The idea of the CSSDCA can
be traced to 1990 when the Africa Leadership Forum, in collaboration with
the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), convened
a high-level experts’ meeting in Paris, France, to deliberate on
the implications of the cold war for the African continent. The meeting
concluded that the continent must respond by seeking solutions to the
interrelated problems of security, stability, development and cooperation
confronting it through its own means and engaging the rest of the world
within a holistic framework, that is designed, managed and led by Africans.
The meeting drew inspiration
from the experience of Europe and its Helsinki process on the Conference
on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) and it recommended that Africa
should pursue a similar process in its own way. Following this, the Africa
Leadership Forum led by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, convened in Addis Ababa,
Ethiopia, in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Organisation of
African Unity (OAU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
(ECA), a meeting of prominent African personalities, drawn from the private
sector, government and non-governmental organisations, and intellectual
circles to deliberate on an appropriate framework for advancing this agenda.
That meeting established a Steering Committee to further guide its activities
and this Committee proceeded by holding a series of consultation with
Africa NGO’s, governments and the private sector in Africa to prepare
for a continental gathering on this matter.
This continental gathering
was subsequently held in Kampala, Uganda, under the auspices of President
Yoweri Museveni, who was then the Chairman of the OAU in April 1991. About
500 African notables attended this meeting from all walks of life including
representatives of the private sector, intergovernmental and non-governmental
associations, and political leaders from different ideological persuasions,
scholars, students, peasants and presidents.
The historic meeting adopted
the Kampala Document that set out a vision of a free and prosperous Africa
based on accountable government, implementation of democratic reforms
and a thriving civil society as a road map for Post Cold War Africa. The
Document was presented to the OAU Summits in Abuja, Nigeria in June 1991;
the Dakar Summit of 1992 and the Cairo Summit of 1993, without any practical
action being taken to follow up on the initiative.
However, following the return
of Nigeria to Democracy in 1998 and the return of President Obasanjo to
power in Nigeria, the idea was resurrected and the President Obasanjo
obtained the support of his fellow leaders for its introduction into the
work programme of the Organisation for African Unity. The OAU Council
of Ministers was mandated to work on this and subsequently in June 2000,
the Assembly of Heads of States and Government meeting in Lomé,
Togo, adopted the CSSDCA Solemn Declaration, which effectively brought
the CSSDCA Process into the mainstream of the continental organisation.
Significantly, the revival of the CSSDCA Process coincided with the transition
of the OAU into the African Union. The CSSDCA was reintroduced at the
same Summit in which the Sirte Declaration that motivated the Union was
launched. Thus the processes were intertwined in a manner that gave the
CSSDCA a pride of place in the continent’s bid to articulate a new
direction and a more positive vision of development based on democratic
reforms and the active involvement of civil society.
- General Objectives & Mandate
To provide a policy development forum for the elaboration
and advancement of common values within the main policy organs of the
organisation: promote and sustain policy interface among such organs to
support this objective; and serve as the main framework for the coordination,
monitoring and evaluation of decisions of the Union as assigned by the
Assembly of the Heads of State and Government (AHG. Dec. 175 (XXXVIII)
implementation of this mandate, the CSSDCA has been assigned four core
functions, amongst others:
Policy Development Forum and Interface Mechanism: To serve as a policy
development Forum that would enable productive interface among policy
organs of the AU and the elaboration and advancement of common values
2. Link with Civil Society:To serve as a bridge to link
and bring civil society into the mainstream of activities and decision
making within the African Union.
3. Link with Diaspora :To promote relations with the
African Diaspora with a view to ensuring their contribution to the implementation
of CSSDCA and wider AU goals and objectives.
4. Monitoring and Evaluation: The Assembly of Heads of
States and Governments at its First Standing Conference on the CSSDCA
in Durban, South Africa, reaffirmed the centrality of the CSSDCA as a
monitoring and evaluation mechanism of the African Union (AHG/1/Dec. 175
Programs and activities
made so far is as follows
: Policy Development Forum
The first task of the Process was to undertake the detailed discussion
of the four calabashes of the CSSDCA as required by the Lomé Summit.
This Process was designed to initiate one the key cardinal functions of
the CSSDCA to serve as a policy development forum. The work began in earnest.
Two Experts meetings were convened.
b. The First experts’ meeting on the Development
and Cooperation Calabashes that met in South Africa from 10 – 17
December 2001 focused on the development component of the Process, while
the second one which met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from May 10-14 2002,
on the Security and Stability Calabashes addressed the peace and security
c. Each conference was preceded by preparation of expert
papers on each calabash. The presentation on security for example began
with an assessment of the state security on the continent, the reasons
why the continent is facing this situation, the problems and challenges
inherent in it and strategies for seeking solutions and how it interacts
with demands in the other calabashes. This provided a framework for the
detailed discussion that produced a Memorandum of Understanding that sets
out core values and commitments that must guide understanding in this
sphere and key performance indicators for evaluating compliance with the
commitments, as well as, a framework for implementation and monitoring
performance. The Memoranda of Understanding in the four areas was then
consolidated into a single memorandum that was subsequently approved by
the Summit of African Leaders in Durban in July 2002 on the eve of the
launching of the African Union.
d. As part of the process of preparing for the detailed discussion,
the CSSDCA undertook an assessment of the work programme of the secretariat
in various areas. Consequently, the CSSDCA Memorandum of Understanding
assigned responsibility to the different organs of the Union to work with
the CSSDCA Unit to achieve certain concrete targets within specific time
e. Since the Durban Summit, the CSSDCA Unit has commenced
work as an interface mechanism to work with the different departments
to achieve desired goals within specific times limits. The Unit collaborated
with the Directorate of Political Affairs to finalise the Draft African
Charter on Elections, Governance and Democracy as demanded by the CSSDCA
Memorandum of Understanding and Summit Decision of July 2002, as well
as the Draft AU Guidelines for Elections Observation and Monitoring missions.
The Unit was also involved in the African Conference on Elections, Governance
and Democracy in Africa held in Pretoria, South Africa, from 7-10 April
2003 to appraise the document.The Unit has collaborated with the Peace
and Security Directorate to facilitate the achievement of targets on the
agenda of terrorism and is currently working with the same Directorate
to achieve similar objectives in the sphere of illegal exploitation of
resources. Moreover, the CSSDCA Unit in concert with the Directorates
of Economic Affairs and Trade and Industry organised the 1st AGOA Civil
Society Forum in Port Louis, Mauritius in association with several African
and Western NGOs led by the Foundation of Democracy in Washington and
the Mauritius Council for Social Services (MACOSS). The CSSDCA Unit worked
closely with and continues to work with the Directorate of Social Affairs
in the elaboration of the Diaspora agenda.
Link with Civil Society
f. The requirement of mainstreaming civil society in
the activities and process of decision-making in the Union has been given
utmost priority. The OAU/AU held two major civil society conferences in
June 2001 and June 2002 respectively. The 2nd OAU-Civil Society Conference
of 11-14 June 2002 established a Provisional Working Group to facilitate
interaction between the AU and the CSOs in the interim period of two years.
The Working Group was constituted to work closely with the CSSDCA Unit
towards performing the following tasks, namely, preparing a criteria for
the accreditation and affiliation of African Civil Society Groups within
the continent, participate in the formulation of possible modalities relating
to the participation of civil society in ECOSOCC and other relevant civil
society organisations, develop a Code of Conduct and Ethics for CSOs and
assist in the formulation of a plan of action relation the CSO activities
and contributions to the OAU/AU.
g. The 1st AU-Civil Society Provisional Working Group
meeting was held in Accra, Ghana, from 23-25 October 2002 to consider
drafts of Code of Conduct and Ethic for CSOs and criteria for accreditation
and affiliation of African Civil Society Organisations. The meeting also
discussed modalities relating to the participation of civil society in
ECOSOCC and other relevant process of the CSSDCA, strategies for assisting
in resource mobilisation and popularisation of the AU and a plan of action
for CSO activities and contributions to the AU and forging networks.
h. Thereafter, the AU Commission established a Working
Group to prepare the draft Statutes of Economic, Social and Cultural Council
(ECOSOCC). Following this, the CSSDCA Unit convened the second statutory
meeting of the AU-Civil Society Provisional Working Group in Addis Ababa,
Ethiopia, from 11-13 June 2003 to finalise the Draft Code of Conducts
and Ethics for CSOs and the criteria for accreditation and affiliation
of African Civil Society Organisations. The Provisional Working Group
also discussed modalities relating to the participation of civil society
organisations and professional and social groups in the Economic, Social
and Cultural Council and the Draft Statute of ECOSOCC as part of the preparation,
for the second Summit of the AU in Maputo, Mozambique in July 2003.
The Diaspora Agenda
i. In furtherance of its agenda of reaching out the African civil
society and in pursuance of Lusaka Summit Decision on the establishment
of a strategic policy of Migration in Africa (CM/Dec. 614 (LXIIV), the
CSSDCA Unit organized the 1st AU-Western Hemisphere Diaspora Forum in
Washington DC, USA, from December 17-19 2002.
j. The objectives of the Forum were to examine the enduring
ties to Africa within the Western Hemisphere Diaspora communities, discuss
possible capacity building projects by Diaspora civil society, devise
a plan of ongoing collaboration with the African Union, including a plan
of action and a hemisphere steering committee. The Forum came out with
specific plans and recommendations, which the Commission is working to
implement. Experts Working Groups were also established to support the
AU agenda in the areas of health, education, economic development, etc.
k. The meeting was important outreach event that created
an effective platform for linking the Diaspora with the programmes and
objectives of the African Union.
l. The Diaspora Agenda received further impetus when
the Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Assembly of Heads of States and Government
of the African Union that met in Addis Ababa on February 3, 2003 adopted
amendment 3(q) to the constitute Act of the Union that recognised the
African Diaspora as an important component of the Union.
m. There has been further developments. Prominent international
financial Institutions have expressed support for this programme. Representatives
of the AU (CSSDCA Unit) and the FDA were invited to Washington DC to make
a presentation including plans and programme for support on April 16,
2003. The Senior Coordinator of the CSSDCA and the Civil Society Officer
were part of this delegation. The discussions ended on a positive and
encouraging note. Expectations are that this will produce concrete results
in the very near future.
n. The nature and outcome of the development and prosecution
of the Diaspora agenda was presented to the Executive Council of the Union
that met in Sun City, South Africa, from 21-24 May 2003. The Council encouraged
the Commission to pursue its engagement with the Diaspora in the Americas
and Europe and expand its contacts to representatives of other regions
such as the Gulf countries and Asia. The Council also supported the initiative
of the Commission to convene a technical workshop as soon as possible,
to develop a concept paper and generate proposals on the relations between
the AU and the Diaspora.
o. The proposed workshop would also address the following
issues: The definition of the Diaspora; the role of the Diaspora in reversing
African braindrain in line with the NEPAD recommendations; the modalities
for the creation of a Diaspora fund for investment and development in
Africa; the modalities for the development of scientific and technical
networks to channel the repatriation of scientific knowledge from the
Diaspora to Africa, and the establishment of cooperation between those
abroad and at home; the establishment of a Diaspora database to promote
and facilitate networking and collaboration between experts in their respective
countries of origin and those in the Diaspora.
p. The CSSDCA Unit is already engaged in plans to organize
this workshop as part of its work programme.
Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanism
q. A major shortcoming of Africa’s undertaking has been
the lack of an autonomous evaluation mechanism. Such a situation has led
to the lengthening of the period of implementation of major programmes
such as the Lagos Plan of Action and the Abuja Treaty establishing the
African Economic Community.
r. The CSSDCA Process was designed inter-alia, to fill
this lacuna. Accordingly, The 1st Standing Conference of the Assembly
of Heads of State and Government that met in Durban, South Africa, on
8 July 2002, adopted a Memorandum of Understanding that sets forth core
values, key commitments and benchmarks or performance indicators in the
areas of peace, security, stability, development and cooperation, based
on decisions and resolutions adopted by the continental organisations
since its establishment in 1963. This Memorandum of Understanding provides
a monitoring and evaluation process for the African Union to assess progress
over any period of time in the implementation of decisions and commitments
undertaken by Member States and to collectively translate into concrete,
achievable and measurable results, the vision of the organisation in the
area of peace, security, development and integration.
s. The CSSDCA Memorandum of Understanding that was approved
by the Durban Summit directed the CSSDCA Unit to elaborate a work programme
and time schedule for its activities including, administrative arrangements
and diagnostic tools and measurement criteria for assessing performance
as well as deficiencies and capacity restraints that impede them.
t. To implement this directive, the CSSDCA Unit organized
a Technical Workshop in Abuja, Nigeria, from 2-4 June 2003, that brought
together experts in a number of areas covered by the CSSDCA Memorandum
of Understanding, representing African and International, Intergovernmental
and Civil Society Organizations, representatives of the Regional Economic
Communities, Ambassadors from Addis Ababa and representatives of various
directorates in the Commission.
The Workshop addressed the institutional and administrative requirements
of monitoring and evaluation, at the national, sub-regional and regional
level, the sources of data for monitoring and evaluation, the issue of
timelines and prioritization of indicators as contained in the Memorandum
of Understanding, and the question of overlap between the monitoring processes
of the CSSDCA and the African Peer Review Mechanism of the New Partnership
for Africa’s Development NEPAD.
The Workshop made a number of recommendations for moving the process forward.
The Workshop recommended that the monitoring and evaluation process should
be better popularized and that a joint forum of NEPAD/CSSDCA Secretariat
should be convened to clarify relationships and harmonize activities.
In addition, it requested that civil society should be assigned a constructive
role in the monitoring and evaluation process, while expert groups could
be convened to support the CSSDCA in the refinement of its diagnostic
Certain fundamental risks and assumptions underline the monitoring and
evaluation process of the CSSDCA. One is a willingness and readiness on
the part of Member States to support and to take necessary actions to
implement the programme. This implies a commitment to establish, inter-alia,
national mechanisms and work programmes to prosecute the agenda and to
cooperate with the continental mechanism for this purpose. Third is a
commitment to democratisation and the requirements for development that
underline the process. Fourth is a devotion to promoting efficiency in
the next African Union.
The relationship with NEPAD has also been proceeding apace. The
Senior Coordinator of the CSSDCA has served as a representative of the
Interim Chairperson on the Steering Committee of NEPAD and has been intensely
involved in the development of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM)
of NEPAD and the NEPAD process in general. Early relations were characterised
by suspicions and misunderstanding but this has been clarified and the
CSSDCA has been given some responsibilities under the APRM process in
the sphere of political governance.
Similarly, the African Review Mechanism (APRM) Process through the HSIC
Communiqué of 2 November 2003, has underlined the need for AU Member
States to abide with obligatory decisions of the Union in the sphere of
political governance which falls under the preview of the CSSDCA. Discussions
have been initiated with a view to rationalise overlaps and greater coordination
between the CSSDCA and NEPAD secretariats. The Organisation and the Procedures
document of the NEPAD APRM directs the NEPAD secretariat to work closely
with the CSSDCA Unit in the implementation of its agenda. This should
enable the continent to work towards the harmonisation of its monitoring
and evaluation process.
z. It should be noted however, that the overlap of CSSDCA
and NEPAD functions are largely in the area of monitoring and evaluation.
The CSSDCA has critical functions highlighted above – the need to
serve as a framework for the adoption and sustainability of common values,
interface mechanism, the task of mainstreaming civil society and the Diaspora,
which are not purposes of NEPAD as a socio-economic programme. Even the
monitoring and evaluation mechanisms as currently conceived have radical
differences but this particular area could be streamlined, first through
coordination and cooperation and second, through harmonisation of instruments
and methods to promote cost-efficiency.
sub-Departments and their description
& Stability Calabashes Desk
- Development & Cooperation Calabashes Desk
The CSSDCA is divided
into four components called calabashes of Security, Stability, Development
and Cooperation which are to work through a set of principles and plan
- Civil Society
The appointment of
a Civil Society Officer within the CSSDCA Unit is the culmination of sustained
commitment of the AU to work in collaboration with civil society organizations
as key partners in efforts for peace, security, stability, good governance,
regional integration and development in Africa. This was emphasized in
the program of reform and renewal submitted by the Secretary-General of
the OAU to the Council of Ministers and the Summit in 1997, in Harare,
Zimbabwe, and reiterated in the CSSDCA Process adopted by the 37th Summit
of OAU Heads of State and Government in Lome, Togo, in July 2001.
- To enable the AU
commission strengthen its partnerships with CSOs within a clear legal
and political framework, towards the full realization of the goals of
the Constitutive Act of the AU, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
on the CSSDCA and other commitments of the AU
- To provide consultative, working and networking opportunities for CSOs
in Africa, so as to facilitate greater participation in the African Union
and the Regional Economic Communities, (RECs);
- To develop a complementarity of roles between Civil Society, the AU
and African Governments towards the transformation of African States in
relation to the challenges of democracy, good governance, and sustainable
- To help CSOs enhance their legitimacy and acceptance by African countries
and regional organizations;