Transformative Issues

The African CSO Working Group (AWG)[1] met in Nairobi from 5-6 June 2014 and extensively discussed the current proposals to review both the global and the regional development agendas, notably the outcomes of the HLP, the post-2015 process and the Sustainable Development Goals (under discussion), and the Common Africa Position (CAP), among other initiatives. In this respect, the AWG discussion on the post 2015 agenda was inspired and guided by the following vision of success:

“A global framework that guarantees quality life and dignity for citizens”

Achieving this vision would require a profound transformation of the political, social and economic realities of the continent and a new social contract between the African people and the institutions that express their sovereignty. The AWG discussions highlighted the inadequate attention placed on the pivotal and catalytic issues that have the potential to transform Africa and its citizens. The AWG therefore decided to focus its efforts on these critical issues and defined as “transformative” those that have the ability to sustainably change and transform the lives of ordinary citizens of Africa.

Africa is indeed already transforming. However, the direction of its transformation is not deliberately spelled-out. The role of the post-2015 agenda should be to identify key issues that have a capacity of directing the social, political and economic transformation process towards people-centred, human rights-based and planet-sensitive outcomes. The following are the transformative issues that the AWG identified as its primary areas of focus in this respect:

  1. Bridging social, economic and political inequalities
  1. Transforming production and consumption patterns
  1. Governance centred on active and responsible citizenship
  1. Achieve gender equality, protect women’s human rights and empower all women and girls
  1. Science, technology, knowledge and learning


  1. Sustainable financing for development


  1. Peaceful and secure societies
  1. Climate Change




In addition, the following cross-cutting issues were noted as important;

  • Rights based approach to development as means of enhancing accountability
    • This is cross cutting and should be reflected in all goals and targets
    • Targets in all goals should emphasize rights based approach. At the moment its diluted in favour of “policy space”, “national circumstances”, “cultural acceptability”,
    • Rights based goals and targets are important for governments and CSOs monitoring and enforcing accountability


  • Ownership
    • This is cross-cutting and should be reflected in all goals
    • All the goals and targets need to be grounded in citizen realities and aspirations to succeed
    • Guarantee cultural rights and access to cultural goods and services


Out of the several members, the following managed to attend the Strategy session; Organization of African Youth (OAY), African Monitor, FEMNET, ACORD, Seed Institute, Africa CSO Platform for Principled Partnership, West Africa CSO Institute, Beyond 2015-Afica, Nigeria NGO Network, SEATINI, GCAP Africa, Yocads/Liberia CSOs, Culture and Development East Africa (CDEA), Africa Development Interchange Network (ADIN), Society for International Development (SID), Uganda National NGO Forum, Organization of African Youths, Africa CSO Platform, CSAC for West and Central Africa, SADC Council of NGOs, WACSI, Inter-Faith for Action on Peace in Africa (IFAPA), United Nations Millennium Campaign(UNMC), Arterial Network, Oxfam Pan Africa, World Wide Fund-Kenya (WWF), Justice Development and Peace Commission-Nigeria, Yocads/Liberian CSOs