The African Union (AU) has expressed willingness to work with local civil society organisations (CSOs) in its affairs, including promotion of annual themes and the drive towards Agenda 2063.
AU Southern Africa regional delegate, Auguste Ngomo, said this last week when he held a dialogue with representatives of CSOs under the Malawi National Advocacy Platform (NAP) for the State of the Union (Sotu) programme.
According to Sotu brief notes, Ngomo commended the work being undertaken by the CSOs and added that due to its non-interference policy, working directly with the CSOs and citizens would help create a critical mass that could hold the organisation and its member States accountable to fulfill commitments made.
Sotu executive director Edward Chileka Banda said in an interview the CSOs representatives told the AU official that Sotu’s greatest motivation was to see the African Union and its member States implementing decisions for the benefit of ordinary citizens.
He said: “Additionally, the platform highlighted some challenges facing the implementation of AU charters at national level that include lack of effective citizen and CSO participation, poor popularisation and lack of strong monitoring and enforcement mechanisms for the implementation of AU charters.”
During the dialogue, the parties agreed to enhance collaboration around the promotion of active citizen participation, widening CSOs window in engaging AU, strengthening monitoring and enforcement mechanisms and capacity building through information sharing and networking.
Meanwhile, the AU regional delegate has invited two local CSOs leaders, through the National Platform, to sit on the Southern Africa Group for the Agenda 2063.
The dialogue was initiated by the AU Regional Office following the National Citizen Conference on Human Rights and Governance held in Blantyre three weeks to engage around the theme 2016: African Year of Human Rights with particular focus on rights of women.