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WADEMOS Message on the Network’s 2024 Work Program

Distinguished members of WADEMOS, partners, and associates,

We extend warm regards and compliments to you, on behalf of the Project Director, Steering Committee, and Project Management Unit of WADEMOS, and welcome you to 2024, as we look ahead to forging much closer partnerships and collaborations under our common value of protecting and defending democratic norms and standards in West Africa.

2023, being our first full year of operation, proved to be quite successful. We ended the year with the annual convening in Accra, Ghana, where we reflected on the future of democracy in the sub-region, drawing attention to key program considerations, opportunities, and prospects for 2024. In particular, the convening expressed concern about the deteriorating political environment in West Africa, requiring CSOs to amplify our responses, approaches, and strategies.

Also, the meeting recognized the decline in the resilience of civil society against authoritarian regimes and bad governance due to perceived differences, polarization, and the maligned influence of the state to repress the rights and freedoms of citizens. The need to build solidarity around networks and coalitions at the regional and national level as a mechanism to counter threats to democracy came up strongly at the meeting.

This year promises to be a very eventful one, and as we prepare to commence in earnest, we would like to update you with an overview of our program for the year.

Being the third year since the Network’s formation, we seek to consolidate the gains made while thinking strategically about our sustainability.

We present below our 2024 program for your information, feedback, and support.

  1. Elections: Two major elections will be held in Senegal and Ghana. WADEMOS will embark on solidarity missions to these countries. Additionally, we plan to convene a reflection meeting to document learnings and experiences for improving elections in the sub-region, drawing on the Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Liberia presidential and legislative elections.
  2. Political Transitions: We will continue to support the transition process, including the implementation of the CSO National Level Strategies on Political Transitions jointly developed by Network members from Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Niger in Conakry last year and facilitated by WADEMOS. Additionally, advocacy against human rights violations occurring in these spaces and the annual gathering of CSOs that provides mutual support networks on political transitions in West Africa will also take place this year.
  3. Term Limit Campaign and Assessment of the ECOWAS Protocol: The focus this year will be to mobilize a broad spectrum of actors, influencers & champions in support of the campaign. We will engage some Network members directly at the national and regional levels on this initiative. Again, WADEMOS will build on the initial discussion with ECOWAS on the development of an “Annual Democracy Tracker/Index” to enhance regional accountability response systems and frameworks on democracy in the region.
  4. Next Gen Initiative: The culmination meeting for the first cohort will be held in Accra this year to graduate the group comprising young activists who have been engaged in online training, mentoring, and empowerment programs. We count on your support in mentoring these Young Fellows selected from countries in the sub-region. Again, we recognize your individual roles in sharing your experiences with the participants during the online sessions.
  5. DemoCreatives: WADEMOS will leverage the convening strength of actors in the creative sector to seek their buy-in and commitment to efforts aimed at restoring democratic values and norms in the region using their creative talents and resources.
  6. Finally, we will support sensitization on key regional normative instruments on democracy and good governance and continue to use our knowledge hub to monitor democracy in the region. This will be complemented by Eye on West Africa and Democracy Watch.

We appreciate your unwavering commitment to the growth and development of the Network and look forward to your continued dedication to strengthening democracy in our sub-region.

The Network Coordinator’s report delivered at the Annual Network Members’ Convening in Accra, November 2023, may be accessed using this link: https://bit.ly/3ubhD84

WADEMOS Network Coordinator


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