Major CSO Meeting Underway in Monrovia

A group of key civil society actors working on reconciliation and Peacebuilding have launched a report on efforts aimed at achieving national reconciliation and social cohesion in Liberia.

A regional meeting for civil society organizations aimed at devising strategies to fight the Coronavirus in the West African region is expected to commence in Monrovia this Wednesday.

A release from the West African Civil Society Forum indicates that the meeting will also be attended by Kolman Messie, the Secretary-General of the West African Civil Society Forum along with members of his delegation who will be arriving from Nigeria.

Besides meetings to be held among them, the civil society organizations are also expected to hold meetings with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) ECOWAS, with the goal of soliciting assistance to empower them help health workers to battle the Coronavirus in the region.

According to Mannis Howard Barclay, National Coordinator of WACSOF, the virus is affecting West Africa and therefore it must be fought collectively and regionally.  For the civil societies, Barclay said they would mainly help with awareness and sensitization.

In order to meet this goal, the civil societies, according to the WACSOF National Coordinator, will need logistical and financial support; something that serves as the main purpose for meeting with the UNDP and other stakeholders.

According to the Health Ministry, cases in the virus are dropping and Liberians heeding to messages contained in awareness about the virus; however, Barclay says until the virus vanishes totally and Liberia and other countries become free, there is no need to relent but to continue the awareness in the region.

About 50 civil society organizations are expected to come together in the pending meeting to discuss how to approach governance issues, justice, human rights and the health problem facing the world.

The West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) is a platform for the aggregation of civil society agency, interests, and interventions across the 15 states of West Africa. 

It was founded with the sole purpose of channeling civil society energies towards complimenting the regional integration and development agenda of the ECOWAS ‘System’ Institutions. The organization has passed through different stages of developments in its internal organizational processes and programmatic experiences. This section will describe WACSOF’s establishment and development over the years since its founding in 2003.

Since its endorsement by the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in 2003, WACSOF has served as an umbrella for CSOs seeking to partner with the ECOWAS, promoting a system of dialogue and discussion, encouraging the sharing of ideas and perspectives and facilitating the building of collaborative relationships and linkages to ensure quality inputs of the civil society in to the agenda of ECOWAS.