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OPEN West Africa Workshop: PMOs in Nigeria to join network in OPEN...

OPEN West Africa Workshop: PMOs in Nigeria to join network in OPEN Parliament Engagement


OrderPaperToday –
The importance of networking among Parliamentary Engagement and Monitoring Organisations (PEMOs) in West Africa was the premise for a one-day ‘kick-off’ workshop organised by Parliamentary Network Africa (PN Africa).

The aim of this, organisers say is to facilitate experience sharing and collaborative dialogues for the development of minimum transparency, open data standards indices, strengthening the inclusion of parliament and working together to develop strategies to address common challenges.

With the theme, ‘Getting Involved: Working Together as a Network in Open Parliament Engagements,’ the workshop which held on Monday 14th March 2022 in Abuja, was organised by Parliamentary Network Africa (PN Africa) Ghana, and facilitated by OrderPaper Nigeria.

The workshop which is the first in the series of regional networking workshops in West Africa for the Nigerian region forms part of ongoing strategic plans to form a coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Parliamentary Monitoring Organisations (PMOs) in Nigeria to help implementation of the OPEN West Africa Project.

READ ALSO: OrderPaper hosts Reps spokesman, other speakers in 2nd OPEN meet-up

In an opening remark by the Executive Director, OrderPaper Nigeria, Oke Epia; he appreciated representatives of the CSOs present for finding the time to attend the workshop; as well as PN Africa for the topical initiative.

He further told the audience that OrderPaper had already commenced organising a coalition of CSO partners focused on engaging the National Assembly of Nigeria.

Harping on the expectations from the meeting, he went further to identify collaboration between and among the parliament and non–state actors in order to promote the culture of legislative accountability and effective service delivery.

READ ALSO: Outcome of the 2nd OPEN Webinar on paradigms of citizen participation

Participants at the workshop were drawn from PMOs and CSOs including; OrderPaper Nigeria, Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), AFRICMIL, Youth Alive Foundation (YAF), YIAGA Africa, PLSI, Hipcity Innovation Centre, Centre LSD, Dataphyte, ICIR, Vanguard, NTA, Social Action, African Parliamentary Press Network (APPN) and Hallowmace Foundation.

A welcome address was delivered by the Program Manager, PN Africa (Ghana), Gilbert Boyefio, who called on Parliamentary Engagement and Monitoring Organizations (PEMOs) to network together to support and strengthen parliamentary openness in West Africa.

Boyefio also made a presentation on the theme for the event, citing certain challenges reported in 2011 from the findings of a combined survey carried out by the National Democratic Institute (NDI), World Bank Institute (WBI) and the Centre for Democracy and Development (CCD), which he noted, formed the dynamics of the project’s focus.

READ ALSO: Parliament and Open Government in Nigeria

There were goodwill messages from representatives of select CSOs, including Faith Nwadishi, Executive Director of Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), Kingsley Atang of Youth Alive Foundation (YAF), and Yetunde Bakare of YIAGA Africa.

Oluchukwu Ibekwe, Chairman of the Steering Committee of the African Parliamentary Press Network (APPN) and Dean of the Nigeria Country Caucus of the APPN, also delivered a goodwill remark.

The CSOs expressed appreciation to the conveners of the workshop and shared their expectations of the meeting.

READ ALSO: Policy expert pushes for more women in parliament

A high point of the event was OrderPaper Nigeria‘s nomination to lead the coalition of CSOs/PMOs and serve as a liaison between PN Africa and CSOs/PMOs in Nigeria in the implementation of the OPEN West Africa Project.

  • The coalition will operate as a loose network
  • PN Africa will continue to engage PEMOs/CSOs in peer–to–peer sharing /learning/networking and will organise training workshops subsequently to mention a few.
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