Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA)
The Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) is part of the global network of 32 autonomous nonprofit foundations that share a commitment to the advancement of open society.
Based on the premise that no one has a monopoly on the truth, an open society recognizes the importance of different views and interests and remains forever open to improvement. In practice, open societies are characterized by the rule of law, democracy, respect for diversity and human rights, free markets, informed citizenry, and vibrant civil society.
OSIWA’s principal niche is to build capacity and create space for participation for West African civil society and government institutions through support to catalytic and innovative initiatives, and to advocate for the core ideals of Open Society.
Since its foundation in 2000, OSIWA is dedicated to supporting the creation of open societies in West Africa marked by functioning democracy, good governance, the rule of law, basic freedoms, and widespread civic participation. OSIWA believes that it best serves by sustaining catalytic and innovative initiatives that add value to the efforts of West Africa’s civil society. OSIWA seeks to collaborate with advocacy groups, like-minded foundations, governments and donors. OSIWA further recognizes the importance of incorporating global developments in building open societies and seeks a greater commitment to the region by rich nations.
OSIWA serves the fifteen members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), as well as Cameroon, Chad and Mauritania. The ECOWAS members are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
OSIWA is based in Dakar, Senegal. The foundation maintains an office in Abuja, Nigeria which focuses on good governance and human rights programmes, and coordinates OSIWA’s programs in the country. The Foundation also runs an office in Monrovia, Liberia, working on Justice, Electoral and Constitutional Reforms, as well as coordinating OSIWA’s programmes on the ground.
APC collaborates with OSIWA in putting out joint press releases on ICT infrastructure in Africa. They collaborate on ICT policy workshops and projects.