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.
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.
ELECTIONS AND GOVERNANCE
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.
POLITICAL GOVERNANCE PROGRAM MANAGER
POLITICAL GOVERNANCE PROGRAM ASSOCIATE
Jay peered at me from the burglary proofed window of Lango Lippaye Public School. You could feel his excitement. It ...