The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) was first established in 1958 as one of the UN's five regional commissions. The overall mandate for ECA is to promote the economic and social development of its member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa's development.
In 2006, the ECA undertook a major repositioning exercise. The Governance and Public Administration Division (GPAD) was established with a view to improving governance and development management and enhance national capacity and capabilities of governance institutions with member states. In this context, the Civil Society and Post Conflict Section emerged with a focus to strengthen civil society participation in improving good governance practices for creating an enabling environment and building a strong foundation for peace and sustainable development in Africa.
The African CSO Network Portal is to facilitate the empowerment of the African Civil Society, promote and strengthen greater participation of civil society in the development and governance process as well as contribute to the process of achieving sustainable development through information and knowledge management. In this regard, the web portal will provide constructive strategies and participation for the effective engagement of African Civil Society Organizations in the development agenda.
The Civil Society and Post Conflict Section is the focal point within the ECA for non-state actors in Africa. The aim of the section is to improve good governance practices for establishing an enabling environment for all sectors of society to participate in the development process and consolidate the foundations for sustainable development
- The portal is a pan African initiative that aims to facilitate stakeholders with information and resources;
- The portal provides a quick guide to identify list of NGOs in member states and serves as online directory. It provides profiles of CSOs, including addresses and their contacts as well as facilitates access to UNECA facilities and accredited NGOs, while at the same time containing a library of resources and information on CSO and other related issues.
- It has been developed to facilitate data and knowledge sharing among African CSOs, research institutions, policy makers, think tanks, academics, practitioners, partners and other stakeholders
- It contains selected publications, websites and online databases and links to other websites and online data
- The portal is a collaborative/joint/shared effort of the UNECA and African NGOs.
An active, informed and viable civil society is essential to the consolidation of pluralistic democracy and promotion of sustainable development. In this regard, the web portal intends to create awareness and enhance dialogue and cooperation among civil society organizations and institutions with a view to promoting greater participation by people and their organizations in the social, economic and political lives of their communities an essential dimension of responsive democratic governance and sustainable human development.