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Regional News of Sunday, 5 February 2017

Source: GNA

Bombande urges civil society to keep doing good works

Mr Emmanuel H. Bombande, former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, has urged civil society organisations (CSOs) to keep doing good works for the benefit of humanity.

He explained that CSOs, which perform their roles well, stood the chance of receiving more support from governments, development partners and donors.

He said CSOs need to have strong institutional and capacity credibilities, in order to continue enjoying support from governments, development partners and donors.

He urged CSOs to put in place strong institutional management structures and to develop a remarkable way of negotiating with governments, development partners and donors for funding.

Mr Bombande made these remarks in Accra during the inauguration of the head office complex of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP).

The event, which coincided with the launching of a book entitled: “Strides and Strains of Civil Society Organisations in West Africa: The WANEP Story”, was chaired by Mr Alain Marcel Da Souza, the ECOWAS Commission President.

In attendance were the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for West Africa and the Sahel, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas and Dr Sam G. Doe, the first Executive Director and Co-founder of WANEP.

Mr Bombande, who is also WANEP's Co-Founder and the second Executive Director, cited WANEP's success story from a humble beginning to global reputable CSO.

He said WANEP was a leading Regional Peacebuilding organisation founded in 1998 in response to civil wars that plagued West Africa in the 1990s.

He said over the years, WANEP had succeeded in establishing strong national networks in each of the 15 Member States of ECOWAS with more than 500 member organisations across West Africa.

He noted that should Mauritania return to the ECOWAS bloc, WANEP would open a National Office there.

He said WANEP placed special focus on collaborative approaches to conflict prevention, and peacebuilding, working with diverse actors from civil society, governments, intergovernmental bodies, women groups and other partners in a bid to establish a platform for dialogue, experience sharing and learning, thereby complementing efforts at ensuring sustainable peace and development in West Africa and beyond.

He said CSOs might have internal challenges such as payment of staff salaries, but they must not pretend that the problems did not exist.

He said CSOs must be able to put in place measures to raise funds at both national and regional levels to execute their projects.

Mr Bombande encouraged CSOs to have strategic partners at both the national and regional levels.

Mr Chukwuemeka B. Eze, the Executive Director of WANEP, said with the corporation of governments, ECOWAS, the African Union, and development partners, WANEP had continued to act as a catalyst in implementing programmes and specific activities that support Africa Peace Agenda.