EACSOF is an autonomous umbrella body of all non-governmental organizations and CSOs in East Africa, with the primary objective of building a critical mass of knowledgeable and empowered Civil Society in the region, in order to foster their capacity in articulating grass roots needs and interest to the EAC, and its various organs institutions and agencies.

EACSOF has no political or religious affiliations, but operates within the policy and legal frameworks of the Partner States of the East African Community. It also abides by regional and international protocols binding the people of East Africa. EACSOF uses the best practices in the organization and management of civil society for effective human development. These policies, laws and protocols include the UN Millennium Development Goals on Poverty Eradication, UN Habitat Agenda 21, Africa Union Charter on Human Rights, the Treaty Establishing the East African Community, and the Visions (2020, 2030, etc.) promulgated by individual states of the East African Community.

The mandate of East African Civil Society Organizations Forum (EACSOF) is to facilitate the citizens of East Africa to effectively shape and drive sustainable development and growth in the region. EACSOF has been operational since 2004 and the General Assembly decided to facilitate the set-up of country chapters in 2009.

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