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West Africa Under Vision 2050 and The Role of Civil Society Conference Report

West Africa Under Vision 2050 and The Role of Civil Society

Organized by WACSI, OSF, & ECOWAS

Abuja Continental Hotel

18th -20th March 2024

Introduction

The West African Civil Society Institute organized a Conference themed: “West Africa Under Vision 2050 and The Role of Civil Society” qat the Abuja Continental Hotel, Nigeria, on 18th-20th March 2024. The workshop was aimed at creating a platform for ECOWAS to present Vision 2050 to civil society across the region, discuss the challenges presented by 2020 and explore the opportunities for for civil society to play a critical role in addressing and contributing to the achievement of the vision.

Day 1: CSOs Analysed Vison 2020; Its Impact, Challenges, Lessons Learnt, and Solutions to the Problems.

On the first day of the workshop, WACSOF and so many other organizations came together to discuss the failures of Vision 2020 and its shortcomings. The first day considered the following.

  • Presentation of the vision 2020.
  • Group discussions about the pillars took place as the representatives made presentations of each group. – The two WACSOF representatives, Mr. Kop’e Dabugat and Nnajihu Lynda joined different pillar groups (to get a feel of each of these pillars as well as contribute to the discussion)

Day 2:

The transition from Vision 2020 to Vision 2050 was discussed as we were joined by the ECOWAS Vice president’s Executive Assistant and other ECOWAS representatives. The discussion was focused on Vision 2050’s goals, objectives, lessons learned from Vision 2020, and way forward, and the following strategic pillars of the Vision were unpacked:

  • Peace
  • Governance
  • Economic integration
  • Transformation
  • Social inclusion.

Below are some of the activities that took place on day two.

  • Presentation/overview of Vision 2050
  • Unpacked vision 2050: goals, objective, and strategic pillars.
  • Speech from ECOWAS representatives about the proposed ECOWAS Vision 2050
  • Group discussions on how civil society can ensure the success of Vision 2050 in West Africa
  • Presentation from individual group in different pillars to align civil society efforts with vison 2050, give key insight and recommendations.

Day 3:

Strategic partnerships for Vision 2050 implementation were discussed, with actionable plans developed by CSOs. Feedback and suggestions were consolidated into a comprehensive document. The main highlights of Day 3 are;

  • Recap of Day 2 proceedings and introduction to Day 3
  • Panel discussion to foster strategic partnership for effective implementation of ECOWAS Vision 2025.
  • WACSOF’s General Secretary, Mr. Kop’ep Dabugat, was one of the panellist who took part in the discussion and he highlighted some key issues as follows:
  • The need for ECOWAS to open more collaborative opportunities to civil society organizations across West Africa – i.e. to create more spaces and opportunities for civil society engagement in ECOWAS agenda
  • The urgent need of concern and intervention by ECOWS in the persistent internal crises/issues in WACSOF
  • An open dialogue between civil society and ECOWAS towards the adoption of a robust civil society engagement strategy for ECOWAS as a whole

Other activities that took place on Day 3 includes;

  • Group discussion of the Vision 2050 pillars
  • Development of actionable plans for civil society involvement in the implementation of ECOWAS Vision 2050 which includes;
  • Setting Priorities and Timelines.
  • Resource Needs and Potential Partnerships
  • Presentation of action plans and feedback for other participants
  • Consolidation of action plans into a comprehensive document

Workshop Highlights/ Outcomes

1. Panel discussion on the issues and solutions of the vision.

2. Networking Opportunities for WACSOF partnerships and alliances with other CSOs and stakeholders.

3. Deeper understanding of Vision 2050 and civil society commitment to achieving its outcomes.

4. Identification of mechanisms to increase civil society contributions to the implementation of Vision 2050

5. Improved civil society understanding of its role under Vision 2050 for better alignment, coordination, resource mobilization, and accountability towards achieving the new vision.

6. Policy dialogue sessions aimed at influencing regional decision-making processes.

7. Increase in WACSOF reputation as a forum for civil societies in West Africa.

8. Capacity-building skills for the enhancement of advocacy and project management.

9. Presentation of CSO initiatives and achievements.

10. ECOWAS acknowledgement of WACSOF.

Conclusion

The conference facilitated dialogue and collaboration, contributing to a more inclusive and sustainable ECOWAS region. Continued collaboration and advocacy efforts are essential for positive change. Sustained collaboration and capacity-building initiatives are crucial for realizing Vision 2050’s goals.

Appreciation is extended to participants, sponsors, and partners, with special thanks to ECOWAS for their support and collaboration. Special recognition was given to members of the WACSOF secretariat for their contributions.

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West Africa Under Vision 2050 and The Role of Civil Society Conference Report - WACSOFOSCAO