East African Trade Union Confederation obtains African Union ECOSOCC membership

The East African Trade Union Confederation (EATUC) has obtained membership of the African Union’s Economic Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC). ECOSOCC was established in 2004 as an advisory organ to the African Union composed of civil society organisations. Through ECOSOCC, civil society organisations can contribute to AU policies.

As the continental policy-making body, the AU is a major development actor. In its Agenda 2063 it outlines its aims for the future of the continent. The first aspiration this document states for 2063 is “a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development”. EATUC’s membership of ECOSOCC gives further recognition of the vital role that trade unions must play in reaching this and other objectives.

ECOSOCC’s highest decision- and policy-making body is its General Assembly, which is composed of all members. The General Assembly submits advisory opinions and reports as well as proposals on the budget and activities; approves and amends the Code of Ethics and Conduct developed for CSOs affiliated to or working with the AU; and reviews and makes recommendations on ECOSOCC activities. Further to that, the ECOSOCC’s 10 Sectoral Cluster Committees provide specific thematic opinions and inputs to the policies and programmes of the AU. While the work of many of these committees is relevant to trade unions, the Social Affairs and Health Committee, the Political Affairs Committee, the Economic Affairs Committee and the Trade and Industry Committee are of particular interest.