Ghana: 14 CSOs receive 42 Laptops from WACSI and Techsoup

Ghana: 14 CSOs receive 42 Laptops from WACSI and Techsoup

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The West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI), since its establishment in 2007 has provided consistent support to civil society organisations (CSOs) in West Africa and beyond in the areas of women and youth leadership, civil society sustainability, technology for development, and institutional and operational capacity development to boost the effectiveness of civil society organisations (CSOs).

In line with the Institute’s commitment to respond to the capacity needs of CSOs, 14 civil society organisations (CSOs) in Ghana have received 42 brand new HP laptops from WACSI as part of the WACSI-TechSoup hardware donation initiative.

The laptop donation initiative comes in response to a critical need identified through a research conducted by WACSI in 2020 with support from Wilde Ganzen.

The research sought to understand how COVID-19 affected CSOs in six out of seven countries that benefited from this initiative, including Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, and The Gambia. Though the research did not cover Benin, there was the need to support organisations in Benin.

During the research, it came to light that CSOs in these West African countries had a dire need for technological tools to continue engaging with their stakeholders under the restrictive conditions imposed by the pandemic. One of the organisations that participated in the research recounted how their staff had to use their phones to conduct virtual meetings. Several CSOs complained that as a result of the pandemic, they were unable to go to their offices due to the restrictions instituted by the government of Ghana. Speaking at a brief handing over ceremony at the conference hall of WACSI on 31 March 2021, Katherine Adarkwa, Head, Administration at WACSI said, “Internet connectivity and technology, in general, have become an integral part of the smooth running of CSOs, particularly where health experts have advised citizens to limit physical contact”.

Hence, the need to acquire responsive technological facilities was paramount for CSOs in Ghana. Also, they expressed the need to build their staff capacity as many of their organisations are adopting remote working approaches due to COVID-19. The 14 CSOs who received the 42 laptops in Ghana include Bless Jet Foundation, Centre for Capacity Improvement for the Wellbeing of the Vulnerable (CIWED), Centre for Communities Education and Youth Development, Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations-Eastern Region, Global Women Development Promoters, Totteham City Youth Club, NewsBridge Africa, Norsaac, Rural Initiatives Ghana Foundation, Safe-Child Advocacy, Support Services Foundation, Tele-Bere VSL Association (Tele-Bere) and Urban Poor Child Organisation.

These 14 CSOs are among the 42 organisations from seven West African countries that received 102 laptops during the hardware donation initiative.

Explaining the purpose of the donation, Franck Sombo Head, Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) unit at WACSI who led this donation initiative said ”Due to the lockdown measures instituted by our various governments, we could no longer meet face-to-face in our offices; meaning our daily lives could no longer be the same. Therefore, something needed to be done”.

On that note, he expressed gratitude on behalf of WACSI to TechSoup and Wilde Ganzen for the support. He bemoaned that the target was to help many more organisations but due to limited funds 42 CSOs from seven countries could benefit from this support. He however remained optimistic that this initiative will continue.

Franck appealed to donors to support such a great initiative; one that relieves CSOs of a key challenge that mars their operational effectiveness.

Victoria Norgbe, the Executive Director, Global Women Development Promoters (GLOWDEP), while receiving the laptops on behalf of GLOWDEP said, ”working with WACSI has helped to legitimise and improve GLOWDEP immensely. Through our work with WACSI, we have been able to attract support from the French Embassy. This has enabled us to work closely with the French Embassy”.

”We want to say a special thank you to the West Africa Civil society Institute (WACSI) for today’s gesture of presenting laptops to us. This is going to boost our job especially our database which will help us to monitor and keep track of all our activities,” Norgbe added.


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About the author

Robert Oppong is a Ghanaian. He holds Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a speciality in Development Communication. He is a gender and a social activist with great knowledge in participatory communication, international governance and development.


Robert Oppong

Robert Oppong is a Ghanaian. He holds Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a speciality in Development Communication. He is a gender and a social activist with great knowledge in participatory communication, international governance and development.

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Fiifi is a Ghanaian and currently serves as Communications and Information Officer at the West Africa Civil Society Institute. He joined the Institute in December 2020.


Nancy is a Ghanaian and currently serves as Programme Officer in the Knowledge Management unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute. She joined the Institute in January 2021.


Agnes is a Ghanaian and currently serves as Head of the Administration unit in the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in October 2021.


Doris holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social sciences (Economics and Sociology) from the University of Cape Coast. She is passionate about impacting young lives hence co-founded Impart Foundation. A non-profit organization which seeks to empower young lives through education, technology and entrepreneurship.


Prince Akowuah is a Ghanaian and currently the Programme Assistant in the Translation Unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in 2020.


Maxwell Apenteng is a Ghanaian and joined WACSI in September 2010. He provides gardening and janitorial services at the Institute.


George Adu-Mintah is a Ghanaian and currently the Protocol Assistant/Driver at the West Africa Civil Society (WACSI). He joined the Institute in October 2006.


Ibrahim Kwaku Gbadago is a Ghanaian. He joined the Institute in 2008 and provides janitorial services and assisting the institute's errands. Before joining the Institute, he worked at the Palestinian embassy in Accra, Ghana.


Ruth Yakana is from Cameroon and currently the Receptionist at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in 2020.


Bethel is a Ghanaian. He provides technical and IT related support to the Institute. He joined the Institute in October 2006.


Whitnay Segnonna holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Management from the University of Benin. With 2 years of experience, she has a strong knowledge of organizational and project management. Combined with her bilingualism, she is very passionate about her work. She joined WACSI as Project Assistant on Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) for the Capacity Development Unit.


Stella Yawa Wowoui holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Translation Studies. She has a perfect grasp of both French and English, as well as an intermediate level in Spanish. She is currently working as a Project Assistant on the Techsoup Project.


Kwame is an experienced IT Consultant/Software Developer. He is skilled in Web Applications Development, Digital Security, Database Management, Digital Marketing and Brand Management. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Information Technology and is a Microsoft Programme Alumni. He is currently serving as a Marketing and IT Officer on the Techsoup Project.


Grace Akpene Ziggah is a Togolese and currently the Logistics Officer and also assists in administration duties at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in June 2009.


Lilian Dafeamekpor is a Ghanaian and currently the Assistant to the Executive Director at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in 2020.


John P. Frinjuah has expertise and interests in civil society, international development, democracy and governance, conflict, crisis, and security. He has extensive experience working with civil society and international development organizations where he supported and managed research, programmes, and provided technical assistance on a variety of themes around public policy, governance, and development. He is an alumnus of the University of Ghana and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy - Tufts University in the United States, with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from two institutions respectively. John speaks English, French and several Ghanaian and regional West Africa languages.


Gervin has extensive international development experience, including 5 years of policy advocacy and capacity building of grass root organisations. He has implemented over the years a combination of agriculture value chain, livelihood, food security and governance and rights programmes.
Prior to joining WACSI, Gervin worked on two USAID projects focusing on agriculture value chain development and governance in northern Ghana
Gervin holds a master’s degree in development & Governance from the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany as well as a Masters in Global Studies from the Universities of Vienna (Austria), Leipzig (Germany) and California (Santa Barbara), USA. He is passionate social justice and inclusion.


Leandre Banon, Beninese, joined WACSI in September 2014 as Capacity Development Programme Assistant. Since then, he has worked in various units within the Institute to support operational and institutional capacity strengthening programmes for civil society in the region. Currently serving as Capacity Development Programme Officer at WACSI, his main responsibilities involve designing, planning, implementing and monitoring capacity development programmes for civil society constituents and grouping across the West Africa. Leandre is a certified Change the Game Academy Programme Trainer. His background lies in the areas of economics and development planning.


Samuel Appiah is a Ghanaian and currently the Programme Officer in the Finance and Administrative Unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). He joined the Institute in May, 2016.


Jimm Chick Fomunjong, Cameroonian, joined WACSI in May 2018 as the Head of the Knowledge Management and Communication Units of the Institute. He has over ten years’ experience as a journalist and a development communications expert. He has a vast experience in supporting African organisations to strengthen their internal and external communications, building and sustaining relationships with the media and, leveraging on the power of social media to promote their mission. He is also excellent at supporting organisations to set up and operationalise functional communications and knowledge management systems. He has a deep passion and expertise in supporting Africans and African civil society organisations to document their praxis, share and learn from experiences documented from the African civil society sector.


Franck Sombo is a development practitioner with the drive to lead self and others to influence productivity and efficiency. His work involves supporting organisations to develop strategic plans, design monitoring and evaluation systems, develop and use relevant performance measurement tools to track progress, assess organizational growth and institutionalise learning. Franck has eight years of experience working with WACSI where he currently serves as the Head, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning. His academic qualifications include Masters in Organisations’ and Projects’ Management, and in Business Sciences and a High National Diploma in Finance and Accounting.

Franck is a Fellow of the International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET) and a graduate of the Graduate Training Institute (GTI) - Ghana with specialization in Strategic Management and Corporate Leadership. He has a rich experience in Project Management, Capacity Development, Strategic planning, Data Analytics, Monitoring and Evaluation, Training and Facilitation, Mentoring and Coaching among others.


Omolara is a development practitioner and advocacy strategist with over 15 years of progressive experience in development programming targeted at strengthening civil society in West Africa.

She joined WACSI in November 2009 as a Regional Advocacy Consultant and later became the first Policy Advocacy Officer of the Institute in 2010.

She was promoted to Head of the Policy Influencing and Advocacy (PIA) Unit in 2015. As the Head of the PIA unit, Omolara offers strategic direction to the Institutes’ ambitions to connect and convene groups of organised and organic civil society actors; and influence regional and global discourses on crosscutting policy issues including—civil society regulations, sustainable development goals, civic space and enabling environment, aid effectiveness, gender equality, and civil society accountability.

Previously, Omolara served as a Programmes Associate with the Women in Peace and Security Network-Africa (WIPSEN-Africa), where she worked with her team to design and implement pan-African programmes on—multidimensional peace support operations and gender mainstreaming in security sector reform in Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.

She also served as a Service Development Marshal at TVQ Consulting Group, a customer service firm focused on designing strategic customer relationship and business growth plans for private and public financial institutions in Nigeria.

Omolara is a social justice advocate, a network weaver, and a convener. She has a postgraduate degree in Peace and Conflict Studies; a degree in International Relations and History, from the University of Ibadan and Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria respectively.

She also holds executive certificates in Behavioral Science in Public Policy from Harvard University Executive Education in Cambridge and in Citizen Advocacy from the Coady International Institute, St Francis Xavier University in Canada.


Kwabena Kroduah is a Ghanaian and currently heads the Finance Unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). He joined the Institute in January 2008.


Charles currently serves as the Head of the Capacity Development Unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). Charles has over 10 years of experience working in international development and social justice issues in Africa. Charles has expertise in strengthening civil society and public agencies including the design and implementation of governance and leadership programmes, development of knowledge pieces and policy advice. Charles was the founding Board Chair of Innovation for Change (i4C)-Hub Afrique, as well as the founding member of the International Consortium on Closing Civic Space (iCon), an initiative of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC. Charles currently serves as the Member of the Governing Board (Coordination Collective) of Africans Rising. He is a Member of the Development Studies Association, United Kingdom. Charles is a 2017 Stanford University Fellow for Nonprofit Leaders and a certified Change the Game Resource Mobilisation Trainer.


Nana Afadzinu is a Ghanaian and currently serves as the Executive Director of the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in October 2010.