17 June 2019

Sierra Leone: Govt Urged to Ratify Charter On Democracy, Elections & Governance

General Secretary of the West Africa Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) has urged the Governments of Sierra Leone and that of Cape Verde to take the necessary steps needed to ratify the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG) concept.

According to Komlan Messie, the two nations were the only ones out of the fifteen countries in the West Africa region that were yet to ratify the charter, which seeks to ensure that citizens across the ECOWAS countries enjoy the same rights and privileges.

He was speaking on Thursday June 13, 2019 during a training organized by WACSOF to educate civil society organizations in the country on how to popularize the ACDEG concept in Sierra Leone.

"Citizens of every country in the sub region have the right to enjoy at equal level without any hindrance. People can be able to engaged parliamentarians on issues affecting their welfare if they have the requisite knowledge," he said.

He state that ACDEG laid more emphases on humanitarian and social affairs, human and people's right, peace and security and democracy and governance which are of great importance to the lives of the people.

He spoke about plans to engaged ECOWAS parliamentarians in the upcoming session in Abuja, Nigeria so as to ensure that decision makers fully implement provisions in the charter.

Messie noted that with such training, it behoves CSOs to now form their advocacies around ACDEG concept for accountability and transparency.

He added that with the right knowledge, CSOs and the media will be able to engage stakeholders and decision makers for effective service delivery in constituencies.

He said they have been working over the years with key organizations in Sierra Leone, citing ActionAid in the implementation of projects.

National Coordinator of WACSOF in Sierra Leone, William Sao Lamin spoke about the seven-man committee that has been established to work with regional CSOs on the ACDEG agenda in a bid to move it forward.

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