Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba has urged the African Union Executive Council to quickly finalize the logistics and financing for the relocation of the ECOSOCC secretariat to Lusaka.
The Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) was established as an advisory organ of the AU to promote the African civil society in the integration and development agenda of the continent and implantation of programs such as peace, security, social and economic.
This is according to Zambia’s First Secretary for Press and Tourism at the Embassy in Ethiopia, Inutu Mwanza.
Speaking during the 31st Ordinary Session of the Executive Council in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, Kalaba urged the Executive Council to direct the African Union Commission to urgently appoint an interim ECOSOCC Director who would supervise the preparations of all logistics pertaining to the operations of the interim structure.
Kalaba said the Zambian Government has reaffirmed its Committiment to hosting ECOSOCC by hosting an AU Evaluation Mission to Lusaka whose purpose was to establish Zambia’s readiness to host the ECOSOCC Secretariat.
He said the evaluation team from AU was taken on a tour of proposed office space for the interim secretariat including proposed accommodation for the executive secretary.
The Foreign Affairs Minister further said the evaluation mission was also shown a preliminary blue print design of the permanent ECOSOCC Secretariat and was requested to submit a check list of requirements to enable the finalization of the blue print design by the Zambian government.
He expressed concern that to date the recruitment of staff by the AU Commissions has not progressed and the absence of devoted staff to the organ has diminished the advisory role of the organ.
Kalaba observed that currently only staff from the Department of Citizen and Diaspora Organization are attached to the organ.
He also said the information requested by the government of Zambia regarding the establishment and staffing of the interim secretariat has not been availed, a predicament which he said was hindering government’s efforts to support the execution.
ECOSOCC is currently hosted within the department of Citizens and diaspora organisation (SIDO) in the African Union Commission.