African Leaders Urged To Engage CSOs

The participants in a post.

The participants in a post.

The participants in a post. 
African leaders have been charged to engage civil society organizations (CSOs) on the continent in finding solutions to problems affecting Africa, including the recent Boko Haram menace in Nigeria.

The call was made by Nana Asantewa Asadzinu, Executive Director of West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She was speaking to media practitioners at the end of a five-day Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) and advocacy training workshop organized by WACSI for the media and civil society groups drawn from 12 countries within the West African sub-region, including Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Cote D’ Ivoire, among others, in Accra on Friday.

According to her, a sound collaboration among civil society groups, political and traditional leaders Africa could produce a meaningful result in combating most of the crises confronting the continent.

‘African leaders have tried over the years to address the many challenges affecting the continent; but what they haven’t done so far is to engage civil society organizations in responding to most of these conflicts, like the on-going Boko Haram menace in northern Nigeria,’ she observed.

‘Security issues do not only concern politicians because they affect everyone almost equally. We therefore need to collaborate in solving our problems including terrorism,’ Ms Asadzinu entreated.

She continued, ‘In this regard, governments must reach out to the ordinary people and dialogue with them in order to get their views on how we should go about addressing our challenges.’

According to the WACSI boss, ‘There is no better way out to holistically resolve conflicts in Africa if the element of a congenial collaboration between political figures and CSOs was ruled-out.’

Nemata Majeks Walker, President of The 50/50 Group of Sierra Leone, stressed the need for politicians to give women more space in the political arena on the continent in particular and the world at large.

She urged women to get up and campaign against the Boko Haram situation affecting the most populous nation on the African continent, recounting the abduction of 230 school girls and the many other killings by the Islamic militant group.

The overall goal of the workshop was to educate, build capacity and deepen awareness and knowledge of participants in the relevance of RtoP. It also sought to expose participants to diverse advocacy skills and techniques that are required to engage and hold governments accountable for their actions.

By Melvin Tarlue

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