East African Civil Society Organizations’ Forum (EACSOF) Kenya Chapter is a membership NGO working as an umbrella body for CSOs operating in Kenya on East Africa integration. EACSOF Kenya was started in 2013 and registered in February 2014. Currently, EACSOF has over thirty individual CSO members and up to five CSO consortia from Coastal, Nairobi, Western and Northern regions. All CSOs operating in Kenya are however covered by its mandate when it comes to representation at the East African Community Secretariat. Its core mission is to provide a platform and catalyse a critical mass of organised civil society to engage in need-driven, people-centred East Africa integration and cooperation process effectively and proactively for equitable and sustainable development. Since its founding, EACSOF has been working to strengthen the institutionalization of the relationship between CSOs, State Agencies, Private Sector Organizations (PSOs) and the Community (EAC).
East African Regional Integration endeavors to build a critical mass of knowledgeable and empowered civil society in Kenya on East African integration region, in order to foster their confidence and capacity in articulating grassroots needs and interests in the East African Integration Process. It is mandated to ensure that East African citizens and their CSOs work together to play a more effective role in the integration process through building stronger citizen organizations that respond to citizens needs and hold duty bearers to account. EACSOF(K) works in consultation and collaboration with the regional office of EACSOF in Arusha and other Chapters in Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi CSO officials most of who are currently in exile due to the unfavourable political situation. Sudan is yet to establish an EACSOF chapter however Kenya has been mandated to assist them start a chapter where they can since a number of Sudan CSOs operate from Kenya. The EACSOF regional secretariat constitution and practice allows country chapters to undertake regional work beyond country boundaries in close coordination
The Treaty of the East African Community (EAC) puts emphasis on citizen participation in the integration process. Under Chapter 25, the Treaty emphasises, “creation of an enabling environment for the private sector and the civil society”; “strengthening the private sector”; and providing for “cooperation among business organisations and professional bodies”. Specifically, Article 127 envisages the creation of an enabling environment for both civil society and the private sector to participate in the affairs of the Community. EACSOF is officially mandated under the EAC Consultative Dialogue Framework (CDF) to represent CSOs at the EAC.