The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. To achieve this mission, the Foundations seek to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights. On a local level, the Open Society Foundations implement a range of initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media. At the same time, we build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information. The Foundations place a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of people in marginalized communities.
Investor and philanthropist George Soros established the Open Society Foundations, starting in 1984, to help countries make the transition from communism. Our activities have grown to encompass the United States and more than 70 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Each Foundation relies on the expertise of boards composed of eminent citizens who determine individual agendas based on local priorities.
The Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) was established in 2000 and forms part of the global Open Society Foundations Network of autonomous foundations founded and supported by George Soros. These non-profit-making foundations share a commitment to work for an “open society”. Based on the principle that no one has monopoly of the truth, an open society recognizes the different points of view and always remains open to improvement. In practice, open societies are characterized by the priority of law, democracy, respect of diversity and human rights, liberalization of markets, information to the people and the dynamism of civil society.