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ECOSOCC elects new Bureau Members at the 3rd Permanent General Assembly

ECOSOCC elects new Bureau Members at the 3rd Permanent General Assembly

December 12, 2018

12 December 2018 – Nairobi, Kenya - The Economic, Social & Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) of the African Union (AU) has elected Mr. Abozer Elmana Elligai from Sudan as its new Presiding Officer. Mr Elmana is the Vice-president and co-founder of Maarij Foundation for Peace and Development (MFPD), an international non-governmental organization based in Sudan. The election took place on Tuesday 11 December 2018, during the 1st Ordinary Session of the 3rd Permanent General Assembly (GA) of ECOSOCC held in Nairobi, Kenya.

The General Assembly was convened in line with Article 9(3) of the ECOSOCC Statutes, which requires the General Assembly to convene in Ordinary Session. The GA took place after the composite elections of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) held on 8 December 2018, during which 72 new CSOs were elected into the 3rd GA. Over 240 CSOs from African countries that had submitted their application.

The new ECOSOCC Bureau members include a Presiding Officer and Four Deputy Presiding Officers from the five regions as follows:

• Presiding Officer - Mr. Abozer Elmana Elligai - (Sudan-Eastern Africa Region).
• Deputy Presiding Officer– Ms. Djibrine Amakher (Chad-Central Africa Region).
• Deputy Presiding Officer– Mr. Khalid Boudali (Morocco-Northern Africa Region).
• Deputy Presiding Officer– Mr. Patson Malisa - (South Africa-Southern African Region).
• Deputy Presiding Officer– Mr. Francis Akpa (Togo-Western Africa Region).

The newly elected Presiding Officer takes over from Mr. Richard Ssewakiryanga from the Uganda National NGO Forum, who has served as Presiding Officer of ECOSOCC for a single term of two years and declined to apply for a second term.

The elections of the new members of ECOSOCC as well as the Bureau were facilitated by the African Union’s Office of the Legal Counsel with the support of the Kenyan Electoral Commission. The process of the GA was facilitated by the Citizens and Diaspora Directorate (CIDO), in its capacity as ECOSOCC Secretariat with the support of other AUC Departments.

The 3rd General Assembly has drawn participation from AU Member states, the Regional Economic Communities (RECs); and African diaspora organizations. Ninety-one (91) voters representing different African NGOs, took part in the election process.

It is worth noting that ECOSOCC is an advisory body of the AU whose purpose as an organ in AU is to give civil society organizations a platform to contribute their input in the AU institutions and decision-making processes, in various projects and programmes. ECOSOCC is made up of CSOs from a wide range of sectors including labour, business and professional groups, service providers and policy think tanks, both from within Africa and the African diaspora.

The newly elected members of the ECOSOCC took oath of office in the presence of the Director of CIDO, Mr. Ahmed El-Basheer El-Madani, the African Union Commission’s Legal Counsel and the outgoing Standing Committee members.

The new bureau members in their statement committed to bear allegiance to the African Union and to the ECOSOCC while preserving, protecting and defending the Constitutive Act of the Union.

In his remarks, the incoming Presiding Officer Mr. Abozer Elmana Elligai expressed his optimism that during his tenure, ECOSOCC will have a united General Assembly working together to ensure that the organ works with the African Union Commission as a partner towards Africa’s development. He also assured all the participants that as the Presiding Officer, he will ensure a smooth transition process in the relocation of the organ’s Secretariat to the Republic of Zambia, and promised that the organ’s reform process will be concluded within a short period and submitted to Member States for consideration.

On his part, the outgoing Presiding Officer Mr. Richard Ssewakiryanga expressed his appreciation to the Bureau and Standing Committee members whom he worked with during his tenure. Mr. Ssewakiryanga also underscored that he is leaving office with the expectation that the incoming Bureau members will be committed to continue the good work initiated by their predecessors.

Speaking on behalf of HE Moussa Faki Mahamat, the AUC Chairperson, CIDO Director, Mr. Ahmed El-Basheer appreciated the decorum with which the elections were conducted. He also appreciated that the elections were conducted in a fair, impartial and transparent manner. He further commended the cordial and democratic atmosphere of the elections and appreciated the unopposed election of 4 among the 5 ECOSOCC Bureau members. Mr El-Basheer called on the outgoing Bureau members to keep supporting the new office-bearers to ensure a smooth transition and progressive roll out of tasks for the overall effectiveness of the organ.

For more information contact:
Mr. William Carew
Regional Policy Officer

Ernest Kaliza
Communication Consultant