The Civil Society Institute for Health in West and Central Africa (CSIH WCA) has a new steering committee. Member organizations renewed their governing bodies at the General Assembly held on November 23 and 24 in Accra, Ghana.
Alain MANOUAN, takes over as Chairman of the 13-member CSIH WCA Board from Dr Aliou SYLLA, who expressed his pride in the work accomplished over the past three years: "It has been a pleasure to work with the men and women who have demonstrated their commitment to the great causes of our region. I'm very proud of what we've achieved in such a short space of time.
Toyin Chukwudozie (NIGERIA) was elected vice-president, Adja Magatte Mbodj (SENEGAL) general secretary, Rachel Ndaya deputy general secretary, Aliù DJALÓ (GUINEA BISSAU) treasurer and Christine KAFANDO (BURKINA FASO) deputy treasurer.
3 years after the establishment of the Institute, the members also took stock of the objectives achieved and the challenges still to be met.
As Aliou SYLLA, former President of the Institute, acknowledges, the mechanism is "just starting to work" and still needs support for the next three years.
Nevertheless, the results of these 3 years are already solid. The CSIH WCA secretariat, based in Dakar, and its member organizations have succeeded both in mobilizing resources, mainly from UNAIDS, to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, in producing practical documents for community organizations (toolkits, guides, etc.) and in building the capacities of the various civil society players.
From now on, one of the main challenges will be to support the work of the organizations. Indeed, all participants agree that domestic funding is essential to tackle the region's priority health issues. Already looking to the future and aware of the limits of individual action, they want to consolidate their already solid network.
Nguissali TURPIN, the Institute's Executive Director, is categorical: the CSIH WCA still has its raison d'être. The idea is to stop letting others speak for Africans, "but to write the menu with the major international organizations, rather than being left to our own devices".
A declaration applauded by the general assembly, more determined than ever to move forward hand in hand for the benefit of the health of the continent's populations.
To this end, the members present set out the pan-African body's strategic priorities for the next three years.
The Institute's future is thus assured. It was with great satisfaction that all the CSO representatives applauded the new members of the steering committee, before looking forward to meeting up again in 2 years' time to take stock.