WACSI Holds First Board Meeting Online Amidst COVID-19

WACSI Holds First Board Meeting Online Amidst COVID-19

WACSI Holds First Board Meeting Online Amidst COVID-19

On Thursday 28 May 2020, WACSI organised its statutory first board meeting for the year. The meeting was organised online for the first time in the Institute’s 13 years of existence. It enabled the management of the Institute, led by its dynamic and visionary Executive Director, Nana Asantewa Afadzinu, to update the board on how WACSI is progressing to implement its activities while adapting to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The board lauded the team for the good work and provided insights on how to stay robust during the pandemic and emerge stronger after the pandemic. The Executive Director of WACSI shared an update of the Institute’s progress reports for the first quarter of the year and plans for the rest of the year.

“We are working to achieve our objectives under the four key strategic areas in WACSI’s 2018 to 2022 strategy; enabling environment for civil society, technology for development, civil society’ sustainability and women and youth leadership,” she said.

Being the third year in the Institute’s current strategy, the Executive Director explained that her team is being guided by the priorities outlined in the strategy. She said this has been vital in guiding WACSI to be responsive to the current needs of its civil society actors in West Africa. “WACSI is on the right track in responding to the challenges facing civil society in West Africa today,” she noted.

Unit heads explained that despite the outbreak of COVID-19, civil society actors from the region continue to show increased interest in WACSI’s programmes. “As of 31st March 2020, WACSI’s programmes reached 219 participants from about 172 organisations, reflecting an increase in both the number of participants and the number of organisations for the same period last year (166 participants from 129 organisations),” reported Franck Sombo, Head of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Unit at WACSI.

Over this period, participants benefited from different types of interventions, including trainings (139), convening (41) and workshops (36). This, the board found to be commendable given the global circumstances under which these were achieved. “Big well done to the WACSI team for the good job done,” said Mrs. Ayodeji Fajemirokun board chair of WACSI.

Together with other board members, Mrs. Fajemirokun expressed utmost satisfaction at staff’ continuous effort to realise the Institute’s objectives despite the challenges posed by the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

She said this board meeting is critical for WACSI given that it is being organised at a time when the degree of uncertainty posed by the COVID-19 pandemic on CSOs including WACSI is high. Board members used this meeting as an opportunity to provide timely and valuable insights that would shape a blissful path for the Institute in the remaining half of the year.

“The decisions we will take will enable WACSI to know how to tread for the rest of the year and emerge stronger,” she said.

The meeting was held online for the first time in the Institute’s 13 year’s history. This was done in line with ongoing measures to curb the spread of the deadly Coronavirus in Ghana and West Africa.

Board members commended the staff at the Institute for the milestones achieved despite the unusual situation and the fact that some programmes had to be postponed while the mode of delivery of others had to become online as opposed to previously planned face to face engagements. WACSI has been innovative in responding to the capacity needs of CSOs across the region as it leverages on technology.

With the guidance of its board, the Institute’s staff hope to continue to provide capacity development support to civil society actors, convene dialogues to address key issues on civil society’s work and document knowledge on civil society’s engagements to promote development in West Africa. These will enable civil society to remain relevant and capable of responding adequately to COVID-19 and beyond. For more information on WACSI, contact info@wacsi.org

About Author:

Jimm Chick Fomunjong

Jimm Chick Fomunjong, Cameroonian, joined WACSI in May 2018 as the Head of the Knowledge Management and Communication Units of the Institute. He has over ten years’ experience as a journalist and a development communications expert. He has a vast experience in supporting African organisations to strengthen their internal and external communications, building and sustaining relationships with the media and, leveraging on the power of social media to promote their mission. He is also excellent at supporting organisations to set up and operationalise functional communications and knowledge management systems. He has a deep passion and expertise in supporting Africans and African civil society organisations to document their praxis, share and learn from experiences documented from the African civil society sector.

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