WACSOF, deepening regional integration and fostering stability and development in West Africa


17 March 2015

DSC 0671WACSOF Launches its RGGP Project Website and Country Profile Reports

Day one of the WACSOF’s Regional Partners Meeting “Setting the standards for right-based participatory governance in support of ECOWAS vision 2020; from an ECOWAS of states to an ECOWAS of people” has ended.

It will be recalled that WACSOF, with support from OXFAM, has been implementing a project on “Promoting the Ratification and Domestication of International Legal and Policy Frameworks to Guarantee Rights-Based, Pro-Poor, Governance in West Africa.

As part of integrated activities under this project, WACSOF carried out a comprehensive study of the updated status of ratification of international human rights, gender and good governance law in each of the 15 ECOWAS Member States, with the objective to clarify the applicable legal framework and facilitate rights-based advocacy work by regional and national civil society organizations.

The country reports were officially presentation and the project website launched at the Regional Partners Workshop today 17th March 2015.

In an opening remark, the Ag. General Secretary, Mr Auwal Musa (Rafsanjani) said the project was aimed at supporting the aspiration of the West African Community.

He stated that the West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) with the support of Oxfam, was implementing the project to ascertain and monitor the status of implementation of international conventions, treaties and protocols by ECOWAS Member States and mobilize political will for increased ratification, domestication and compliance with these instruments.

Mr Auwal Musa noted that the main objectives of the project was to provide necessary tools and resources that will assist advocacy for the ratification and domestication of policy and legal frameworks in ECOWAS Member states; and to institute an integrated mechanism for the sharing of information ideas and best practices amongst relevant partners in monitoring the status of implementation of international conventions, treaties and protocols.

He was optimistic that at the end of the program, West African citizens and CSOs will be better informed on their human rights, gender equity and good governance, and the obligations of States.

Also speaking at the event, Mr Enrico stated that, the project is part of Oxfam’s RGGP for West Africa, focusing on ECOWAS as major actor for positive social change in West Africa, and supports the participation of CSO’s and citizens in the materialization of ECOWAS Vision 2020; from an ECOWAS of state to an ECOWAS of peoples, especially as they mark 40 years of existence.

Presenting the project reports to participants, he urged them to comment and constructive criticise the reports.

Papers delivered at the meeting included “ECOWAS 40years later and ECOWAS Vision 2020: taking stock of achievements, looking at challenges and priorities from 2015 to 2020” by Mr Essien Abel, Director of Planning, ECOWAS Commission and “the role of regional civil society and other stakeholders in the materialization ECOWAS vision 2020 and the consolidation of the rule of law, human rights and democratic governance in the ECOWAS region” by Dr. Jibrin Ibrahim, Senior Fellow, CDD.

Participants were later divided into five groups according to the five thematic objectives of ECOWAS Vision 2020, while considering gender and youth dimensions in their discussions.

Group one looked at the Regional Resource Development, group two discussed Peace and Security, Group three deliberated on Governance, group four, Economic and Monetary Integration, while group five conversed on private sector.

The groups later resolved to a regional partnership plan in support of ECOWAS Vision 2020.

The meeting continued with the presentation of Oxfam’s Regional Good Governance Program for West Africa (RGGP) and the Active Citizenship campaign, by Enrico Muratore, Oxfam RGGP Coordinator.

It ended with discussions on issues bothering on good governance in ECOWAS Region by some panel of experts.

The meeting which was attended by about 50 participants from around West Africa continues tomorrow.


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