Seychelles civil society platform takes over presidency of SADC-CNGO - capacity building to be a key focus of new chairman Jules Hoareau
Chairman of the Citizen’s Engagement Platform Seychelles (CEPS) also the new Chairman of the SADC - Cuncil for NGO-Governmental Organisation. (Joena Bonnelame, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Assisting member countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region to build capacity and strengthen their national civil society platforms and to improve linkages between them.
That is the aim of the new Chairman of the SADC- Council for Non-Governmental Organizations (SADC-CNGO), Seychellois Jules Hoareau.
Hoareau who is the Chairman of the Citizen’s Engagement Platform Seychelles (CEPS) was entrusted with the responsibility during the SADC-CNGO on Friday last week, as the Seychelles Civil Society platform assumed the presidency of the regional organization, taking over from the Zambia.
This was during SADC-CNGO’s general assembly held in South Africa. The presidency of the organisation is held on a rotational basis and the mandate is for one year.
Until last week CEPS which is an accredited member of the organization, through its Chairman was holding the post of Vice-Chairman of the organization and before that in 2013 the Seychelles civil society body known as LUNGOS at the time, also held the post of treasurer.
For the one-year mandate as president, CEPS’ Chairman and new Chairman of the SADC-CNGO is targeting the implementation of the different resolutions adopted during its recent general assembly.
“One of which is to have more women in leadership roles within the member countries,” Jules Hoareau explains his new role. I believe that Seychelles has proven to be able to have a balance… Seychelles is a model to several SADC states. It now remains for SADC-CNGO to put in place policies that will facilitate the integration of women in leadership roles,” Hoareau told SNA in an interview this morning.
Improving communication between the member states, developing support programmes as well as improving the sharing of ideas and best practices are some of the other areas he will be focussing on.
One of the regional country that Hoareau has highlighted will be needing help to re-establish its civil society platform, after several years of political turmoil, is the neighbouring Indian Ocean of Madagascar.
|Hoareau swearing in as the Chairman of SADC-CNGO as CEPS assumed the presidency of the regional organisation in South Africa last week. (Jules Hoareau) Photo License: CC-BY|
“What I want is to visit those countries, give them support and strengthen their capacity….We [CEPS] would like to achieve at the end of our mandate is to have been able to implement policies and the resolutions of the recent general assembly of SADC-CNGO. We want to see all of the national platforms of non-governmental organizations in all member countries become stronger.”
It is to be noted that Hoareau is also the Director of the Seychelles Children’s Foundation, a part-time radio producer and presenter as well as an active member of several non-governmental organisations.
In a press statement issued by State House on Thursday the Seychelles President James Michel expressed his wish to see Hoareau succeed in the task that lies ahead.
“Your appointment as chair of SADC-CNGO is a well-deserved recognition of your professional integrity and your commitment to public service,” said Michel in the statement.
SADC has 15 member states including Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The Seychelles islands joined the regional body in September 1997 but had to withdraw from the organisation in June 2003 because of financial and human resource constraints.
It’s been seven years since the Indian Ocean island nation re-joined SADC, from August 17, 2008.
The SADC council for Non-Governmental Organizations which is headquartered in Gaborone, Botswana hence brings together the national Civil Society platform of each of the 15 member countries.
Established in 1998 although it began to operate in 2004, the aim of the organization is to provide a common platform for civil society organizations to engage with each other and to address various issues of importance to the region.
This includes poverty alleviation, democratization, good governance, and ending internal political conflicts that have characterized the political landscape of the SADC region.