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Listen to Local Actors: Insights from West African NGOs ahead of Africa Summit

Date: Thursday, December 8, 2022

Time: 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM EST

Part of the Sustainable Solutions by Nonstate Actors program collection

The problem: spread of terrorist violence from AQ and ISIS affiliates ramping up attacks in the Sahel

The solution: support local actor NGOs to strengthen community susceptibility to engage in support activities or violence

The approach: cross-sector (security/development, policy/practitioner), and multi-level (local, national, international)

The host: Nonstate Actors program focused on cross-sector and sustainable solutions to security threats, at an independent institute, following meetings with 10 NGOs in Ghana in September. Program Head and Project Manager of the ‘Local Realities’ and ‘Civil Society’ projects, Tammy Palacios, will moderate this event.

The event: This event will host panelists from 5 long-standing and successful NGOs in West Africa. Discussions over the course of the Africa Leader’s Summit should consider better capitalizing on partnerships with local actors as a peace & security approach. In this event these NGOs will share points of consideration and recommendations from their experiences as organizations working on bettering life and society on-the-ground.

This event is especially important as it highlights a priority sustainable counter-terrorism option in supporting local actors. Peace and security are at great risk in West Africa as al Qaeda and ISIS affiliates continue to strengthen in the Sahel and U.S.-ally France finalized their withdrawal from the Sahel this August. Strengthening partnerships with NGO and civil society organizations (CSOs) that especially support youth, women, peacebuilding and social capacity building (parallel projects) will strengthen communities against susceptibility to engagement in violence.

Featuring the following Directors and Managers of long-standing and successful NGOs in West Africa:

Theodora Wiliams-Anti; Executive Director, FOSDA 

Mutaru Mumuni Muqthar; Founder and Executive Director, WACCE 

Emmanuel Ametepey; Founder and Executive Director, YAG 

Paul Nana Kwabena Aborampah Mensah; Program Manager/Team Lead for Security Sector Governance, and Local and Urban Governance, CDD

Solomon Kusi Ampofo; Natural Resources Governance Coordinator, FoN 

Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA)  Est. 2001 with the mission to promote peace and human security by supporting the potentials and capacities of communities and individuals through systematic capacity-development, effective knowledge-sharing, representation and influencing human security. Focuses on human security, female empowerment, and youth in leadership and in governance.

West Africa Center for Counter Extremism (WACCE) Est. 2014 with the mission to uncover the underpinnings of radicalization and violent extremism. WACCE supports state and regional counter terrorism policies and strategies in West Africa. Countering radicalization to violent extremism by educating and supporting youth and building capacity of local community actors.

Youth Advocates Ghana (YAG) Est. 2011, YAG works to transform the lives of children and youth by improving access to information and enhancing participation in sexual and reproductive health, education and livelihood programmes. Programs include: Citizens Report, Youth SDGs Corps, Accountability Advocate, Adolescent Health Corner, and Educate 1 Child.

Friends of the Nation (FoN) Est. 1993, FoN works in over 300 communities in their commitment to enhance active citizenship, social accountability and promote human rights in natural resource and good governance. FoN, led by Executive Director Donkris Mevuta, focuses on socio-environmental advocacy, human rights, and community development.

Center for Democratic Development (CDD Ghana) Afrobarometer was inoculated at CDD-GH before becoming its own entity. Est. 1988, CDD works to promote and deepen democratic consolidation, good governance and inclusive growth and development ‘bridging research & practice to promote good governance’. Focus areas are governance and democracy, elections, civil society, and CSO networks.

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