n African Security Review - Bringing people's power to the African Union? ECOSOCC - : essay

Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1024-6029
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Provision for an Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) among the new organs of the African Union (AU) offers to bridge the distance between African governments and their peoples. Designed and implemented correctly, the Council could be an influential forum for the diverse voices of civil society. Greater popular involvement in government is a prerequisite for stability on the continent-particularly since governance is often weak, corruption endemic and democracy in a number of countries little more than a façade. The essay considers comparative institutions at national, regional and international levels as examples of how ECOSOCC could work. We argue that its structure will have to take account of the varying strengths and weaknesses of social and economic actors in different parts of Africa, and between those from AU countries and other regions of the world. Ultimately, success depends on whether African civil society is ready and able to take the lead in this initiative. The paper concludes with a number of recommendations.

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