[Abidjan, 12 December 2023} – The African Development Bank and the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) marking a significant step in their commitment to empower civil society organizations (CSOs) across West Africa.
The agreement, signed on 12 December in Abidjan, is the culmination of a two-year collaboration between the two institutions, solidifying their shared vision for an inclusive and prosperous Africa. The MoU formalizes a strategic partnership that will leverage WACSI’s expertise in building the skills and competencies of CSOs, in alignment with the Bank’s 2021-2025 Capacity Development Strategy.
The MoU outlines a comprehensive action plan centered around four key pillars:
- Strengthening the skills and competencies of CSOs on development programming
- Facilitating partnerships and resources mobilisation for sustainable capacity building
- Enhancing knowledge management through the generation and dissemination of relevant information
- Advocating for and influencing policy to ensure a more meaningful engagement of civil society in development discourse
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Zeneb Toure, the Bank’s manager for civil society and community engagement, acknowledged the critical role of civil society as partners in achieving shared development goals. She said the partnership with WACSI will be instrumental in unlocking the full potential of CSOs to contribute to inclusive growth and impactful development across West Africa.
“It is a privilege and an honour for WACSI to play this facilitating role, and we will do it to the best of our ability,” said Nana Asantewa Afadzinu, Executive Director of WACSI. She stressed WACSI’s belief in the pivotal role that a strong, effective, efficient, resilient, and influential civil society can play in ensuring sustainable development for the African continent. “Working with the African Development Bank, civil society will be able to play its role as a development partner.
WACSI expressed gratitude for the Bank’s recognition of its work and commitment to supporting civil society. “This partnership signifies a significant milestone in our efforts to empower CSOs and enhance their engagement in national development processes,” said Ms. Afadzinu.
The African Development Bank has made efforts to catalyse engagement with civil society for more than two decades, and today mainstreams engagement with CSOs in all Bank operational work.
From left to right:
- Luther YAMEOGO: Principal CSO Engagement Advocacy Officer, African Development Bank
- Nathalie GAHUNGA: Manager Gender and Women Empowerment Division, African Development Bank
- Émile Bela KOUAKOU: Consultant, PECG1, AfDB
- Nana Asantewa Afadzinu – Executive Director of WACSI
- Ambassador Francis Tsegah – WACSI Board member
- Zeneb TOURE: Manager, Civil Society and Community Engagement Division-African Development Bank
- David Jones: Lead Gender Programme & Policy Coordinator, African Development Bank .
- Jeanne KiTOKO: Junior Consultant , Front Office AHGC2
- Edward NSOBE: Senior Engagement Capacity Build Officer
- Marie-Josée: Team Assistant AHCG2
Source: Africa Development Bank Group