Director of programmes at the Ghana Federation for the Disabled, Kwami Ansre, has asked Civil Society Organizations(CSOs) operating in Ghana and the rest of West Africa, to form stronger collaborations with journalists and all other stakeholders to effectively advocate on the development agenda of the sub-region.
This, he said could be in the form of organizing empowerment training workshops, giving direct financial support and involving media practitioners in the advocacy plans of the CSOs.
[contextly_sidebar id=”onHwbQp3n9qyHU7JqMH2dw22psvaBv5b”]According to him “such collaboration will equip the journalists and key stakeholders to better understand the work of CSOs”.
Mr. Ansre gave the advice at a three-day policy and advocacy training workshop organized by the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development CIKOD, in collaboration with the African Biodiversity Network(ABN) at Bosomtwe in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.
He said “CSOs must begin to empower journalists if they want to improve on what they have been doing. This should not be mistaken for trying to influence the work of our journalists. Because it has a greater potential to strategically position them to effectively amplify the concerns of our advocacy on the development agenda of the sub-region which is the core mandate of journalists.”
About 25 people drawn from Civil Society Organizations in seven African countries including Ghana,Tanzania , Kenya, South Africa , Zembawe, Benin and Uganda, are attending the workshop which is funded by the European Commission.
Karen Nekesa , Advocacy and Communications Officer for ABN, said the programme is to build the capacity of coalition members and ABN partners, to be able to effectively carry out evidence-based advocacy especially in mining communities. It is also to engage stakeholders in the day to day activities of the extractive industry, water and food.
“As we continue doing our work as a network, we noticed that there is the need to train partners and other members about the importance of the bottom-up approach to advocacy, especially at this time when we need support at the local level, national, sub-regional and the entire Africa,” Ms. Karen opined.
Mr. Danniel Banuoku, Director of the CIKOD, noted that in the last decade, there has been an influx of multi-national mining companies in Africa, hence “there is the need to empower CSOs to be able to respond to the increasing threats in the extractive industry,”
He expressed dissatisfaction about the way and manner “some mining companies are increasingly depleting the Ghanaian forest on the blind side of the law” and warned that the situation, if unchecked, could have dire consequences for future generations.
Participants are expected to leave the conference with a common strategy in their advocacy campaigns.
By: Mahama Latif/citifmonline.com/Ghana