Friedrich Ebert Stiftung -AU Cooperation office in collaboration with the African Union, UNICEF and Save the Children have co-organized the 2019 Model Africa Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from Nov 11-15, 2019 under the theme ‘’ Children Today, Youth Tomorrow: A Smooth Transition’’. This five-day featured workshop and plenaries led by inspiring trainers, journalists, AU officials and UN experts, who shared their experience and ideas on how to become an active African citizen and the road they must take to contribute for the socio-economic development of the continent. Close to hundred participants, which includes students, journalist, and activists from 50 African countries took part on the program. Model Africa Union, also known as Model AU or M-AU, is an extra-curricular activity in which participants typically roleplay delegates to the Africa Union and simulate different AU committees. This role-playing element helped young the participants to understand the AU’s priorities, structures and functions, and build their strategic skills for effective decision-making, Strategy development and implementation.
During the conference representatives from Africa Union, United Nations, and Save the Children briefed participants how they can be part of African renaissance and a driver of change. Ms. Hanna Tetteh, Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union, shared her life-long experience regarding what it takes to be an active participant and citizenry. Also, Ms.Aya Chebb, first special Envoy on Youth, also shared her experiences as a continental advocate for the Africa Union. At the end, participants left with a tool kit, and a network of support – knowing that they a responsibility to continuously engage in the continental matter.
The Continental Early Warning System (CEWS) was put in place by Article 12 of the Protocol relating to the establishment of the Peace and Security Council (PSC). Its operationalization is guided by the provisions of the “Framework for the Operationalization of CEWS”. The two instruments stress the importance of collaboration with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on matters of early warning and conflict prevention as a pre-requisite for the successful operation and full operarionalization of CEWS. The PSC Protocol specifically States “The Commission shall collaborate with International Organisations, Research Centres, Academic institutions and NGOs, to facilitate the functioning of the CEWS”. Against this background, CSOs have provided an important contribution in the operationalization of CEWS through participation in the various meetings and workshops convened by the AU Commission since 2003.
To date, three consultative meetings were held with CSOs, that basically focused on creating awareness and understanding amongst CSOs on the mandate, structures, operations and status of operationalization of CEWS; develop effective working methods between the CEWS and CSOs to enable the emergence of an effective, practical and sustainable relationship; and elaborate the modalities for engagement and effective participation of CSOs in conflict prevention and early warning with the CEWS and RECs.
As a follow-up to the consultative meetings, CEWS indetified 5 CSOs and Research Centres from the 5 AU regions to coordinate data collection activities and thematic research initiatives. It was also agreed that the Africa Reporter tool, which is an important online platform, could be used as one of the tools to facilitate the exchange of information between the AU and CSOs. In this regard, the CSOs, agreed to exchange information with CEWS, on countries/regions, where they have a presence or through existing networks.
Read the full concept note here
read the full program here