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West African CSOs Develop National, Regional-Level Strategies to Support Political Transitions in Guinea, Mali & Burkina Faso

The West Africa Democracy Solidarity (‘WADEMOS’) Network has spearheaded the development and validation of civil society-led strategic advocacy plans in support of political transitions in West Africa. The strategies, co-created by civil society organizations (CSO) in transition countries in the ECOWAS sub-region—Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Guinea—were evaluated, examined, and thoroughly streamlined at a validation workshop held in Conakry, Guinea, from November 1–3, 2023.

The proposed CSO-led interventions are focused on complementing ongoing efforts by ECOWAS and other regional bodies and institutions in the countries undergoing political transitions. Additionally, the interventions are to support CSO activities in a bid to ensure their sustenance.

Taking into consideration the peculiar political contexts, challenges and prevailing state of affairs in each transition country, the strategies and activities have been tailored to make the needed impact. The proposals were further evaluated and critiqued by consultants and other participants made up of CSOs and partners within the sub-region to ensure they are relevant and attainable.

The various strategies include calling for the reversal of the shrinking civic and media space, supporting electoral processes, launching campaigns to counter fake news, misinformation, and disinformation, undertaking inclusive, national dialogues and focusing on helping the government create and implement policies that address issues affecting women, children, and minority groups.

Delivering a keynote address at the opening ceremony of the validation workshop in Conakry, Guinea, on behalf of H.E. Abdel-Fatau Musah, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Ebenezer Asiedu, Head, Democracy and Good Governance Division, the ECOWAS Commission commended the commitment and resilience of the CSOs in advocating for the entrenchment of the principles of enhanced participatory democracy and inclusive governance in the West African sub-region and the continent as a whole.

“More critically, after over three decades of experience with liberal democracy in Africa and considering recent political developments such as the rising occurrences of unconstitutional changes of governments and their attendant political transitions, the time has come for concerted efforts from all and sundry, including in particular CSOs, policymakers, and scholars, to confront and address the challenges to safeguarding constitutional democracy in our region, in particular,” Ebenezer Asiedu detailed.

Mory Conde, Minister in Charge of Territorial Administration, Guinea, who formally opened the workshop held in Conakry, justified the military takeover of power in 2021 but disclosed that the priority of the junta is to ensure that the country is on the path to prosperity and development where institutions and systems work for the people and for the benefit of all Guineans.

“We have also developed and presented a 10-point transition agenda established through a national dialogue and agreed upon by ECOWAS. However, the financial commitments pledged by ECOWAS to support the attainment of the steps before a transition to constitutional rule remain pending even after one year. It is thus necessary for an organization like WADEMOS to support us in securing these commitments to facilitate the transition process,” Mory Conde noted in his speech.

Highlighting the initiatives of the Network to consolidate democracy, improve governance and counter the threats to democracy across the sub-region, H. Kwasi Prempeh, Project Director of the WADEMOS Network, expressed the commitment of the Network to strengthen solidarity and synergy among civil society organizations and to contribute to ensuring that democracy yields its dividends to the people within the sub-region.

The workshop in Guinea is part of ongoing interventions by the Network in support of political transitions in West Africa. The Network has commissioned a study to assess political transitions in Guinea, Mali, and Burkina Faso and also held a stakeholder meeting with ECOWAS, CSOs and other regional institutions in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, to assess the democratic decline and political situation in francophone West Africa and review and recommend strategies deployed in support of political transitions.

The workshop was attended by officials from ECOWAS, the Government of Guinea, CSO partners, pro-democracy actors and the media.


About WADEMOS Network

The West Africa Democracy Solidarity (“WADEMOS”) Network is a non-partisan, independent civil society-led transnational democracy solidarity network consisting of over thirty-five (35) civil society organizations located in 15 countries in West Africa. The purpose of the WADEMOS Network is to mobilize, coordinate, and leverage the collective power of civil society and other pro-democracy actors, resources, and opportunities within the West African Region to advance, defend, and reinvigorate democracy and promote democratic norms and reforms in the sub-region.

For more information, please contact:

Name: Jonah Eledi

Designation: Communications and Digital Platforms Officer

Email: j.eledi15@wademosnetwork.org

Phone Number: +233 26 373 5330


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