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08.01.2005 General News

Civil Society Groups meets in Accra

By GNA

Accra, Jan.8 GNA- The 2nd Annual West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) for civil society groups in the West African Sub-region would take place in Accra from January 10-13, 2005.

The meeting that aims at promoting permanent dialogue between civil society groups and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) would discuss vital issues affecting the Sub-region. The four-day forum would also bring together over 100 organisations from 15 countries and the Diaspora.

Briefing the media on the event, Mr. Emmanuel Bonbadie, Executive Director of West Africa Peace-Building Initiative (WANEP) said the objective of WACSOF was to promote strong partnership between governments and all segments of civil society, including women, youth, children, the Diaspora as well as the private sector.

He said the collaborative approach by governments and civil society in the regional peace-building, integration and economic development was a great step forward.

He noted that even though ECOWAS leaders have shown a lot of flexibility to peace-building, the lack of proactive prevention on the part of ECOWAS was a serious challenge to the whole concept of conflict prevention.

Mr Bonbadie also announced that this year's conference of WACSOF would have to approve a plan of action for the organisation as well as budget for its operation.

He said the meeting would deliberate on key issues affecting civil society in the region and design an appropriate advocacy agenda and platform to address them.

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