News - May 10, 2023

AU ECOSOCC hosts consultations with CSOs on AfCFTA

The Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC), African Union’s civil society advisory organ, is hosting three-part virtual consultations with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to generate perspectives and insights on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) from different stakeholders within Africa’s civil society space.



The webinars are part of ECOSOCC’s contributions to the African Union Theme of the Year 2023, i.e “Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area Implementation”, endorsed by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU Assembly) during its 35th ordinary session held February 2023, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Lusaka-based ECOSOCC Secretariat said, given its mandate as the civil society arm of the AU, the Council was organizing a series of virtual consultations from May 3rd to 17th to gather perspectives and insights from the civil society. The overall objective of the extended convenings, which attract hundreds of civil society representatives from all of Africa’s five regions and the diaspora, is to produce a policy booklet offering civil society inputs and feedback on the AU’s theme of the year.

To this end, this first phase of the ECOSOCC consultations is identifying existing gaps in non-state actors’ participation in the AU policy framework on AfCFTA and formulating concrete and sustainable proposals to resolve them, as well as developing policy recommendations leveraging different policy frameworks and the workforce, including youth and women, to promote the AfCFTA’s implementation.

Among others, discussions at the online consultations center around factors inhibiting trade flows across African borders, such as border security, restrictions to the free movement of people, goods and services, gender-based violence, and public health challenges resulting from migration. Therefore, ECOSOCC hopes the consultations will lead to enhanced participation of CSOs in the implementation of the AfCFTA and also result in citizen-driven policy recommendations for the acceleration of the implementation of the AfCFTA.


You can register and participate in the last session of the virtual consultations happening from 10.00–12.00 UTC on May 17 here.


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