GOVERNMENT has secured land for the construction of the secretariat for Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) of the African Union (AU) which has been relocated to Zambia, from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Acting minister of Foreign Affairs Godfridah Sumaili said Zambia is eagerly waiting to host the ECOSOCC secretariat because it is committed to advancing the AU agenda.
Reverend Sumaili, whose substantive portfolio is Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs, was speaking at Charter House yesterday when a delegation from the AU commission paid a courtesy call on her.
A 14-member delegation from the AU commission is in the country to evaluate Zambia’s preparedness to host the ECOSOCC secretariat.
Rev Sumaili said Government will fully cooperate with the delegation as it assesses Zambia’s preparedness.
“The Government of the Republic of Zambia is committed to working closely with the AU. We want a flawless relocation, and we have already identified land where the secretariat will be built,” Rev Sumaili said.
She said Government has also committed finances towards the relocation of the secretariat, and interim office accommodation has also already been found.
And head of the delegation Jalel Chelba said the relocation of ECOSOCC from Addis Ababa to Lusaka will not change the nature of the advisory body of the AU.
Mr Chelba said ECOSOCC will help deepen the integration of Africa.
“This relocation is merely geographical. ECOSSOC will continue to perform its functions,” Mr Chelba said.
ECOSOCC is an advisory body of the AU designed to give civil society organisations (CSOs) a voice within the AU institutions and decision-making processes.
ECOSOCC is made up of CSOs from a wide range of sectors including labour, business, and professional groups, service providers, and policy think tanks, both from within Africa and the African diaspora.