We are looking for Commonwealth citizens to share their views ahead of the 2024 Heads of Government Meeting. Sign up to take part

Location: Cameroon

African civic voice in the Post 2015 Development Agenda

The Foundation is supporting members of African civil society organisations to participate in the design of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This project is part of an ongoing initiative to strengthen civic voice in global governance and development policy, with a specific focus on providing input to the discussions on the Post 2015 Development Agenda.

The Africa Platform is a collaboration of civil society practitioners working to transform issues that affect the African continent. In January 2014, members travelled to New York to engage directly with UN Permanent Representatives through a series of meetings with African diplomats who were directly involved with the policy negotiations.

These intergovernmental consultations included the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development, the Expert Panel on Financing for Sustainable Development and the High Level Political Forum to monitor the Implementation of the SDGs.

To date, the process has formulated key regional development priorities on Post 2015, Beyond 2015 Africa, GCAP Africa and several thematic initiatives.

Strengthening West African civil society engagement

A strong West African civil society will contribute meaningfully to the successful design and implementation of development policies.

However, CSOs in West Africa are operating with serious challenges, some of which include, low capacity to carry out their mandate fully, the lack of recognition and respect from governments and the unavailability of financial resources to develop innovative approaches to regional development challenges.

This project aims to strengthen West African civil society through the West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) and to secure WACSOF’s place at the core of development in the region by creating a path towards political renewal and the deepening of democracy. The project is implemented in partnership with the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) and WACSOF.

WACSOF is the official interface for West African civil society with the ECOWAS Commission in promoting regional development and integration in West Africa. The Forum’s purpose is to galvanize civil society and facilitate constructive partnership with state authorities, political parties and ECOWAS. However, a needs assessment conducted by WACSI in 2008 and in 2014 identified a number of challenges preventing it from achieving its mandate to facilitate civil society voice in addressing regional development challenges/priorities.

The project consists of three main components:

  • capacity development of WACSOF and its members; 
  • development of a regional agenda and action plan identifying major development challenges for West Africa
  • improved engagement between West African CSOs and ECOWAS