By Ronald Joe Morovia
Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) has commenced three days training for its partners in the Sub-region, geared towards enhancing good governance and democracy.
The training, hosted at Lagoonda Lounge in Freetown brought together Civil Society Organisations from Liberia, Nigeria, Gambia and Ghana.
Manager of OSIWA Mano River Office, Joe Pemagbi said the training seeks to address the shrinking of civic space which is gradually undermining good governance and democracy that is becoming worrying sign in the sub-region.
He furthered that the training provides an experience sharing platform with partners from other countries while enhancing their advocacy capacity that focused on stakeholder mapping, building alliances, identifying antagonists, effective communication while using advocacy as a tool for good governance.
Mr. Pemagbiemphasised the need for advocacy skills development owning to the strangling of civil society space, adding that the training will also provide Civil Society Organisations with skills to constructively engage stakeholders with credible information to persuade government of the merit of good governance.
The event which brought participants from Liberia, Nigeria, Gambia and Ghana also focused on enhancing effective communication for democratic good governance through briefings, data collection for evidence based advocacy engagement among others.
Ann Iyonu is Executive Director for Goodluck Jonathan Foundation in Nigeria. She said the training is in line with her Foundation’s thematic area which peace, security, democracy, elections, women and youth, all of which has to do with advocacy.
“If we must change the way our democracy is and must consolidate our democracy, there are certain issue we need to interrogate and advocacy is one of the ways” she emphasised, adding that advocacy is one of the means to strengthen democracy in the sub-region and therefore underscores the importance of the training which will provide them new skills and experience from other countries.
The engagement is slated to end on Friday and is expected to provide participants with skills to engage on constructive dialogue.