7TH REGIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY (PEOPLE’S FORUM) OF WAFSC JUNE 30, 2022, COTONOU, REPUBLIC OF BENIN
COTONOU 30TH 2022:
- Thursday, June 30th, 2022 in Cotonou was held the General Assembly (People’s Forum) of the West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) at the Cotonou Bourse du Travail, in Benin Republic.
- Created with the support of ECOWAS, the West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) is the apex civil society network in West Africa, covering 18 thematic areas, with representation in 15 West African countries. WACSOF is a privileged partner and advisor to ECOWAS and other institutions. WACSOF is the institutionalized channel for dialogue between civil society organizations and ECOWAS.
- The 7th edition of the Ordinary General Assembly of WACSOF saw the official participation of Mr. NANA Kyeretwie Osei Head of Programs of ECOSOCC – AFRICAN UNION and Mrs. AHAMIDÉ Arlette, representative of the ECOWAS National Office in Benin. Also participating in this general assembly were officials of civil society organizations (CSOs), coordinators of national platforms and accredited personalities from ECOWAS countries.
- In his welcome speech, the General Secretary of WACSOF, Mr KOMLAN MESSIE commended the commitment of all the participants to the cause of WACSOF and specified the context in which this People’s Forum is organized.
- In her introductory remarks, Mrs. Arlette AHAMIDÉ stressed the need for civil society to regularly organize its statutory meetings for its vitality and the legitimacy of this sub-regional general assembly, then gave her full support for its smooth running.
- It was Mr. NANA of ECOSOCC who had the honour of officially launching the work of the 7th edition of the WACSOF People’s Forum from the perspective of good governance of West African institutions.
- After the Opening Ceremony, a presidium of 2 members was set up with Mr NANA Osei of ECOSOCC as President and Mrs Rosa EDOH of the NGO Happy Children as secretary.
- After the presentation of the participants, the validation of the agenda, the summary presentation of the WACSOF management report, the WACSOF charter of 2003 in Accra, was amended, article by article and adopted by the participants according to the recommendations of the 6th general assembly of WACSOF in 2016. The draft revised Charter, having been initially prepared by various specialists who worked on it, since 2018 with the outgoing Executive Committee. A charter committee made up of coordinators from several ECOWAS countries has been set up to work on it as well and submit it to this WACSOF general assembly.
- The participants noted and took note of the fact that the mandate of the outgoing Executive Committee, elected on August 16, 2016, has ended since August 2020, in accordance with article 9 of the WACSOF charter and internal regulations. The Peoples’ Forum therefore gave discharge to the outgoing executive committee.
- The General Assembly was also the opportunity for the renewal of the governing bodies of WACSOF, with the election of a new Board of Directors composed of 7 members in accordance with the provisions of the revised charter of June 30th, 2022.
- The General Assembly (People’s Forum) is made up of the coordinators (or their duly authorized representatives) of the national platforms of the 15 ECOWAS countries and the members of the board of directors who are still exercising their mandate and a delegate from each country
- The Board of Directors newly elected on June 30 is made up of women and men with proven expertise, solid networks of contacts, and high moral and intellectual probity.
- All the National Platforms coordinators of the 15 ECOWAS countries constitute the People’s Forum of WACSOF.
- To avoid any form of conflict of interest, the function of member of a WACSOF body is incompatible with that of member of another body of WACSOF.
- The bodies of WACSOF are:
- The General Assembly (People’s Forum)
- Board of directors
- The Executive Direction
- National Platforms
- Thematic groups
- In order to guarantee the proper functioning of the Organization, WACSOF will equip itself with:
- Manual of Administrative, Financial and Accounting Procedures;
- Organization chart updated;
- Strategic plan
- Management Control, Audit & Quality Committee;
- A code of conduct and ethics
- An anti-fraud policy
- A Committee of Elders
- A Legal Committee
- The newly elected Board members are:
- Mrs BERNICE BANYBAH, ÉPSE NOUDEGBESSI: Dr in Human Rights/Legal Studies, UNESCO / UAC Chair; Expert in Gender, Gender-Based Violence and Human Rights (BENIN)
- PENDA MBOW: Experienced Woman, Activist, Former Minister. Professor at the CHEIKH ANTA DIOP University of Dakar and president of the citizen movement, (SENEGAL)
- KANGNI AFANOU, jurist, and journalist. He is « CCPR (CENTRE FOR CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS) coordinator for West and Central Africa, (TOGO)
- BUBA KHAN, Senior Consultant. Former Continental Advocacy Coordinator for ACTIONAID INTERNATIONAL, (GAMBIA)
- HUCO JOAO JOSE SILVA MONTEIRO, Former ECOWAS Commissioner, Human Resources; (GUINNEA-BISSAU)
- JEDDLEE STEPHENS KINNII, National Coordinator Of Liberian African Youth Peer Review Committee, (LIBERIA)
- JOSEPHINE ALABI, Activist, Peace and Security, KEEN AND CARE INITIATIVE (NIGERIA).
- WACSOF must ensure at all times that it adopts an approach of intergenerational dialogue, solvency and guarantee of its future performance. The key issue is to work in an inclusive and consensual manner, all generations and families of CSOs combined, in order to reposition WACSOF as the reference umbrella for CSOs in West Africa.
- WACSOF thanks all West African organizations and undertakes to work for an ECOWAS of the peoples in accordance with the ECOWAS vision 2050 ./.
Done in Cotonou on June 30, 2022
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY (THE PEOPLES’ FORUM)
Contacts: Media@Wacsof-Foscao.Org / +234 810 287 0960 (WhatsApp)
ABOUT THE WEST AFRICAN CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM (WACSOF)
With more than 1000 Member Organizations, the WEST AFRICAN CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM (WACSOF) is the umbrella network of the Civil Society in West Africa, covering 18 thematic areas, with representation in 15 countries of ECOWAS. WACSOF is the channel for institutionalized dialogue between civil society organizations and ECOWAS. WACSOF builds capacity, advocates, mobilizes civil society, engages in the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies for a prosperous, stable and peaceful Africa. WACSOF is an excellent channel, a one-stop-shop for systematic engagement between institutions and civil society organizations, for impactful results. www.Wacsof-Foscao.Org