TANZANIA : THE government has affirmed and reiterated its unflagging commitment to fostering a vibrant and robust engagement with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) across the nation.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Ambassador Samwel Shelukindo said in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday that the government under President Samia Suluhu Hassan attaches a great importance to the work of CSOs that have been supporting its developmental endeavours.
Dr Shelukindo made the remarks when opening a two-day popularisation and awareness raising workshop of the African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council (AU ECOSOCC).
He pledged the government’s support to the Council in many areas of engagements as well as to the operationalisation of the ECOSOCC National Chapter for Tanzania to ensure that the voices of African citizenry are well reflected into the work of the AU.
“The government of Tanzania, therefore, wishes to re-affirm and reiterate its unflagging commitment to fostering a vibrant and robust engagement with Civil Society Organisations across our nation; our support to ECOSOCC in many areas of engagements; as well as to the operationalisation of the ECOSOCC National Chapter for Tanzania to ensure that the voices of African citizenry are well reflected into the work of the African Union,” promised Ambassador Shelukindo.
He noted that the role of CSOs in today’s development is crucial to realise participation of citizens in all projects and programmes aimed at increasing economic growth.
To this effect, he said, the workshop among others, is crucial to enhance collaboration so as to collectively address issues of mutual interests.
“Therefore, as we are looking forward to improving civil society participation and partnership with the African Union, this workshop will create a dynamic momentum towards a productive and effective Civil Society Organisations.
“Therefore, as we embark on this journey of knowledge exchange, empowerment and collaboration, let us remember that the strength of our continent lies in its people. It is the voices of the civil society, the visionaries and the advocates that fuel the progress we seek. Tanzania stands ready to play its part, not just as a host to this workshop, but as an active participant in the shaping of our collective destiny,” he said.
Ambassador Shelukindo noted that the importance of the workshop lies in the opportunity it provides for CSOs to engage directly with the African Governance Architecture (AGA) Secretariat and subsequently with other important organs of the AU, adding that the approach ensures that efforts do not remain fragmented, but rather, they interweave to create a tapestry of shared goals and collective achievements.
The Tanzanian Interim National Chapter of ECOSOCC, he said, stands as a main pillar of the engagement, bringing together CSOs working tirelessly for governance, democracy, human rights and gender equality.
Explaining the relevance of the workshop, Tanzanian Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union and UNECA, Innocent Shiyo, remarked that it is in line with the AU Executive Council decision adopted during its 42nd session in February this year.
The decision endorsed the Institutional Framework on the Establishment and Operations of ECOSOCC National Chapters and directed ECOSOCC to institute measures for its implementation in member states.
“I am particularly confident that the National ECOSOCC Chapters will live up to their intended purpose of serving as a framework for accountability over elected General Assembly members.
The chapters will also create a close connection with national civil society through dissemination of information about the work and progress of the AU to civil society in Member States, including mobilising support for and awareness of AU programmes and Agenda 2063 and enable capacity building and training of civil society organisations in our Member States,” he said.
ECOSOCC Head of Secretariat Mr William Carew said since its establishment in 2004, the Council has made great strides in promoting the participation of CSOs in the development of Africa by convening platforms for engagement between the AU and CSOs and continues to seek ways to enhance its capacity to deliver on the core component of its mandate.