— Promises to collaborate with regional and national leaders
The Executive Director of Kids Educational Engagement Project (KEEP), Brenda M. B. Moore has been elected as Deputy Presiding Officer for the African Union’s Economic, Social & Cultural Council (ECOSOCC).
The Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) is an advisory organ of the African Union designed to give civil society organizations a voice within the AU institutions and decision-making processes and provides an opportunity for African Civil Society Organizations to play an active role in contributing to the AU’s principles, policies, and programs.
Moore is the first female and Liberian to serve as Deputy Presiding Officer since the organization was established in 2004. She was unanimously voted for by members of the West African region serving in the 4th General Assembly.
“To be the society’s watchdog means we as CSOs need to hold ourselves accountable and transparent in how we conduct ourselves. And this starts from how we share knowledge, conduct elections and adhere to our own policies. We look forward to engaging more CSOs across not only West Africa, but the entire African continent and elevating the conversations on inclusion, engagement, peace, trade, women, and children issues at the level of the AU. We look forward to actively pushing Agenda 2063,” Moore said.
“I am truly honored to have been elected to serve as Deputy Presiding Officer (DPO) for West Africa at the African Union's ECOSOCC. It's a great opportunity to take the concerns of citizens to the level of the AU, representing not just Liberia but the entire ECOWAS region of 15 countries. Most people are aware of the SDGs, but not the AU’s Agenda 2063,” she said.
She said this provides an opportunity to share more information on the AU's Agenda 2063, which isn't well known across the continent.
Moore said as the only female and the youngest elected, it is going to be interesting navigating the dynamics.
Accordingly, this role involves engaging with member states, various parliamentarians, media, and civil society organizations of the ECOWAS region and Moore said she looks forward to bringing positive attention to Liberia.
Additionally, the role also involves interacting with regional actors and national actors in sharing information about the AU organ, popularization of the mandates of the AU and to bring citizens closer to the people (stakeholders.)
Officially inaugurating the Presiding General Assembly, Dr. Abraham Sing’oei, Principal Secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Kenya, who spoke on behalf of Dr. Alfred Mutua, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs, Republic of Kenya, congratulated the newly elected members of ECOSOCC General Assembly and urged them to take the mantle of leadership to develop the continent.
According to a release issued, he underscored the valuable contribution that Civil Society Organizations under the leadership of ECOSOCC had made in enhancing African ownership of its peace and security agenda.
“This is well demonstrated by the integrated approach through which a number of AU member states in collaboration with ECOSOCC combine efforts in conflict prevention, management and resolution, as well as post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction,” Dr. Mutua said.
He reiterated Kenya’s support of ECOSOCC in fulfilling its mandate of actively engaging civil society on the continent in the processes and work of the AU, particularly with regards to Africa’s integration and development.
Vice-President of the Section for External Relations, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Mr. Peter Clever, stressed that sustainable development should be rooted deeply in society, that is, people and not governments.
He applauded the youth representation in the elected officials and noted that it translated into formal representation by young people in shaping the programs and policies of the union.
The General Assembly is the highest decision and policy making body of ECOSOCC, composed of Two CSOs from each African Union member State; Ten CSOs operating at regional level and eight at continental level; and CSOs from the African Diaspora.
The ECOSOCC General Assembly has a tenure of four years. The 3rd Permanent General Assembly was constituted in December 2018. The new elected members of the GA will in turn elect a bureau comprising the Presiding Officer, Deputy Presiding Officers, and chairs of sectoral cluster Committees.