DRPC joins African CSOs in Senegal, to dialogue human and environment health
The Development Research and Projects Centre, (DRPC) joined other civil society groups from the African continent at the 6th Annual Association for Research on Civil Society in Africa (AROCSA) conference, in Dakar, Senegal to discuss safeguarding and strengthening the role of CSOs in human and environmental health in AfricaIn a statement signed by the dRPC’s Country Director, Dr Judith-Ann Walker, the conference brought civil society groups from across to discuss and proffer solutions to tackle the impact of practices, challenges and policies and how they are impacting on the continent’s human and environmental spaces.In his keynote address at the conference, Professor Mamuoda Ndiaye of the University of Dakar, called on African civil society organizations to deepen the public health policy advocacy capacities and strategies. ‘’African civil society organizations are urged to ensure that governments shift health funding sources away from aid and loans and toward innovative domestic funding sources that prioritize health….To achieve this goal, African civil society organizations (CSOs) need help strengthening their policy and budget advocacy skills.’’ He saidIn her presentation at the conference, Dr Salam Anas Ibrahim, the Director Family Health, Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria, stated that: “Through a series of strategic engagements and partnerships, PAS has contributed to the launch of important policy documents such as the family planning Blueprint, FP2030 agenda, the Task shifting, and Task sharing policy and supported the implementation of maternal and child health interventions both at the National and subnational level’’ On their part, the PACFaH@Scale NGO leaders at the session (from Alumni Association of the National Institute AANI-Lagos and Medical Women Association of Nigeria Kano) put on record the project’s contribution to capacity development of their organizations, positioning these civil society groups to take up leadership roles in the policy advocacy space. The conference ended on a high note with closing remarks from a leading Nigerian scholar on civil society in Africa, Professor Eghosa E. Osaghae whose scholarly reflections were complemented by a call to action by African civil society organizations present. These groups called on national governments and regional bodies to put in place new and more meaningful structures to include civil society in decision making platforms. This, they argued would facilitate the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG 3, the Health goal. Participants also called on national governments to integrate the rich and robust data generated by civil society groups into decision making process on public health policy in Africa.AROCSA is a non-profit organization founded in 2012 with support from the Ford Foundation as a focal point for researchers and practitioners on civil society on the African continent to dialogue and frame research and intervention agendas. One important high point of the conference was the commemoration and recognition of the impactful contribution to developing African civil society by the past Ford Foundation West African Regional Director, Innocent Chukwuma, who passed away on April 3rd 2021.
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Report By: PRNigeria.com