Commonwealth Foundation Deepens Engagement with CSOs in West and Central Africa





Accra, Ghana – Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from Commonwealth countries in West and Central Africa have amplified the need to map out strategic areas of intervention to inform the development agenda in the region.

From April 4 – 5, 2013, CSOs from Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and The Gambia convened at the secretariat of the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) to reflect on avenues to promote their development initiatives.

This meeting was held under the auspices of the Commonwealth Foundation’s strategic and innovative approach of seeking the perspectives of country and regional CSOs to inform projects that would be supported by the Foundation under the 2013 – 2016 strategic plan of the Foundation. The Foundation is in the process of conducting a regional scan and analysis across the Commonwealth to determine gaps, issues and opportunities in participatory governance so as to inform the development of a CSO engagement strategy.

According to Ms. Sonia Kwami, Africa Programme Coordinator of the GCAP Project Accelerate Africa, “this is a constructive process to map out the views of CSOs. The dialogue was fruitful and demonstrates the credibility of the ongoing partnership between CSOs and the Commonwealth Foundation”.

CSOs stressed on the need to galvanise support for capacity development of their institutions and programmes staff, a request which the Foundation strongly aligns to, as it strives to promote a more effective, responsive and accountable governance with civil society participation.

The Executive Director of WACSI, Ms. Nana Afadzinu pointed out the need for CSOs across West Africa to initiate the process of steering regional dialogue within the sector, in collaboration with global development partners and stakeholders. This would be to rally a collective and unanimous voice and support for the achievement of a common agenda by civil society in the region.

The efforts and achievements realized by CSOs in the region were recognized and lauded by the Commonwealth Foundation. Ms. Myn Garcia, Deputy Director of the Commonwealth Foundation encouraged CSOs to continue to strengthen themselves and demand for good, responsive and accountable governance in the region.

She explained that the Foundation is committed to strengthen and solidify civil society platforms to be able to effectively engage with other governance stakeholders. She emphasized on the Foundation’s strategic approach of facilitating locally owned agenda and a collective and responsive action for social change in the region.

She commended the commitment of CSOs in the process and lauded them for owning the process of mapping out a development agenda for CSOs in the region.

For more information about the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) and its interventions to promote participatory governance in West Africa, please visit www.wacsi.org

April 5, 2013
Contact: Jimm Chick Fomunjong, Communications and Information Assistant
Telephone: +233 302 550 222, 261 468 390, 501 258 148
Email: [email protected]



(L-R) MS. MYN GARCIA, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION, MS NANA AFADZINU, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF WACSI AND MS MARION VILLANUEVA, OF THE COOMONWEALTH FOUNDATION


MS MARION VLLANUEVA (LEFT) OF THE COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION AND MS NANA AFADZINU, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF WACSI AT THE MEETING


PARTICIPANTS AT THE MEETING

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