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November 19, 2015 to November 22, 2015

Notice of Information Upcoming Convention of Diaspora Stakeholders Convention on Washington DC 19-22 November 2015

The ECOSOCC Secretariat in CIDO wishes to announce the upcoming event of an ECOSOCC Stakeholders Convention on the Diaspora in Washington DC from 19-22 November 2015. The event will be held at Best Western Plus Hotel and Conference Centre, Baltimore, Maryland; with the official opening ceremony at the African Union Mission in Washington DC.

The Convention is designed to offer an appraisal of the status quo on the outcomes of the Diaspora Summit and ideas and practical suggestions on how to move forward. These outcomes will then be cross-substantiated and cross fertilized with the views coming from regional consultations and from other parts of the world and the perspective of Member States of the AU and relevant sectorial, regional and continental actors to map the way forward. The outcomes of the Convention will also be reviewed by the principal organs of ECOSOCC that will then decide on practical recommendations that will be processed for consideration of executive policy organs.

The primary group of Stakeholders at the convention will be civil society groups from the USA. However, the Convention has also attracted some important participants from other areas around the world.

The plans and preparations for the Convention have been managed primarily by Ms. Evelyn Joe, the Special Adviser to the ECOSOCC Presiding Officer on the Diaspora, with some program guidance and support from the ECOSOCC Bureau and Standing Committee Members and the ECOSOCC Secretariat.

For further details, please visit www.globalafricadiaspora.org; Ms. Evelyn Joe at 1-240-706-6885; africanservices@aol.com. Subsidiary information may be obtained from Mr. Kyeretwie Osei: Oseik@africa-union.org and Ms. Tsebaot Aberra: TsebaotA@africa-union.org at the ECOSOCC Secretariat.

Schedule of Events:

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Venue: African Union Mission, Washington, DC

- Opening Ceremonies and Welcome Reception

Friday, November 20, 2015

Venue: Best Western Plus Hotel and Conference Centre, Baltimore, Maryland

- General Assembly

- Thematic Workshops

- Business Networking Session

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Venue: Best Western Plus Hotel and Conference Centre, Baltimore, Maryland

- General Assembly

- Diaspora Townhall

- Award Gala

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Venue: Best Western Plus Hotel and Conference Centre, Baltimore, Maryland

- Adoption of Recommendations

- Closing Ceremony

Directorate of Information and Communication
Directorate of Information and Communication | Information and Communication | African Union Commission

Tel: +251-11-5517700 | Fax: | E-mail: DIC@africa-union.org | Web:www.au.int

Addis Ababa | Ethiopia

November 17, 2015

Communiqué on PAADN

Landmark: The Launch of the Pan African-Australasia Diaspora Network (PAADN), Melbourne, Victoria,6 November 2015

The implementation of the Declaration of the Global African Diaspora Summit reached another objective landmark with the launch of the Pan-African Australasia Diaspora network by the African Union (AU) in Melbourne, Victoria, 6 November 2015.

This was in fulfillment of Article I A(F) of the Declaration that stressed the need to “create platforms for closer interaction, solidarity and effective cooperation between and amongst governments and civil society of African and its Diaspora including continuation of Regional Consultative Conference and consolidation of Regional Network as partners and interlocutors for the implementation of the outcome of the Global Diaspora Summit(italics). It was also in conformity with Article IA(k) of the same which “Encouraged the Diaspora to organize themselves in regional networks and establish appropriate mechanisms their will enable their increasing participation in the affairs of the African Union.”

The Launch of the Network

The launch of the Network in Australia was a very colorful event which mirrored and even replicated the framework of Global African Diaspora Summit held in Sandton, South Africa on 12 May 2012. It brought together over 100 participants from about 20 nationalities drawn largely from Australia, Asia and Oceania but also including representatives and invited guests from the five different regions of the African continent. Specifically, this included important figures from the business sectors, academia, sports, entertainment, parliamentarians, police and security officials, public servants, the media, civil society, etc.

Present at the event were the key political figures from all shades of the Victorian political community. This included Hon. Robin Scott, MP, Minister for Multicultural Affairs who represented the Government and the Premier, Hon. Matthew Guy, MP and Leader of the Opposition Party, Hon. Telmo Ramon Languiller MP, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and Hon Bruce Atkinson MLC, President of the Legislative Council and Andrew Crisp, Assistant Commissioner of Police. Also in attendance were Members of the African Diplomatic Community in Australia, notably H.E. Mr. George Zulu, the High Commissioner of Zambia, Ms. Heide Goldeberg, Consul of Botswana and Mr. Trent Smith, Consul of Malawi, amongst others.

Celebrate African-Australian Event

The launch was accompanied by a Celebrate Africa-Australia event at which awards were presented to African nominees in various categories that had distinguished themselves in critical areas of Australian social, economic and political life and citizens and representatives of institutions from the African continent that had similar accomplishments. Awards were also given to Australian luminaries that have done much to promote Africa-Australian relations. Some of the Award Categories include the African Community Female Leader of the Year Award, African Pioneer of the Year, African Australians Excellence Award, Business Model Leader of the Year Award, Champions Award, Emerging Footy Award, African Community Philanthropic Organization of the Year Award, the Outstanding Female Performance of the Year Award and Honorary Friends of the African Award.

The Launch dinner and Gala events included musical events, dances and cultural presentations from various parts of Africa. A special award was given to the Citizens and Diaspora Organizations Directorate of the AU Commission (CIDO) in recognition of its work and contribution to the cause of building a global community in the African Union that will help to consolidate the Australia-Asia-African relations and promotion of African interests worldwide.

Discussion and Presentations

Speakers from various events from the AU, Victorian Parliament, civil society and Australasia highlighted the need to use PAADN and the Celebrate Australian African annual events as a framework for consolidating relations between Africa, Australia and Asia. This include the Minister for Multicultural Affairs who stood in for the Premier and the Leader of Opposition. A preceding meeting with the speaker of the Legislative Assembly and AUC staff ,led by the Director, Dr. Jinmi Adisa and attended by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr. Anthony Okara, underlined the significant contribution that Australians of African origin were making to the development of Australian society and the need to explore and strengthen the framework of relationship between Australia and the African Union. Specific areas for collaboration were identified and this included Education, Mining, Agriculture, Science and Technology among others. Hon. Richard Marles, Federal MP and important figure in the Labour Opposition, who also interacted with the AU team, recalled his contacts with African Leaders and Africa’s support for Australians successful demand for a Security Council seat. He stressed the need to build on this platform. He saw Africa as the present future for Australia just in the same way that Asia was its future in the 1940s. He urged the need to set the basis for getting things right in this perspective.

Mr. Sisay Dinku, the National Executive and Victoria State Coordinator stressed at the event that the objective of the Australasia Diaspora was to connect effectively with the African homeland to support Africa’s development agenda. He observed the Australasia Africans were not out just to seek self-benefit. They thought much in terms of what can be done for African rather than what Africa could do for them. He thanked various sponsors drawn from within and outside Australia particularly from the African continent for supporting the event. Australians, he added, take very seriously the mandate of global Diaspora Summit that underscored the need for self-help in organization in adherence with the AU.

His sentiments were echoed by Mr. Nze-Bertram who underlined AU’s global responsibility and noted that Diaspora groups would not set out to be burdensome in this context. What is required is meaningful collaboration with AU structures in a framework of common identity and mutual interests. Responding, the Director of CIDO, Dr. Adisa praised the PAADN network members for their integrity of purpose and the mutuality of their concern and interests. He observed that their strong ties with the cream of Victorian society and Australasia and Africans across the depth and breadth of the different layers of society places them at an advantage as effective interlocutors within the context of the implementation of the Declaration of the Global African Diaspora Summit. He noted that the launch of the Network was a crucial phase but one that simply sets the stage for the greater work to come in Africa’s march towards integration and development.

The launch was concluded with the composition of the PADN Steering Community including the following:

- John Nze-Bertram - Founder & Facilitator; and Administering Chairperson PAADN's Diplomats Group, Entrepreneurs Group, and Youths Group

- Mr Sisay Dinku - Chairperson, PAADN's Human Rights and Immigration Group

- Mrs Maria Osman - Chairperson, PAADN's Women's Group

- Dr Apollo Nsubuga-Kyobe - Chairperson, Community Leaders Group

- Dr Chika Anyanwu - Chairperson, PAADN's Academics Group

- Mr David Malinda - Chairperson, PAADN's Professionals Group

- Mrs Elleni Bereded-Samuel - PAADN's Board Member

- Dr. Mimmie Claudine Ngum Chi Watts - PAADN's Board Member

Directorate of Information and Communication
Directorate of Information and Communication | Information and Communication | African Union Commission

Tel: +251-11-5517700 | Fax: | E-mail: DIC@africa-union.org | Web:www.au.int

Addis Ababa | Ethiopia

November 12, 2015

Communiqué of the Constitutive Meeting of the Core Group for the Operationalization of the Gender Cluster, 17-18 October 2015,
Nairobi, Kenya

Introduction

The ECOSOCC Women and Gender Cluster held its Constitutive Meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, from 17-18 October 2015. The main purpose of the meeting was to establish the framework for operationalizing the cluster in pursuance of the provisions of Article 11 of the ECOSOCC Statutes that assigned priority to Sectoral Clusters as the main operational mechanisms of the organ and the consequent decisions of the executive Organs of the 2nd Permanent General Assembly of ECOSOCC to ensure the practical realization of this cardinal objective.

Official Opening

The opening session began with four main statements and addresses. The Chairperson of the ECOSOCC Women and Gender Cluster, Ms. Fatma Mehdi began by welcoming all members and participants. She thanked everyone for honoring her invitation and highlighted the main purpose and objectives of the meeting. She observed that the program was crowded but expressed confidence in the ability of members of the Cluster to fully address its needs and requirements. Subsequently, the ECOSOCC Presiding Officer, Mr. Joseph Chilengi and the Director of CIDO and Head of ECOSOCC Secretariat, Dr Jinmi Adisa underlined the historic significance of the meeting. They noted that this was the first time in eleven years since ECOSOCC was established that clusters were being operationalized even though the Statutes had assigned this function as an overriding priority. Both speakers then offered advise and suggestions on how the Cluster could best achieve its aims and objectives. They stressed the relative autonomy of cluster operations as long as it served the objective purpose of the organ and remained intimately linked with constituencies in both the African civil society community and the greater family of the African Union. Finally, the Special Guest of the occasion, HE Mr. Bah El-Mehdi, the Ambassador of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) underscored the importance that AU Member States attached to the ECOSOCC agenda. He urged the cluster to work constructively and produce meaningful results that will foster development and emancipation of the African people.

Discussions

The meeting then continued in working sessions over a two day period. The discussions produced a roadmap involving the elaboration of the mandate of the cluster, its priorities, structure and framework of membership, financing, partnership and communication support requirements etc.

Outcomes, Decisions and Recommendations

The core cluster committee, deliberated on the various issues in the agenda and work plan in a two days meeting. It concluded with the following decisions and recommendations:

A. On the Mandate of the cluster:
As per Article 11 of the of the Statutes of the ECOSOCC of the African Union on the Sectoral Custer Committees and specifically Article 11 (I) on Women and Gender the cluster decides to expand the scope of work as per the mandate of Women and Gender to read as follows: Women and Gender: (Women; Climate Change; Arts; Trade, Research and Development; Integration, Food Security; Education; Health; Peace and Security; Cultural, Economic and Financial inclusion; and all other issues where Gender and development is a cross-cutting issue)

B. On the Structure of the Cluster:
i. The Working Group will be composed of all female members of the ECOSOCC General Assembly and committed male members.
ii. The cluster will establish a Coordinating Team. The Coordination team will be composed of the following: (a) One (1) Cluster Chairperson; (b) One (1) Secretary of the Cluster; (c) One (1) Communication Focal Point; (d) One (1) Research Focal Point; (e) One (1) Liaison for the Gender Department; (f) One (1) Regional Coordinator representative from each of the five regions; (g) One (1) nominated representative from Pan African Parliament (PAP), African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and African Commission on Human and People Rights (ACHPR)
iii. The cluster will also form Regional Groups in each of the 5 AU regions under the Regional Coordinators whose responsibility is to liaise with appropriate CSOs networks in the areas.
iv. The cluster has the right to Invite Experts whenever need arises and on the burning theme of the Year or period

C. On the Frequency of Meetings:

i. The cluster shall hold a general meeting no less than once a year to plan and review and discuss matters arising
ii. Extraordinary meetings shall be held to revise or make decisions in matters which are deemed urgent

D. On the Functions of the cluster:

i. Mobilize and undertake missions when necessary to advance the agenda of women as per the mandate above.
ii. Ensure that Women and Men are targeted in both urban and rural areas
iii. Dedicate one flagship project to address the Women and gender motif of the year
iv. Embark on ways to ensure transformative power structures through innovative means
v. Resort to innovative ways to address gender stereo types
vi. Lend particular attention to entrepreneurship as mean for strengthening and empowering of women financially, politically and economically
vii. Liaise closely with different ECOSOCC Clusters Committees to advance Women and Gender agenda

E. On Advisory Opinions and Research:

i. Advisory opinions shall be issued on matters pertaining to the mandate of women and gender
ii. The opinions shall be issued in accordance with the Statutes of ECOSOCC and its rules of procedure
iii. At least one advisory opinion and report shall be issued annually to review the achievements and challenges of women as per the AU theme of the year
iv. A focal point(s) of the core cluster will be selected and tasked with the responsibility of reviewing the impact of the AU theme of the AU on Women and Gender
v. All reports and advisory opinions should provide a balanced opinion of both practitioners and researchers

F. On global Observance days:

i. Commemoration of global days such as 08 March as Women’s day, Africa Union day, 24 November …….etc. shall be observed by the Cluster.
ii. Commemorations shall be celebrated by issuing a statement and conduct region-wise activities
iii. Activities may vary to address the pertinent issues in each region

G. On the Annual Women and Gender Pre-summit:

i. Organize annual pre-summit for women in collaboration with relevant clusters, departments, organs of the union and any other relevant actors.
ii. Ensure that youth and particularly young women are a part of the pre-summit
iii. Ensure that men too are included. This shall include young men and committed men.
iv. Selection should ensure that grass-roots are targeted and that the female male ratio for participation should be set at 60:40 ratio

H. On the Work plan:
The cluster has adopted a work plan with activities for the time period of November 2015 –December 2016. (Enclosed)

I. On Communications:
i. Utilize the website of ECOSOCC and particularly the Women and Gender as the main tool for communication
ii. Embark on the use of social media as a platform for outreach
iii. Popularize Agenda 2063 and the SDGs through the use of the different communications channels.
J. On Partnerships:
i. The cluster should strengthen linkages within ECOSCC through the clusters for purposes of complementarity and effectiveness
ii. Establish and/or enhance cooperation with the relevant AUC departments and AU Organs, such as the Women and Gender Directorate
iii. Establish and/r enhance cooperation with the African and International Institutions and Actors
iv. Utilize the existing platforms at the national and regional levels including the ECOSOCC national chapter, Regional Economic Communities.
v. Expand partnerships with the wider African Civil Society Networks

K. On Financing:

i. The cluster shall explore opportunities for cooperation and mobilizing resources with relevant actors
ii. Ensure that such cooperation is in accordance with the Statutes of the ECOSOCC of the AU.

October 28, 2015
CIDO meets delegation from Government of Liberia to discuss support on Liberian Diaspora Engagement Program (LDEP)
October 28, 2015

Press Release Nº 310/2015

CIDO meets delegation from Government of Liberia to discuss support on Liberian Diaspora Engagement Program (LDEP)

Addis Ababa 26 October 2015: Mr. Ahmed El Basheer, Head of Diaspora Division, Mr. Jalel Chelba, Head of Civil Society Division and officers from the Diaspora Division met with a delegation from the Government of the Republic of Liberia. The delegation was headed by Hon. Anthony Quiwonkpa, Deputy Minister of State Without Portfolio; and also included Mr. Lloyd Scott, Program Coordinator of the Liberia Diaspora Engagement Program (LDEP), Mr. Paye S. Gbelayan, Director of Investment Promotion of the National Investment Commission of Liberia, Mr. Edwin Kakia, Director for Policy Appraisal and Evaluation of the Ministry of Education as well as Mr. Moiba Fofana from the Embassy of Liberia to Ethiopia.

The meeting discussed ways to enhance the Liberia Diaspora Engagement policy which is currently under development following the recent formation of a diaspora unit within the Office of the President. The office was established following endorsement by the Liberian cabinet in 2010 . The Head of Diaspora Division emphasized the key roles the diaspora can play in the development of their countries. The meeting shared the best practices in mapping and mobilizing the diaspora and helped identify priority areas and develop policies and programs aimed at leveraging the Liberian diaspora for the development of the country.

CIDO also briefed the delegation on the activities of the directorate and the support that CIDO can provide to advance the LDEP in Liberia. The two parties agreed to continue working together towards common goals including the assignment of a national diaspora focal point in Liberia as per the First 10-Year Implementation Plan of AU Agenda 2063.

In addition, the Head of the Civil Society Division encouraged the Liberian delegation to support the internal mobilization of Liberian civil society organizations for elections and participation in the ECOSOCC General Assembly.

For further information contact

Directorate of Information and Communication | African Union Commission I E-mail: dic@african- union.org I Web Site: www.au.int I Addis Ababa | Ethiopia

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Directorate of Information and Communication
Directorate of Information and Communication | Information and Communication | African Union Commission

Tel: +251-11-5517700 | Fax: | E-mail: DIC@africa-union.org | Web:www.au.int

Addis Ababa | Ethiopia

October 23, 2015

CIDO met with a delegation of the Malawian Government on setting up a Diaspora engagement policy
Addis Ababa 22 October 2015: Dr. Jinmi Adisa, Director of CIDO, Mr. Ahmed El Basheer, Head of Diaspora Division and the Diaspora officers met with a delegation of the Malawi government. The delegation was headed by Ms. Gloria Bamusi, Assistant Director of Political Affairs and focal point for Diaspora in addition to Mr. Aubrey Kabisala, Principal Foreign Service Officer and Mr. Joseph Mpango, Foreign Service officer to the AU as well as representatives from the Malawi embassy and the International Centre for Migration policy development.
The meeting discussed ways to enhance the Malawian Diaspora Engagement policy that is currently being drafted. CIDO director emphasized the key roles the diaspora can play in the development of their countries. The aim of the meeting was to assist the delegation of the Malawi government to identify the priority areas and develop policies aimed at leveraging the Malawian diaspora and the African community at large for the development of the country.
CIDO also briefed the delegation on the activities of the directorate and the support that CIDO can provide to advance the diaspora policy in Malawi. The two parties agreed to continue working together towards the common goals including assigning of national diaspora focal points in all member states as per Agenda 2063 and the 10 year implementation plan.

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