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A group photo of Participants at the Civil Society Forum 2024

STAR-Ghana highlights importance of collaboration within civil society

The Executive Director of STAR-Ghana Foundation, Mr Ibrahim-Tanko Amidu has underscored the significant roles of civil society organizations in achieving justice and equity in society, stressing the need for effective collaboration for the purposes of achieving their goals.

 Mr Amidu also rallied Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to unite, support, and hold each other accountable in order to achieve their objectives.

While noting the complexity of development and the importance of collaboration within civil society, Mr Amidu pointed out that “development is not a straightforward process but rather a messy one that requires adaptability and collective action.

  He was speaking at the opening of a two-day Civil Society Forum in Accra.

The forum, held on the theme, “Civil Society at an Inflection Point: Strategizing for Increased Legitimacy, Effectiveness, and Sustainability,” brought together CSOs from  all over the country to deliberate on three sub-themes, these include, Ensuring Legitimacy with constituents and Stakeholders, Achieving Effectiveness as Organizations, and Ensuring Sustainable Operations, Revenues, and Impacts.

The convening also served as a common platform for civil society organizations (CSOs) in Ghana to discuss and reflect on their work as facilitators of good governance and inclusive development.

Continuing, Mr Amidu underscored the need for CSOs to focus on common values and goals despite their diverse backgrounds.

He indicated that it is time for civil society to organize, unite, and push forward collectively for more effective development outcomes.

“So just to say that this forum is a call to action. It’s a call to action to all of us, whether we are operating at the national level or the local levels, that we have a role to play in the development of this country.

Delivering a  key note address via zoom , Mr Charles Abugre, Executive  Director  of IDEAs International  submitted  that, “If we want to comprehend the foundations of our current conception of civil society, we need to take a step back to that period. In the 19th century, these thinkers sought to answer fundamental questions about the essence of humanity and the social drivers of change in society.”

Mr Abugre stated, “In my view, a society is uncivil if it is highly unequal and has pervasive poverty, where violence pervades as a means of redistribution. This lack of civility undermines the very foundation of social harmony and justice. It is crucial that we recognize and address these issues to build a more equitable and peaceful society.”

He noted that it is vital for society to recognize that civil society organizations have mobilized to address broad societal issues

 Mrs Beauty Emefa Nartey,Executive Secretary of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC),explained that the forum It was birthed after several rounds of inclusive consultations involving a diverse array of CSOs.

She said this year’s forum is meant to address key issues confronting CSOs in Ghana, such as the need to diversify funding sources amidst dwindling external funding and building the capacities of CSOs to effectively leverage emerging forms of citizen mobilization and civic activism, among others.

The maiden edition was hosted by STAR-Ghana Foundation in March 2022 under the theme: “Reflections on the Conceptual and Developmental Issues of CSOs in Ghana and the Sustainability Challenge,” where participants recommended the institutionalization of the Forum and engagements with the Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) Secretariat on the way forward around CSO regulatory frameworks.

By Mohammed Suleman/ Publicagenda.news

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