Reports gathered over the last one month on civil society activities across West Africa revealed a massive and diverse socio-economic agenda towards the development of livelihoods.
CSOs in Nigeria recorded the highest interaction and engagement in advocating, influencing and criticising key national decisions as compared to other West African countries. Within the sub-region, most civil societies worked assiduously under the theme of good governance and democratic values. They criticised the government on violating human rights, demanded for better utility services and tested government efficiency.
A notable civil society engagement occurred in Ghana, where the West Africa Civil Society Initiative (WACSI), in partnership with Innovation for Change, held a three-day conference for participants to share ideas on alternative funding models for CSOs in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia. This initiative created a platform for CSOs to deliberate, learn and share best practices on mobilising internal revenue to sustain CSOs operations in the face of dwindling donor support. Some CSOs have also received outstanding support from international agencies to do their work.
A number of CSOs in Nigeria, for instance, recorded a $19.3 million financial support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to build and strengthen their capacity in performing their core mandate of influencing public institutions.
In the light of all these massive support given to CSOs, some are still facing unsurmountable challenges in their respective countries. As in the case of Senegal, where President Macky Sall has imposed internet censorship on the citizenry as a means of preventing the spread of misinformation during elections.
Notwithstanding all these numerous activities by CSOs, they are advised to find innovative ways of mobilising internal resource to sustain their operations to become less donor-dependent.
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About the Civil Society Situation Report: This is a monthly synopsis of news articles compiled by WACSI on civil society and citizen engagement across West Africa. It serves as a tool to monitor specific trends and changes within the sector across the region.