Conference on Security, Stability, Development, and Cooperation

Conference on Security, Stability, Development, and Cooperation

The Conference on Security, Stability Development and Co-operation in Africa (CSSDCA) is a policy development process created to function within the framework of the African Union and was adopted at the 36th Session of the Assembly in Lomé, Togo on July 2000. It is one of two special programs of the African Union, the other being the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).


Genesis of CSSDA

The idea of the CSSDCA can be traced to 1990, when the Africa Leadership Forum, in collaboration with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), held a meeting in Paris, France, to discuss what would happen to the African continent in the midst of the Cold War. At the end of the meeting it was decided that the continent must respond by seeking answers to the difficulties of security, stability, development and cooperation dealing ith it through its own way and dealing with the rest of the world within parameters shaped and conducted by Africans.

The meeting was similar to Europe's Helsinki process on the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), and recommended that Africa should pursue a similar process in its own way. Following this, the Africa Leadership Forum led by President Olusegun Obasanjo, met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), a meeting of prominent African personalities, drawn from the private sector, government and non-governmental organisations, and intellectual circles to discuss an appropriate framework for advancing this agenda. That meeting established a Steering Committee which proceeded to hold a series of consultations with Africa NGOs, governments, and the African private sector in Africa to prepare for a continental gathering on the matter.

This assembly was held in Kampala, Uganda, under the leadership of President Yoweri Museveni, who was then the Chairman of the OAU in April 1991. In attendance were about 500 African notables from all walks of life, including representatives of the private sector, intergovernmental and non-governmental associations, political leaders from different ideological persuasions, scholars, students, peasants and presidents.

The body adopted the Kampala Document, which set out a vision of a free and prosperous Africa based on accountable government, implementation of democratic reforms and a thriving civil society as a road map for Post Cold War Africa. The Document was presented to the OAU Summits in Abuja, Nigeria in June 1991; the Dakar Summit of 1992 and the Cairo Summit of 1993, without any follow up on the initiative.

However, following the return of democracy to Nigeria in 1998 and the return of President Obasanjo to power, the idea was resurrected and President Obasanjo obtained the support of leaders from across Africa for its introduction into the work of the Organisation for African Unity. The OAU Council of Ministers was tapped to work on this and in June 2000, the Assembly of Heads of States and Government meeting in Lomé, Togo, adopted the CSSDCA Solemn Declaration, which ultimately brought the whole process into the focus of what would become the Africa Union. The CSSDCA was reintroduced at the same Summit in which the Sirte Declaration that motivated the Union was launched. Thus the processes were intertwined in a manner that gave the CSSDCA a preeminent in the continent’s bid to articulate a new direction and a more positive vision of development based on democratic reforms and the active involvement of civil society.

Different Departments within CSSDCA

The CSSDCA is divided into four compartments called calabashes of Security, Stability, Development and Cooperation which are to work through a set of principles and plan of Action.

Security & Stability Calabashes

Development & Cooperation Calabashes

Civil Society Agenda

The creation of a Civil Society Officer within the CSSDCA is the direct result of a sustained effort by the AU to work in collaboration with civil society organizations (CSOs) as key partners in efforts for peace, security, stability, good governance, regional integration and development in Africa. This was emphasized in the program of reform and renewal submitted by the Secretary-General of the OAU to the Council of Ministers and the Summit in 1997, in Harare, Zimbabwe, and reaffirmed in the CSSDCA Process adopted by the 37th Summit of OAU Heads of State and Government in Lome, Togo, in July 2001.

Objectives of Agenda

  • To provide opportunities for CSOs in Africa, so as to facilitate greater participation in the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs).
  • To develop roles between Civil Society, the AU and African Governments towards the transformation of African States in relation to the challenges of democracy, good governance, and sustainable developments.
  • To help CSOs enhance their legitimacy and acceptance by African countries and regional organizations.

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