Strengthen the Capacities of CSOs to achieve Better Results
Accra, Ghana – Development partners have agreed on the need to support capacity development for civil society organisations (CSOs) in West Africa to enhance their performance. Over 60 development partners, including, diplomatic missions, international non-governmental organisations and locally based non-governmental organisations reached this consensus at a meeting organised by the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) on Monday, 22 April, 2013, in Accra.
The keynote speaker Mr. Abdul Tejan-Cole, Executive Director of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) called on development partners to support the capacity development of civil society organisations (CSOs) in West Africa. This he said after explaining that OSIWA is committed to supporting CSOs in West Africa to contribute towards open democracies in the region.
This, he said, prompted OSIWA to establish the WACSI in 2005 to respond to the operational and institutional capacity needs of CSOs in West Africa. The Institute began its operations in 2007 and has since then capacitated over 1600 civil society practitioners from CSOs in all West African countries.
The Executive Director of OSIWA emphasized that it is important to build the operational and institutional capacities of CSOs in the region to enable them gain independence, to be non-partisan and to work in the interest of their communities.
According to Ms. Nana Afadzinu, Executive Director of WACSI, this would enable CSOs in the region to contribute towards the democratic development of West African states.
Discussions during the over six hour meeting focused on the current capacity challenges which are having a considerable bearing on the performance level of CSOs. Participants amplified the need to empower CSOs in the region with robust skills, thus, enabling them to be able to address the growing social, economic and political challenges plaguing West African states.
The deliberations enabled participants to unanimously concur that development stakeholders can achieve their common goals if they collaborate in supporting capacity development for CSOs. According to Dr. Christian Joly, Cooperation Attaché at the Embassy of France in Ghana, “development partners need to collaborate in their efforts to promote development initiatives in the region. This ensures credibility and effectiveness of their collective endeavours”.
The Chairperson of the meeting, Mme Aicha Bah Diallo, Member of the Mo Ibrahim Prize Committee for Development and member of the Board of WACSI reiterated the need for development partners to take concrete steps towards enhancing the capacities of CSOs in West Africa as a way of consolidating their support for programmes aimed at improving the lives of all in West Africa.
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
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