Over 35 CSOs form Network to promote democracy in W/Africa

Over thirty-five Civil Society Organizations have partnered to check the deterioration of democracy in the West African sub-region, due to bad governance.

The group, called the West Africa Democracy Solidarity Network (WADEMOS), is made up of CSOs from across the West African sub-region.

The Coordinator of WADEMOS Network, Kop’ep Dabugat, disclosed these during a virtual press conference on Friday, ahead of the official launch of the Network slated for September 14 to 16, 2022, in Accra.

According to Mr Dabugat, the move seeks to mobilise, coordinate, and leverage the collective power of pro- democracy actors, resources, and opportunities in West Africa and advance, defend, and reinvigorate democratic norms and reforms in the sub-regional governance architecture.

He noted that West Africa used to be a pacesetter for the rest of the African continent and the world as far as democratic practice were concerned.

Mr Dabugat, however, said “unfortunately all these achievements have been eroded through bad governance and leadership, resulting in the resurgence of military coups and other civil strife in the sub region.”

“It is to respond to this democratic setback that WADEMOS, CDD Ghana and other network partners both in and outside Ghana will keep up the momentum as CSOs and pressure group.

The Secretariat of the WADEMOS Network is housed at the head office of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana).

The Executive Director of CDD-Ghana, Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh, acknowledged the problem of democratic ‘backsliding’ in West Africa.

He said that WADEMOS, which is being supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), will implement the initiative through mobilisation and support of pro- democracy civil society and social movements in West Africa, as well as collective civil society engagement with regional bodies and national authorities, to advance democracy and constitutionalism.

SIDA, he explained, was a government agency of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs that works to reduce poverty and oppression around the world in cooperation with organisations, government agencies, and the private sector.

Prof. Prempeh reiterated CDD-Ghana’s commitment to promote and deepen democratic consolidation, good governance, and inclusive growth and development.

He said “CDD- Ghana works to support and promote a free, peaceful, and well-governed democracy in Ghana and other parts of Africa.”

Prof. Prempeh said the Center had cultivated a good reputation as a leader in democracy and governance, which enables the adoption and implementation of targeted strategies, to address the fundamental issues hindering citizens from enjoying the full benefits democracy and good governance have to offer.

BY NORMAN  COOPER

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