AFRICAN civil society organisations (CSOs) have called on national governments and regional bodies to put in place more meaningful structures to include civil society in decision-making platforms.
The CSOs made the call at the sixth annual conference of the Association for Research on Civil Society in Africa (AROCSA), which was held in Dakar, Senegal, in early September.
The conference with the theme ‘The role of CSOs in safeguarding and supporting human and environmental health in Africa’ had Eghosa E. Osaghae, the Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs and Mohamed Ben Omar Ndiaye Director General of the Institute of Public Policy (IPP) as the keynote speakers.
Explaining the rationale behind the conference, the Country Director of the development Research and Projects Centre (dRPC), Judith-Ann Walker, said the aim was for civil society groups from across the continent to brainstorm solutions to tackle the impact of practices, challenges, and policies on the continent’s human and environmental spaces.
“The conference is an avenue for African CSOs to drive the necessary change through research findings sharing, and by engaging policymakers, the private sector and community of practice to come up with common agenda for sustainable development in the continent,” Walker said in a statement.
She added that at the event, the leaders of a health accountability programme – the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health PACFaH@Scale(PAS) – anchored by the dRPC put on record the project’s contribution to the capacity development of their organisations, positioning these civil society groups to take up leadership roles in the policy advocacy space.