Ghana hosts ECOWAS, CSO meeting on community strategic framework
A meeting of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs)
on the development of a Community Strategic Framework (CSF) 2016-2020 has taken place in Accra.
A communiqué signed by Nana Asantewa Afadzinu, Executive Director, WACSI, and Essien Abel Essien, Director, Strategic Planning Directorate, ECOWAS Commission, on behalf of delegates at the end of the meeting, recommended that all amendments proposed to address the gaps identified in the CSF, including how civic participation should be deployed and the placement of gender, should be incorporated into the final CFS document.
Other inputs into the final CSF document, the communiqué said, were the development of a clear communication strategy to disseminate the CSF through the ECOWAS Member States, taking note of new social media channels while still utilising existing channels of traditional media and traditional methods of communication.
The communiqué called for the development and strengthening of relationships with government departments, associations, faith-based organisations and social movements; the setting up of a technical working group with representation from key CSOs in Member States to meet regularly and track progress on all recommendations outlined in the communiqué, as well as in the report for the meeting.
It also stressed the need to ensure the sustainable financing of CSF implementation by dedicating a portion of the Community Levy, which may require a clear budget line for CSOs within the ECOWAS annual budget, and donated funds from emerging African foundations, indigenous philanthropists, strategic bank (ECOBANK) and the Diaspora for the purpose.
The communiqué called for the reorganisation of the current national structure of ECOWAS to better align and be more responsive to CSOs across Member States, creation of a linkage between ECOWAS National Offices and the West Africa Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) national platforms for closer collaboration and the strengthening of the relationship between ECOWAS National Offices and the broader CSOs constituency for the implementation of the CSF.
The need to make available to CSOs all information on the CSF ahead of its implementation for them to fulfil their roles; capitalise on WACSOF as an umbrella organisation for the implementation of the CSF at both the regional and national level; and request a comprehensive National Implementation Plan with a deadline and timeframe from Member States was also contained in the communiqué.
The meeting was organised by the ECOWAS Commission and the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI).
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this news report do not necessarily reflect the position of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC)