West African CSOs to Promote Good Governance & Democracy in Sierra Leone
SOURCE: AWARENESS TIMES SIERRA LEONE (AUGUST 13TH 2018)
By Jeneba V. Kabba
The West African Civil Society Organization Forum (WACSOF) is a platform for the aggregation of civil society organizations that are focused in promoting Good governance and democracy across the ECOWAS 15 Members States of West African.
The General Secretary Komlan Messie during a press conference on Thursday 9th August, 2018 at Bintumani Hotel said that promoting good governance and democracy in West African through the West African Civil Society Organization Forum is one of their objectives. He disclosed that the purpose of the meeting is to popularize the African Charter on democracy, elections and good governance in the West African States.
He admonished that the conference would facilitate joints encouragement and deepens synergy with the African peace and security Architecture in strategic intervention in areas like diplomacy, conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction and development in African. He added that civil society organizations should foster dialogue and share comparable lesson on trend, challenge, opportunities and prospects for improving good governance and democracy among its member States in West African. He informed that WACSOF was founded in 2003 by ECOWAS with the sole purpose of channeling civil society towards complimenting the regional integration and development agenda of the ECOWAS system, institutions, created based on the need to create an institutionalized dialogue between sub-regional CSOs and ECOWAS.
He said that the organizational structures of WACSOF include, the people’s forum, the executive committee, the executive secretariat, the thematic groups, the national platform, adding that the thematic groups are, agriculture and food security, democracy and good governance, environment and climate change, health and HIV/AIDS, Human and people’s right, Humanitarian and social affairs, migration and freedom of movement, natural resources and economic development, peace and security, trade and investment, women and gender and finally youth and employment.
The Secretary General for Sierra Leone chapter, Morlia K. Conteh said that they have worked very hard to see that the relationship between the civil society organizations in Sierra Leone and government officials continued to be good. He added that it is now clear that members of civil society organizations have to do more in terms of popularizing and implementing the charter of the WACSOF. He added that they have to strengthen their networking, advocacy system, public awareness and capacity building.
The outgoing vice President of Sierra Leone Chapter, Williams Sao Lamin said that democracy and good governance in Sierra Leone have improved a bit because of their advocacy and public awareness rising campaigns in the country. He said that they have held a lot of interaction with government officials about issues that will help to strengthen good governance and the rule of law in the country.