The National Network Coordinator of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding- Sierra Leone (WANEP-SL), Edward N. Jombla has disclosed to the media that his organization has received funding from the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) to implement a two years project aimed at strengthening the capacity of Civil Society Organizations in Sierra Leone to enable them effectively engage in peace and governance processes.
Speaking to the media last Friday at his 50 Circular Road office in Freetown the WANEP coordinator said the country is still grappling to overcome problems related to accountable governance, violations and abuses of human rights, disregard for the rule of law, unemployment, corruption and a weak and fragmented civil society.
He said to address these issues it is essential that Civil Society plays a meaningful role in engaging policy and state actors to be accountable and effectively deliver national services to right holders on one hand and on the other instituting policies that positively impact on the lives of people.
Edward Jombla further disclosed that his organization has undertaken a national survey on Civil Society Organizations and during the research it was discovered that well over 350 civil society organizations lack the requisite structures that will enable them challenge peace and good governance issues. Another big problem according to the coordinator is that of lack of collaboration between CSOs in the country.
The WANEP coordinator said it is therefore necessary to strengthen the capacity of these existing Civil Society Organizations in the country, inorder to establish effective peace infrastructures with coordination mechanisms for constructive engagement with actors to enhance effective national cohesion.
He further intimated that the first phase of the project has already commenced in April, 2010.
By William Freeman