He told to over 900 participants at ARNOVA, is a US based national and international organization that connects scholars, teachers and practice leaders interested in research on non-profits organizations, voluntary action, philanthropy and civil society.
The association, he said, was founded in 1971 and it was a neutral, open forum committed to strengthening the research about and helping better shape member states, adding that it was geared toward connecting scholars, practitioners and civil society individuals, working on philanthropy and non-profits organizations and civil society in Africa.
Professor Gbla further informed the conference that ARNOVA facilitated the establishment of the Association for research on civil Society in Africa in 2014, seeking to, among many other things, promote excellence in research and scholarship in Africa, and bridging the gap between scholars and practitioners working on civil society, philanthropy and non-profits organizations.
On 16 November 2016 the AROCSA Board Members, including Professor Osman Gbla, held an in-house meeting where members were requested to give an update on the governance and civil society contexts of their various countries.
During the meeting Professor Gbla informed the participants that Sierra Leone was currently making impressive strides in the implementation of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), as it had not only successfully been peer reviewed, but had also presented popularly acclaimed first and second APRM Progress Reports.
He also dilated that, civil society in Sierra Leone through, having many challenges was also engaged in various governance programmes in the country, and that, the country was utilizing the talents of many young people in the governance of the state.
The APRM Executive Chairman, also presented the strategic work plan of the Research and Publications Committee of AROCSA, as Chairperson of the Committee that generally focuses on Africa’s response to the Current Global Context, through the Promotion of Good Governance and Regionalism .
Another very important Panel Discussion, where AROCSA members including Professor Gbla participated in was, the one on the shrinking space of civil society in Africa . In the deliberations of this session issues of external and internal factors that hamper civil society work, were seriously discussed. Panellists also proffered a number of recommendations for the effective participation of civil society in the promotion of peace, security and governance in Africa.
In another engagement, Professor Osman Gbla attended a meeting between AROCSA and the International Society for Third–Sector Research (ISTR). The International Society for Third–Sector Research was founded in 1992, and is headquartered in Baltimore, Mary Land USA.
Professor Osman Gbla also held series of discussions with students and professors in various universities in the United States, regarding collaboration to promote research and scholarship. Some of the universities engaged were School of Public Policy, University of Maryland and George Mason University, especially the Mason Centre for Non-Profit Management, Philanthropy and Policy.