The West African Network for Peace Building (WANEP) has held its annual General Assembly fellows conference and partners forum in Accra.
It was aimed at taking stock of its activities in the last two years for greater partnership with its stakeholders.
The 17th General Assembly will among others lay the foundation for discussions on peace, security, developmental challenges and the role of CSO’s in addressing them.
Addressing fellows and partners at the conference, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, ECOWAS Commission, Ambassador Dr. Abdel Fatau said recent occurrences in the governance and democratic landscape in the region reveal declining confidence of state to address the challenges of human security and development of people hence the need for such stakeholder engagement.
According to him, some cross cutting factors including the lack of a comprehensive platform that offers opportunity for inclusive public discourse to support accountable governance, would be addressed to provide key perspectives to meet the aspirations of ECOWAS vision 2050.
He said the ECOWAS Commission among other things is also operationalizing a comprehensive strategy to eradicate terrorism and violent extremism from West Africa with an enhanced role for the ECOWAS standby force and Civil Society while it works with WANEP and others to achieve their vision.
Executive Director of the West Africa Network for Peace Building, Chukuemeka Eze, said the key ingredient to enhance the trust and confidence of citizens and the state lies with how citizens were carried in the design and implementation of state policies.
He said the Institution is working to achieve that through deliberate infrastructure that forges citizen state relationship moving “beyond intergovernmental CSO partnership”.
According to the Executive Director, in spite of the challenges it faced in the year under review, it made significant progress in strengthening its operations at both regional and national levels across West Africa.
“As we move into the third year of our strategic plan implementation, we continue to reflect on lessons learnt and consult critical stakeholders like you on how to consolidate our efforts towards collective peace and prosperity as inspired by the 2030 Agenda for sustainable Development,” he added.
The four day conference themed “A retrospection on the state-citizens relationship in West Africa: Implications for realization of ECOWAS vision 2050 brought together WANEP National Networks, members of the WANEP Regional Professional Board and several others.
By Ebenezer K. Amponsah