What is OSIWA?
The Open Society Foundations for West Africa (OSIWA) is a part of the global network of Open Society Foundations founded and supported by George Soros and who all share the common goal and value of helping promote more open, tolerant and democratic societies. OSIWA was established in 2000 and is one of four African foundations, including one in East Africa (OSIEA), one in Cape Town (OSF-SA) and one in Johannesburg (OSISA).
OSIWA works in ten countries in West Africa (Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal) and has offices in five (Dakar headquarters, Abuja, Conakry, Freetown and Monrovia).
All of OSIWA’s work, including its selection of partners and projects, is ultimately driven by its underlying theory of change. This guiding principal states that "if citizens are able to participate substantively in decision-making processes and governance structures, processes and regional integration mechanisms are strengthened, while human rights are protected, then West Africa will become a freer, safer and more integrated and more equitable region".
What does OSIWA do?
OSIWA is a grant-giving and advocacy foundation that relies on various tools (grant-making, advocacy, litigation, research, publications and partnership building) to help advance its foundational goals. The Foundation works across three crosscutting thematic pillars, including political governance, economic governance, and law, justice and human rights. While each program has its own specific goals and objectives, they often work in symbiotic relationship to help achieve the Foundation’s overall strategic goals.
Who are OSIWA’s partners?
OSIWA works with a diverse array of partners, including civil society organizations, government ministries, human rights institutions, the media, international organizations and regional bodies.