Political Governance and Democratic Consolidation

The Political Governance Program aims to promote inclusive governance processes, citizen participation in decision-making, contribute to the improvement of the quality and conduct of elections, increase the effectiveness of parliaments and enhance citizen’s participation in local governance and decentralization processes.

Political governance in West Africa has known considerable progress in recent decades. These gains are not irreversible, however.

West Africa’s new democracies are, at varying degrees, still far from the shore of being established and consolidated democracies. The sub-region is confronted with disputed elections, weak oversight institutions, and inadequate citizens’ participation in public affairs.


OSIWA’s Political Governance Program seeks to supports civil society organizations (both national and regional) and state institutions with funding, knowledge and the training needed to contribute to the achievement of OSIWA’s goals with respect to political governance in the region. PGP also aims to promote the production and dissemination of knowledge on issues relating to peace and security, drug trafficking, transnational criminality and illicit traffics in the sub-region.

Civil SocietyElections and Governance

Civil Society
A strong and vigorous civil society is a critical driver of reforms in the sub-region, offering tremendous potential in activating an engaged and informed citizenry. In many countries, civil society acts as the opposition, providing the necessary checks and balances to those in power, and are therefore critical to building any fully-functioning democracy. OSIWA has built strong partnerships with several civil society actors – key constituents that include the media, religious leaders, women’s groups and local communities – all of whom share a common commitment towards engendering open society values in West Africa.


West Africa has made notable gains in the areas of elections and governance over the last couple decades. However these democracies are still young and fragile, positioned at various levels of evolution. Several key challenges still remain, including disputed elections, weak oversight institutions and inadequate participation in public affairs. OSIWA works with established national organizations, including such partners as the Centre for Democratic Development in Ghana and Nigeria, and key regional bodies, such as the Electoral Assistance Unit and ECONEC. Our main goals include (among others) promoting inclusive governance, improving the quality and conduct of elections, increasing the effectiveness of parliaments and reducing the impact of drug trafficking on governance.

Program Staff

Mathias Hounkpe


Fatou Sy


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