Citizen Engagement Platform Seychelles


Citizen Engagement Platform Seychelles

Civil society organisations engage with African Development Bank

Mrs Nwabufo engaging with the participants

The Citizens Engagement Platform Seychelles (Ceps) in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB) yesterday hosted a first special forum in the form of an open day exchange of information for all civil society organizations (CSOs) in the country.

The half-day forum which was held at the Ceps conference room, Orion Mall, was in line with the strategy and objective of both parties (Ceps-AfDB) to work in close collaboration for the integration of CSOs in the community to promote social welfare, economic development and political stability.

It was an opportunity for the civil societies to share their experiences and expectations of the bank’s projects.

The bank’s delegation, led by the director general for East Africa, Nnenna Nwabufo, is in the country on a country dialogue mission in relation to the county’s 2021-2025 development strategy mid-term review.

In her opening remarks, the principal secretary for National Planning, Elizabeth Agathine, said while government recognises the valuable role that civil society plays in promoting social justice, democratic participation and sustainable development as a whole, the role it plays in promoting citizen participation is critical.

She said it has been noted that the effective collaboration between government, the civil society and our development partners is essential for the benefit of the citizens. 

“As we all know, the challenges facing our society are multi-faceted and complex. The government remains committed to working with CSOs and all stakeholders to find solutions to those challenges. We believe that together we can create a just and inclusive sustainable society,” she said.

Speaking to the press, the chief executive of Ceps, Alvin Laurence, said that most of the time when representatives from the bank come to assess government projects funded by the bank, they also meet with Ceps’ secretariat for opinions in the form of a shadow report.

He noted that from a previous visit, they had proposed for the bank’s representatives to meet and discuss with the CSOs for them to better understand and to get acquainted with the bank’s presence and activities in the country.

To note, the AfDB aims to strengthen its engagement with civil society at the community level on projects to ensure that the intended impacts are being well monitored and achieved.

“In a way, when the bank representatives come to assess government funded projects, they will not only go to government and to us at the secretariat for a report, but they will also get in touch with the civil society for their opinions,” said Mr Laurence, who noted that it will be the new format by Ceps to include opinions from CSOs with regard to how government projects, funded by the bank, are being implemented for the benefit of communities.

Mrs Nwabufo said that as the development programmes engaged with governments are for the benefit of the citizens, it is important to engage CSOs given that they are the independent voice of the community.

“So our engagement with civil society organisations is really to hear, from their perspective, whether our development efforts are really meeting their needs. Sometimes it provides an opportunity for these organisations to let us know what it is that the government may be doing that is not in their favour,” said Mrs Nwabufo, who noted that they are not here to speak to government about the complaints of the civil society but only to take those complaints to help them in the policy dialogue with government in areas where the latter may need to review policies and regulations in order to meet the needs of the people.

She added that government does not work in isolation as it is there to meet the needs of its citizens by making sure that there is a prosperous, stable nation for all, including non-citizens.

She noted that given it will be difficult for CSOs to speak independently if they are sponsored by the government and as the bank also does not sponsor them through its own resources, it is trying to seek other means of sponsorship with other development partners.

“They can decide to give us some funding and through that funding we can call for proposal for civil society to see how they can have access to funding. We are looking how we can get our developments partners who are able to give us some money that we can use to support the work that civil societies do because we think it is important as they are the voice of the people and it will enable them to speak for the people,” Mrs Nwabufo said, noting that the engagement of CSOs across the African countries will be mainstreamed in the bank’s operations to ensure the broader inclusive growth aspirations in the different countries and on the continent in general.

The raising of the La Gogue dam and our budget deficit support programme are two main projects funded by the bank among its nine small grant projects in the country.

The outcome of yesterday’s inputs will be shared with colleagues and relevant departments within the bank to ensure that they are included in the bank’s discussions.

Courtesy: Patrick Joubert (

Civil society organisations engage with African Development Bank
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