Accra, Oct. 17, GNA – Participants from over 20 West African states have converged in Accra for a two-day workshop organised by the West African Civil Society Institute (WACSI).
The workshop, to deliberate on issues pertaining to civil society capacity building is expected to help outline key capacity development issues within the sub-region and develop best methods and strategies to address them.
Addressing the participants on Wednesday, Professor Esi Sutherland-Addy, Senior Research Fellow, University of Ghana, expressed concern about the inability of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to stand up to the same scrutiny they exert on governments.
She called on CSOs to exhibit professionalism in their activities in order to attract the confidence of all stakeholders, especially donors and the communities in which they operate.
Prof Sutherland-Addy who is also a board member of WACSI, expressed unhappiness with some CSOs who did not possess the requisite resources, skills and knowledge to effect the needed changes in their communities.
“By delivering training, undertaking research, creating learning resources and facilitating high learning access, the Institute seeks to support all stakeholders to become a stronger and better represented group”, she said.
Prof Sutherland-Addy, who is also the Head of Language, Literature and Drama Section of the Department of African Studies, lauded the ever increasing role played by CSOs in shaping national policies, delivering services and holding governments accountable.
Nana Asantewa Afadzinu, Executive Director of WACSI, said the Institute was formed five years ago by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa to support CSOs in the West African sub region.
“Through enhancing skills and knowledge, institutional and personal capacity development and delivery of advocacy skills, the Institute continues to empower CSOs and leaders across West Africa to make their voice heard”, she said.
She explained that WACSI organised the meeting in an effort to take stock of its capacity development methodology and chart the course for future actions.
“WACSI also hopes to gather relevant information through this international seminar to guide the Institute in strategising and repositioning itself to contribute to the delivery of capacity building knowledge and effective decision-making processes of CSOs”, she said.
The meeting which brought together experts in CSOs, academicians and development partners was to assess current strategies in capacity development for CSOs and their effectiveness, create the platform for dialogue and mobilise African and international perspectives on CSOs capacity development.