[Accra – 28 November 2023]- A groundbreaking report by the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) has identified Nigeria as the foremost contributor to economic, social, and political advancements in West Africa through its civil society organisations (CSOs).
The 80-page report, titled “Contribution of Civil Society Organisations to the Economic, Social, and Political Development of West Africa,” was officially launched on Thursday, 23rd November 2023.
The report highlighted job creation and poverty reduction as the major contributions made by CSOs in Nigeria toward the region’s development.
It also presented a top-tier ranking for countries, showcasing Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Mali as the frontrunners in this realm.
Additionally, it underscored economic policy contributions, effective public financial management, income and expenditure, and entrepreneurship as among the various contributions made by the third sector.
“While these indicators are not exhaustive, they were chosen because they broadly reflect the various ways CSOs contribute to economic development in the sub-region,” the report stated.
However, despite their commendable work, Dr. Solomon Amoah, the lead researcher from the University of Ghana, highlighted challenges hindering sustained CSOs’ involvement in development initiatives.
These challenges encompass inadequate local funding, insufficient government support, and an overdependence on unpredictable donor funds.
Dr. Amoah, while presenting the findings, also noted deficiencies in private sector backing, continuity in civil response, lack of technical expertise, and coordinated efforts as critical obstacles.
Under these circumstances, he mentioned, “92.8% of civic actors who responded to questions about how to tackle these obstacles agree it is time to reimagine civil society roles and contributions to development.”
Commissioned with support from the Ford Foundation, the study offers crucial recommendations to address these obstacles.
It stresses the importance of open civic space, alternative funding approaches, local resource mobilisation, and active participation in national dialogues as pivotal means for CSOs to effectively contribute to regional development.
Nana Asantewa Afadzinu, the Executive Director of WACSI, stressed the report’s significance as an advocacy tool for showcasing the substantial contributions of CSOs to the region’s advancement.
“This report is an advocacy tool that can be shared with partners to let them know what we are bringing to the table,” Afadzinu expressed, urging civic actors to leverage its insights for effective change-making within the region.
The launch of this research report marks a pivotal moment in analysing the region’s development, particularly regarding the contributions of the third sector.
Download Full Report Here: