The Africa we want: A Pan African Dialogue
The Africa we Want dialogue conference was held in Monrovia from 22 to 25 October 2012.
Over 100 African civil society organisations met for 3 days in Liberia, under the theme of ‘The Africa We Want' in an effort to consolidate the African position towards accelerating the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and developing key alternatives for the post-2015 framework. They also mapped out a way of ensuring that the voice of citizens is factored into the global framework post-2015.
In attendance was Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Liberian Republic who affirmed her readiness to listen to the voices of the African People and take them to the table of decision makers. One significant breakthrough during the assembly was the acceptance of an offer of a CSO secretariat by Her Excellency to be based in her office in Monrovia and tailored to address specific issues that relate to the global conversations, thematic consultations and the general outreach strategy that build onto the development roadmap.
"Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has committed herself to work with the African civil society towards developing the roadmap to an inclusive; people centred Post 2015 Framework", said Tafadzwa Muropa from Zimbabwe.
During the meeting, representatives from the African Civil Society Groups managed to present to the President five questions on key issues focusing on the commitment to ensuring that the post 2015 framework addresses the concerns of women, the vulnerable groups, the youth, the grassroots movements and the Liberian civil society.
Her Excellency Johnson Sirleaf reaffirmed her commitment to the civil society delegates by assuring them that the issues would be addressed by the 3 Co-Chairs of the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post 2015. She listened keenly to the African civil society participants and went on to encourage the CSO delegates present to ensure that they engage with their national governments around the Post 2015 agenda, and be able to ensure that the vulnerable groups are included in these national consultations. What was also encouraging was that Her Excellency Sirleaf informed the meeting that she was also pushing for an African consensus into the Post 2015 Framework which centres on the lived realities of African women.
Presenting the outcome of the 3 days African CSOs consultation meeting in Monrovia on Post MDGs framework, the ACORD Executive Director said:
"The core theme for Africa CSO's coming from these processes is the need to support Active Citizen Engagement to build capacity that ensures the Post 2015 framework addresses the root causes of poverty and exclusion. To facilitate receipt of this input by your Excellency, the Africa CSO coalition, following our visit to your office in July wishes to now formally confirm the creation of the CSO secretariat which will be tasked with producing the final input document to your Excellency's secretariat by end of January 2013".
"What was so intriguing about this High Level Dialogue with Her Excellency Johnson Sirleaf was her sincerity and humility in being able to listen to the voices of African Civil Society organizations, in developing a roadmap that will ensure that the voices of the excluded and marginalised groups are captured into the final framework that will be presented to the United Nations General Assembly in September 2013", said a representative of the Women of Liberia Peace Network, Uka Kumba Thompson.
"At the end of the day, one can really say, ‘my work in Liberia has just started'. This has just enlightened many African CSOs to start this dialogue with their political leaders at all levels, to ensure that ‘the Africa We Want' is reflected in the Post 2015 Framework! Another Africa We Want is Already Happening", said Azubike Nwokoye of Beyond 2015 and National Association of Nigerian Traders - NANTS
Download ‘The Africa we want' Communiqué
Play slideshow of the conference