year tenure in office, thanking the colleagues who participated in the negotiations on behalf of the organ.
“This is good news because, as an organ we shall be able to plan and deliver some critical output during our tenure in office. We should thank colleagues at ECOSOCC secretariat in the Directorate of Citizens and Diaspora Organizations (CIDO), who participated in the negotiations on my behalf, since we had just entered office at the time of the budget session” he said.
Ssewakryanga says that the organ needs to develop ideas to hold a pre-summit event for the January 2018 AU Summit, to focus on the theme of the year, which was decided for 2018 as Africa Year of Anti-Corruption, with the theme: “Winning the fight against Corruption: A sustainable path to Africa’s transformation”.
The Representative of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Benon Kayemba says that we need to focus more on tacking youth related to support the AU theme of 2017, which states: “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through investing in the youth”, urging that after operationalizing the national chapters they should regularly interact with ECOSOCC especially on the decisions made. He informed the participants that Uganda is soon going to host the AU Ministers’ meeting focusing on mainly African security and related issues like; electronic violence, Illegal arms, Standby Force roles among others .He called upon Civil Society organizations and private sector to partner with government to create peace in Uganda.
The African Union Commission is Chaired by HE Conde Alpha, President of Chad, with his Deputy, Commissioners from each country and other departments on Peace, Political affairs, Social, economic, Trade and Industry, Infra and energy among others.