The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) have agreed to collaborate and seek ways and means to build the capacity of the civil society organisations (CSOs) in the implementation of the ECOWAS Commission Strategic Document.
The Memorandum of Agreement between WACSI and ECOWAS was signed on Friday April 24, 2015 at the WACSI Training Centre in Accra, Ghana, by the Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission Dr. Toga Gayewea McIntosh and Ms. Nana Asantewa Afadzinu, Executive Director of WACSI in the presence of the staff and board members of WACSI.
The agreement paves way for more deeper and strategic collaboration between WACSI and ECOWAS Commission. This collaboration will enable WACSI to promote advocacy in the implementation of ECOWAS programmes in Member States, provide capacity building support to CSOs in West Africa and facilitate knowledge sharing activities to deepen citizens’ understanding of ECOWAS’ efforts to attain the ECOWAS vision 2020.
Dr. McIntosh lauded this new partnership between his institution and WACSI. He stressed that ECOWAS “wants an ECOWAS of peoples” as ECOWAS’ vision 2020 and to realise this vision, ECOWAS is partnering with key stakeholders who can play vital roles in supporting efforts to achieve this.
Dr. McIntosh pointed out that the capacity building for CSOs and policy influencing agenda are two critical components in the memorandum. “These are critical because we need the capacity to influence policies in the region”, he said.
“If we zero in on these two goals, we will achieve our mission at ECOWAS”, he emphasized and noted that ECOWAS is continuously “improving the act whereby representatives sit and talk on behalf of the people”.
The Executive Director of WACSI expressed the Institute’s commitment to provide capacity building support to CSOs in the sub-region to enable them make constructive contributions to policy influences processes in respective ECOWAS countries.
WACSI is a capacity building organisation that was set up in 2005 by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa to strengthen the institutional and operational capacities of CSOs in the region.
Since it began operations in 2007, WACSI’s capacity building programmes have benefited over 2203 practitioners all West African countries and other African countries such as Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Madagascar, Zambia and Ethiopia. Practitioners from Belgium, England, Spain and Germany have equally benefitted from WACSI’s trainings.
Source: Jimm Chick Fomunjong
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