Over the past one month, the level and engagements of civil society activities in West Africa have been observed to be on the rise as they are confronted with a number of actions and setbacks with the government as well as citizens.
Civil Society in Nigeria was actively involved in making demands from the government and engaging in gubernatorial elections amongst others. However, most actions across the region were geared towards advocacy and campaigns against harmful traditional practices such as FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), rape, repressive governments, economic hardships, illegal government activities and the demand for more transparent and accountable government. In the Gambia, civil societies have been urged to be more proactive in their service than reactive after uncertainties. Nonetheless, the Malian civil society is said to benefit from an outstanding European Union fund to strengthen the development and democratic process in the country whiles empowering the capacity of CSOs to adequately promote the interest of the marginalized.
Even though CSOs in West Africa have enjoyed tremendous support from International donors over the years, issues of funds misappropriation are on the rise and have called for attention in most countries. Making reference to the Global Fund report, revealed that the management of Civil Society for the Eradication of Tuberculosis in Nigeria. (TB Network) have misused funds meant for its staff salaries worth $51,038 (N18.4 million), which continues to create mistrust between CSOs and funding agencies.
Considering the diverse response to CSOs’ actions across the region, it’s important to ruminate innovative ways of empowering the sectors operational activities to adapt to the contemporary challenges facing West Africa.
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The Civil Society Situation Report is a monthly synopsis of news articles compiled by WACSI on civil society and citizen’s engagement across West Africa. It serves as a tool to monitor specific trends and changes within the sector across the region.