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West Africa Civil Society Institute Strengthening Civil Society


Updates on current activities and developments within the Institute and across the sub-region


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Strengthening the Professional Skills of CSOs in Ghana

07 November, 2017

In 2016, the Embassy of France in Ghana partnered with WACSI under a 3-year capacity building project to “Strengthen the Professional Skills of CSOs in Ghana’’. In line with this, WACSI organised a five-day training on Policy Engagement, Networking and Alliance Building for 16 civil society practitioners in Ghana, with participants from 14 civil society organisations.

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Advancing Drug Policy Reforms in the Mano River Region

06 November, 2017

On the 25-26 October 2017, the West Africa Drug Policy Network (WADPN), West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI), in collaboration with the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) organised a two-day multisectoral drug policy reform meeting for the Mano River Union.

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Empowering Youth Participation in Governance Through Digital Space

31 October, 2017

Communication does not only strengthen every aspect of life including relationships, businesses and governance, it is an integral component of it. The advent of social media about a decade ago has not only changed the dynamics of communications, but created opportunities for millions of people all over the globe who are now connect through platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Without question, the evolution witnessed in the digital space over the last decade has contributed to the democratisation of civic voices, allowing the most marginalised groups in society to actively lend their voices to issues that affect them, no matter how little their spaces are. It has also enhanced learning and increased citizens’ participation in governance, among other notable developments.

Digital space has evolved to be an important space for youth development, socialisation, and learning. The 21st century youth are growing up in a more networked, information-flow environment, leveraging on digital tools to articulate their creativity, seek knowledge and attention, garner information and network. Young people also use these platforms to establish and manage relationships, communicating with their peers and mentors.

Currently, over 170 million people in Africa are registered members of diverse social media platforms, specifically Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and WhatsApp , with youth constituting over sixty per cent of registered users . In Ghana, ninety-four per cent of the youth population are registered on one or more social media platforms. Similarly, about ninety-five per cent are in Nigeria also. However, while millions of young people remain active on these platforms, less than five per cent use the space to communicate transformative ideas; engage or drive advocacy activities or mobilise for a just-cause including demanding for accountability, transparency and good governance from leaders across the continent .

This article seeks to provide a few ideas on how the youth can use their access to social media and digital space in general, to actively engage actors and leaders in the political arena, amplify their voices and demand for their rights and sustainable development.

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Civil Society Situation Report 15 September- 15 October,2017

30 October, 2017

Civil society in West Africa, Cameroon and Chad pursue divergent mandates and face unique challenges, as reflected in the diversity of the population, and the political, economic and social realities of the countries of the region. Nonetheless, general trends can be observed in the activities of civil society across West Africa, as citizens continue to demonstrate their awareness level through their increased demand for change in governance, socioeconomic benefits, free and fair elections, security and social justice. 

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2018 Next Generation Internship Programme Call for Self-Sponsored Internship

26 October, 2017

The West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) is a regional non-governmental organisation dedicated to enhancing the capacities of civil society organisations in West Africa toward greater sustainability and operational and development effectiveness.

In response to an identified need for structured practical capacity enhancement for young West Africans, WACSI introduced a Next Generation Internship Programme (NGIP) in January 2008 aimed at developing the next generation of African scholars and practitioners. The programme primarily targets young West Africans, either fresh graduates or early career professionals, seeking work experience in WACSI’s core areas of work. Interns are expected to commit to WACSI for six months during which time they will be fully involved in all WACSI activities and enhance their knowledge and capacities for leadership, knowledge and programme management, and critical development issues for West Africa, among other areas.

WACSI is therefore seeking interns interested in enhancing their civic consciousness and developing their professional capacity. They will be embedded in WACSI’s core areas of work i.e. Capacity Development, Policy Influencing and Advocacy and Knowledge Management.

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Integrating Knowledge, Attitude and Practice Within Civil Society Organisations

16 October, 2017

Every civil society organisation (CSO) can be likened to a forest. From afar, it may seem to be a plantation but a closer view reveals the individual trees. It is often said that the staff members of every CSO is the most important asset but to what extent is this assertion true and what bearing does individual capacities have on a CSOs effectiveness and performance? This piece tries to examine how periodic Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices (KAPs) assessments can improve the effectiveness of CSOs.

Resource Centre

The Institute has a resource centre that is open to civil society actors in the region. It serves as a library of civil society documents, research reports and edited volumes that are accessible to both individuals and organisations. The Institute has partnered the Foundation Centre to provide online learning resources and a database of grant giving institutions in the United States of America.

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