Kopep Dabugat (right) and Abdoulaye Diallo (left) from WACSOF at the meeting with WACSI staff
WACSI and WACSOF explore avenues to deepen citizen's participation in development in West Africa
The West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) and the West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) have reiterated the need to team up to deepen civil society's involvement in development processes across West Africa.
This was an outcome of a meeting between the General Secretary for the West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF), Abdoulaye Diallo and the Executive Director of WACSI, Nana Afadzinu. During the meeting which took place at the WACSI Secretariat in Accra on February 20th, 2012, the organisational heads shared insights on how both institutions should strengthen ties to promote citizens participation in development processes across West Africa.
Staff of WACSI and WACSOF at the meeting
The meeting witnessed the participation of staff of both organisations. It enabled both parties to revisit the common values they strive to promote in the region and identify areas of synergies between the programmes they implement.
Nana Afadzinu mentioned that WACSI has a strategic will to broaden its collaboration with stakeholders in order to strengthen civil society in West Africa. She added that WACSI has, in previous years, had fruitful collaborations with WACSOF and the Institute aims at strengthening ties with WACSOF to ensure that civil society platforms in West African countries are provided with requisite knowledge and skills to play a significant role to promote the development agenda and programmes in their respective countries.
She stressed WACSI’s commitment to work with WACSOF to empower civil society in countries such as Mali and Guinea Bissau which are experiencing political crisis.
General Secretary of WACSOF, Mr. Abdoulaye Diallo
The General Secretary of WACSOF commended WACSI’s open-minded approach to promote efficiency within civil society in West Africa. He expressed WACSOF's willingness to collaborate with WACSI, and, emphasized the need for a continuous collaboration between the ‘twin’ organisations in view of having a credible and poignant civil society force in the region.
He pointed out that there is a communication gap between civil society organisations and platforms, and reiterated the need for knowledge sharing and capacity building programmes aimed at strengthening efficiency within CSOs and partnerships among them.
Both parties agreed on the need to strengthen collaboration between parliaments in West African countries and civil society in the region as a valuable approach towards promoting citizens engagement in the development of the region.
The meeting culminated with a bilateral understanding between WACSI and WACSOF to work closely to unite West African civil society bodies, empower them with requisite knowledge and skills and enable them to unanimously focus towards promoting development in West Africa.