Paul Okumu

Head of Secretariat of the Africa Platform (ACP)

Paul heads the Secretariat of the Africa Platform (ACP), a Pan-African platform working with societies, governments and businesses across Africa to rebuild the social contract and re-establish society as the source of state legitimacy and the final authority to whom all development actors – businesses and development partners – are accountable. In this capacity, he is responsible for brokering relations between the governing and the governed, the development actors and the beneficiaries, and society and businesses, to strengthen state legitimacy and accountable development.

He has engaged actively on establishing the centrality of state-society relations through various platforms and at various levels, including with the Global International Coalition to Ban Land Mines, The World Economic Forum, The International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and State-building and the G7 plus Group of Conflict-Affected states (IDPS); the Africa Union and NEPAD Agency; East African Parliament, and currently as a Core member of the Africa Working Group, a core civil society working with African Governments and UN agencies at the global, regional and national levels to ensure coherence and accelerated implementation of the Africa Union Vision 2063 Agenda 2030 and national Vision plans. He was among the small team that provided support to African Governments during the development of the Africa Common Position on Post-2015, the intergovernmental processes on Agenda 2030 and the integration of Agenda 2030 with Africa Union Vision 2063.

He has led a pioneering engagement on state-society Relations and the social contract, especially in post-conflict states and emerging democracies.

Paul sits on the Steering Group of the Global Civic Engagement Charter, UNDP Regional Program Advisory Board for Africa. He is an immediate Member of the Global UNDP Civil Society Advisory Committee, Board of the International Society for Third Sector Research-Africa, Civil Society Platform on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding as well as the Steering Group of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding

He has worked and written extensively on civil society enabling environment; politics of aid and development; CSO self regulation and accountability; and implications as well as implementation of Agenda 2030 for sustainable development. His most recent publication on the Global State of State-Society Relations in Conflict affected States was published in May 2013 as part of the CIVICUS Global State of Civil Society 2013 Report. In 2011, Paul was the Civil Society Global Representative on the High Level Ministerial Panel on the New Deal Engagement in Busan. He went on to represent Global Civil Society in the Steering Group of the Intergovernmental Dialogue, the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (IDPS), and was a key speaker at the Southern Academics Conference on Peace and Security in Oslo.

He is a founder of the Kenya Social Investment Forum.