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PRESS BRIEFING

WACSOF WANTS NGOs TO REGISTER WITH ITS NATIONAL PLATFORMS

All existing NGOs in the West African region have been called on to register with the West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) National Platforms in the region.

The Acting General Secretary of WACSOF, Mr. Auwal Musa (Rafsanjani) made the call on Wednesday, 3rd December at a pre-event press briefing on the Annual West Africa Civil Society Conference on post 2015 and ECOWAS Vision 2020 Development Agenda for West Africa /Public Presentation of WACSOF’ Publications, at its regional secretariat in Abuja.

Mr Auwal Musa noted that the Forum has a lot to offer, stating that being an umbrella body of NGOs, WACSOF will always carry them along while serving as a link between NGOs and ECOWAS and other international organizations.

He noted that with the support of Commonwealth Foundation, WACSOF will be organizing its first Annual Civil Society Organizations Conference in Accra Ghana, from 8th – 9th December 2014, which is the only one of its kind in West Africa.

The Ag. General Secretary said the event will bring together Civil Society Organizations, Institutions in Governance, Development Partners and other relevant stakeholders to strategize and design a Post 2015 regional development Agenda framework that will be mainstreamed into the ECOWAS regional development agenda, on the platform of the 2014 Annual CSO and Regional Partners Workshop, with the goal of contributing to the Regional Development Agenda from the civil society perspective.

He said some of the objectives of the conference amongst others is to institute an annual platform for CSOs to discuss development issues; review CSOs participation in post-2015 and devise strategies to influence ongoing discourses at the regional level; and to discuss the strategies that civil society can use to effectively engage with ECOWAS and the vision 2020 through WACSOF.

Mr. Musa stated that it is expected that at the end of the event, Key capacity building areas and regional advocacy strategy for CSOs to effectively engage ECOWAS on post-2015 and ECOWAS Vision 2020 Development Agenda would have been identified.

He also expects that Local/regional issues identified by civil society will be reflected in the ECOWAS Development Agenda at the end of the conference.

Presenting some WACSOF’s Publications, he said WACSOF through its 12 different thematic groups which serve as a basis for the classification of Civil Society activities, addresses specific issues and processes with bearing on the regional integration and development agenda of the ECOWAS.

Some of the publications include newsletters on “Early Marriage in West Africa” (editions 1-4), “A Regional Strategy on Curbing Early Marriage in West Africa”, “A Toolkit for Civil Society”, “Civil Society and Conflict Prevention in Senegambia”, “Resolving West African Conflicts”, “Beyond Resource Violence”, “Civil Society and Elections Observation in West Africa

He noted that the Forum has not only carried out events on curbing early marriage in West Africa but in Agriculture and Food Security, Democracy and good governance, health and HIV/AIDs, Environment and Climate Change, human and people’s right, migration and freedom of movement, Humanitarian and Social Affairs, peace and security, trade and investment, Natural Resources and Economic Development, women and gender, and Youth and Employment.

In a remark, the Executive Director Children and Adult Empowerment Initiative, Mrs. Stella Okafor commended WACSOF’s contribution towards a better West Africa and urged it to add more efforts in making sure women are acquainted into governance.

Mrs. Okafor emphasized that women should be allowed to fully participate in governance so that they can speak for themselves rather than being represented.

She added that the West African Region can only prosper when governance is done in equity.

WACSOF FRENCH

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