The ACTION Support Centre attended the National Consultative Forum for Civil Society on Agenda 2063 organised by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation on 9th October 2014 at their office in Pretoria.
This meeting formed part of a large continental civil society consultative initiated by the African Union to put forward the African Vision 2063. Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mahabane welcomed delegates and gave a brief introduction of the state of the African Union, and elaborated on the post OAU institutions, namely the African Union (2001), NEPAD (2002), APRM (2003) and the AU PSC (2004). The Honourable Minister also made remarkable comments on the role that South Africa has played on building the continental institutions and being in the forefront of peace efforts on the continent
The Minister said the Africa 2063 Vision is a continental push for CSOs and ordinary citizens to contribute to the Africa we want to see in the next fifty (50) years. However, she added that the history of South Africa couldn’t be separated from the Continent agenda. She said that there is a moral obligation for the South African government to involve itself in African affairs.
The Minister invited CSOs to more engagement, while acknowledging the role played by CSOs in the African Agenda. This meeting was also a platform to consolidate ties between government and civil society, in working together to achieve social and economic transformation, as entrenched in the Africa 2063 vision.
Thus, there is a collective responsibility to participate in this vast continental agenda, domestically and regionally. The CSOs are expected to be proactive and cooperative, as they should contribute meaningfully to Africa’s destiny, by taking ownership of African issues and providing African solutions to African problems.
The level of participation was important as the participants broke into groups, and dealt with various topics ranging from social, economic, culture, development and security matters amongst others. The reports were then presented by different groups and submitted to the officials of DIRCO.
The consultation was fruitful, and the CSOs hope that such consultations can be extended to include other domestic issues such as crime, youth unemployment and housing.