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ACP regional and continental organisations ACP regional and continental organisations

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ACP Regional and Continental organisations

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is a regional organization of 15 west African nations formed in 1975. There were 16 nations in the group until recently when Mauritania withdrew membership from ECOWAS. The main objective of forming ECOWAS was to achieve economic integration and shared development so as to form a unified economic zone in West Africa. Later on, the scope was increased to include socio- political interactions and mutual development in related spheres. Currently, there are 15 member countries in the organization. The membership list includes the following countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

For further information please click here: http://www.ecowas.int/

The Communauté Economique et Monétaire de l’Afrique Centrale (CEMAC)

The Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) launched in 1994 replaced the Customs Union of Central Africa States (UDEAC - Union Douanière des États d'Afrique Centrale) has at stake the strengthening of the economic integration process aiming the sub-region development. In this context, Cameroon’s weigh is important as it concentrates ¾ of the sub-region global foreign trade, half the gross domestic product (GDP) and half the population of the sub-region.

Through the gradual implementation of a common market leading to a free trade between member states, and the extension of domestic market, the CEMAC aims to improving living conditions of the population. Indeed, the establishment of sub-regional economic group should allow for a greater participation of African economic operators in development process and the rational exploitation of natural resources at national, sub-regional and regional level.

The members of CEMAC include: Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Guinea Equatorial, Central African Republic and Chad. The CEMAC leans on two pillars, an Economic Union (UEAC – Union économique de l’Afrique Centrale) and a Monetary Union (UMAC – Union monétaire de l’Afrique Centrale).

For further information please click here: http://www.cemac.int/

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

20 countries are members of the Common Market Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), namely: Angola, Burundi, Comoros, DR Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

COMESA strategy so far has been to emphasis the integration of the economic space through removal of trade and investment barriers. Although COMESA has made good progress using this approach, and will continue to pursue it, the focus in the next decade and beyond will shift towards development integration. This will mean giving increased prominence to the supply side of integration, namely investment in the productive sectors. This shift in emphasis recognises developments both at the global and regional level. Globalisation in general and trade liberalisation under WTO in particular is pushing countries to remove trade barriers and open up their markets. Regionally, COMESA trade and investment promotion programmes have improved the investment environment making it more attractive for investment in the productive sectors.

For further information please click here: http://www.comesa.int/

The Southern African Development Community (SADC)

The Declaration and Treaty establishing the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was signed on July 17, 1992, in Windhoek, Namibia. It came from the transformation of the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) created in 1980 which main aim was to coordinate development projects in order to lessen economic dependence on the then apartheid South Africa. The Member States are Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. SADC headquarters are in Gaborone, Botswana.

Seychelles, Comoros and Madagascar, with SADC-members Angola, DRC, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, are members of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

The SADC vision is that of a common future, a future within a regional community that will ensure economic well-being, improvement of the standards of living and quality of life, freedom and social justice and peace and security for the peoples of Southern Africa. This shared vision is anchored on the common values and principles and the historical and cultural affinities that exist between the peoples of Southern Africa.

For further information please click here: http://www.sadc.int/

The Forum of the Caribbean ACP States (CARIFORUM)

Fifteen independent countries in the Caribbean region are signatories to the ACP–EC Conventions. In October 1992, they established the forum of the Caribbean ACP States (Cariforum), bringing together the Caribbean Community and Common Market (Caricom) and Suriname, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, with a view to a better coordination of support from the European Union and improved regional integration and cooperation. Meanwhile, Suriname and Haiti became members of Caricom, while the Dominican Republic signed a free trade agreement with Caricom in 2001.

For further information please click here: http://www.caricom.org/jsp/community_organs/car...

The Pacific Islands Forum

The Pacific Islands Forum, formerly the South Pacific Forum until a name change in October 2000, was founded in August 1971 and comprises 16 independent and self-governing states in the Pacific. The Forum is the region’s premier political and economic policy organisation. Forum Leaders meet annually to develop collective responses to regional issues.

The Forum’s administrative arm is the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, based in Suva, Fiji. It acts as the Secretariat for Forum-related events, implements decisions by the Leaders, facilitates the delivery of development assistance to member states, and undertakes the political and legal mandates of Forum meetings. The Secretariat is funded by contributions from member governments and donors with a total budget in 2006 of around FJ$36 million.

The Secretariat is headed by the Secretary General. The Forum Officials Committee (made up of representatives from all Forum Governments) is the governing body for the Secretariat and oversights its activities. The Secretary General is also permanent Chair of the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP) that brings together eleven main regional organisations in the Pacific region.

For further information please click here: http://www.forumsec.org/

The African Union

The advent of the African Union (AU) can be described as an event of great magnitude in the institutional evolution of the continent. On 9.9.1999, the Heads of State and Government of the Organisation of African Unity issued a Declaration (the Sirte Declaration) calling for the establishment of an African Union, with a view, inter alia, to accelerating the process of integration in the continent to enable it play its rightful role in the global economy while addressing multifaceted social, economic and political problems compounded as they are by certain negative aspects of globalisation.

The Vision of the AU

  • The AU is Africa’s principal organization for the promotion of accelerated socio-economic integration of the continent, which will lead to greater unity and solidarity between African countries and peoples.

  • The AU is based on the common vision of a united and strong Africa and on the need to build a partnership between governments and all segments of civil society, in particular women, youth and the private sector, in order to strengthen solidarity and cohesion amongst the peoples of Africa.

  • As a continental organization it focuses on the promotion of peace, security and stability on the continent as a prerequisite for the implementation of the development and integration agenda of the Union.

The Objectives of the AU

  • To achieve greater unity and solidarity between the African countries and the peoples of Africa;

  • To defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of its Member States;

  • To accelerate the political and socio-economic integration of the continent;

  • To promote and defend African common positions on issues of interest to the continent and its peoples;

  • To encourage international cooperation, taking due account of the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

  • To promote peace, security, and stability on the continent;

  • To promote democratic principles and institutions, popular participation and good governance;

  • To promote and protect human and peoples' rights in accordance with the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and other relevant human rights instruments;

  • To establish the necessary conditions which enable the continent to play its rightful role in the global economy and in international negotiations;

  • To promote sustainable development at the economic, social and cultural levels as well as the integration of African economies;

  • To promote co-operation in all fields of human activity to raise the living standards of African peoples;

  • To coordinate and harmonize the policies between the existing and future Regional Economic Communities for the gradual attainment of the objectives of the Union;

  • To advance the development of the continent by promoting research in all fields, in particular in science and technology;

  • To work with relevant international partners in the eradication of preventable diseases and the promotion of good health on the continent.

The Organs of the AU

The Assembly
Composed of Heads of State and Government or their duly accredited representatives. The Assembly of Heads of State and Government is the supreme organ of the Union.

The Executive Council
Composed of Ministers or Authorities designated by the Governments of Members States. The Executive Council is responsible to the Assembly.

The Commission
Composed of the Chairperson, the Deputy Chairperson, eight Commissioners and Staff members; Each Commissioner shall be responsible for a portfolio.

The Permanent Representatives' Committee
Composed of Permanent Representatives of Member States accredited to the Union. The Permanent Representatives Committee is charged with the responsibility of preparing the work of the Executive Council.

Peace and Security Council (PSC)
By decision AHG/Dec 160 (xxxvii) of the Summit of Lusaka, July 2001, a decision was made for the creation within the African Union of the Peace and Security Council. The Protocol establishing the PSC is in the process of ratification.

Pan-African Parliament
A Pan-African Parliament, and organ to ensure the full participation of African peoples in governance, development and economic integration of the Continent. The protocol relating to the composition, powers, functions and organization of the Pan-African Parliament has been signed by Member States and is in the process of ratification.

The Economic, Social and Cultural Council, an advisory organ composed of different social and professional groups of the Member States of the Union. The statutes determining the functions, powers, composition and organization of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council have been prepared and will be submitted to Maputo Summit.

The Court of Justice
A Court of Justice of the Union shall be established. The statutes defining the composition and functions of the Court of Justice have been prepared and will be submitted to the Assembly in Maputo.

The Specialized Technical Committees
The following Specialized Technical Committees are meant to address sectoral issues and are at Ministerial Level:

  • The Committee on Rural Economy and Agricultural Matters;

  • The Committee on Monetary and Financial Affairs;

  • The Committee on Trade, Customs and Immigration Matters;

  • The Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, Energy, Natural Resources and Environment;

  • The Committee on Transport, Communications and Tourism;

  • The Committee on Health, Labour and Social Affairs; and

  • The Committee on Education, Culture and Human Resources.

The Financial Institutions

  • The African Central bank

  • The African Monetary Fund

  • The African Investment Bank

For further information please see: http://www.africa-union.org/

The New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)

This New Partnership for Africa’s Development is a pledge by African leaders, based on a common vision and a firm and shared conviction, that they have a pressing duty to eradicate poverty and to place their countries, both individually and collectively, on a path of sustainable growth and development and, at the same time, to participate actively in the world economy and body politic. The Programme is anchored on the determination of Africans to extricate themselves and the continent from the malaise of underdevelopment and exclusion in a globalising world.

The principles of NEPAD include:

- Good governance as a basic requirement for peace, security and sustainable political and socio-economic development

- African ownership and leadership, as well as broad and deep participation by all sectors of society;

- Anchoring the development of Africa on its resources and resourcefulness of its people;

- Partnership between and amongst African peoples;

- Acceleration of regional and continental integration;

- Building the competitiveness of African countries and the continent;

- Forging a new international partnership that changes the unequal relationship between Africa and the developed world; and

- Ensuring that all Partnerships with NEPAD are linked to the Millennium Development Goals and other agreed development goals and targets.

The NEPAD priorities are:

a. Establishing the Conditions for Sustainable Development by ensuring:

- Peace and security;

- Democracy and good, political, economic and corporate governance;

- Regional co-operation and integration;

- Capacity building.

b. Policy reforms and increased investment in the following priority sectors:

- Agriculture;

- Human development with a focus on health, education, science and technology and skills development;

- Building and improving infrastructure, including Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Energy, Transport, Water and Sanitation;

- Promoting diversification of production and exports, particularly with respect to agro-industries, manufacturing, mining, mineral beneficiation and tourism;

- Accelerating intra-African trade and improving access to markets of developed countries;

- The environment.

c. Mobilising Resources by:

- Increasing domestic savings and investments;

- Improving management of public revenue and expenditure;

- Improving Africa’s share in global trade;

- Attracting foreign direct investment; and

- Increasing capital flows through further debt reduction and increase ODA flows.

The NEPAD key priority action areas are:

- Operationalising the African Peer Review Mechanism

- Facilitating and supporting implementation of the short-term regional infrastructure programmes covering Transport Energy, ICT, Water and Sanitation

- Facilitating implementation of the food security and agricultural development programme in all sub-regions

- Facilitating the preparation of a coordinated African position on Market Access, debt relief and ODA reforms

- Monitoring and intervening as appropriate to ensure that the Millennium Development Goals in the areas of health and education are met.

For further information please see: http://www.nepad.org/

The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM)

The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is an instrument voluntarily acceded to by Member States of the African Union as an African self-monitoring mechanism.

Mandate of the APRM

The mandate of the African Peer Review Mechanism is to ensure that the policies and practices of participating states conform to the agreed political, economic and corporate governance values, codes and standards contained in the Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance. The APRM is the mutually agreed instrument for self-monitoring by the participating member governments.

Purpose of the APRM

The primary purpose of the APRM is to foster the adoption of policies, standards and practices that lead to political stability, high economic growth, sustainable development and accelerated sub-regional and continental economic integration through sharing of experiences and reinforcement of successful and best practice, including identifying deficiencies and assessing the needs for capacity building.

Principles of the APRM

Every review exercise carried out under the authority of the Mechanism must be technically competent, credible and free of political manipulation. These stipulations together constitute the core guiding principles of the Mechanism.

Participation in the African Peer Review Process

Participation in the process will be open to all member states of the African Union. After adoption of the Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance by the African Union, countries wishing to participate in the APRM will notify the Chairman of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee. This will entail an undertaking to submit to periodic peer reviews, as well as to facilitate such reviews, and be guided by agreed parameters for good political governance and good economic and corporate governance.

For further information please click here: http://aprm-au.org/