At the 11th Edition of the World Social Forum in Dakar, Senegal, within the campus of Cheikh Anta Diop University and at the section responsible for the faculty of Science–Economy, a civil society organisation, CIVICUS, an international alliance dedicated to strengthening citizens’ action and civil society throughout the world organised a workshop for civil society members to discuss the way forward for the civil society and human right Defenders in all African countries.
Bhekinkosi Moyo, the program director of TrustAfrica from South Africa and based in Senegal, who talked about the civil society role in Africa, said the main role of the civil societies is to see the issues of democratic governance. He said as civil society campaigners, they understand the whole issues of harassment before starting the campaign. He said the attack on the civil organisation is not only done by government, but also private society. He said it is unfortunate that our brothers as our own government officials used most of these undemocratic intimidations against us in our own countries.
He said right to association, assembly and to expression are all rights that need not to be registered before operations, noting that having an open society in any country is of a paramount interest. He said the role of journalists, human rights defenders is to call on government to be accountable and also to be transparent in issues that are directly dealing with the lives of the people. He said many governments see the civil society as a threat to government functions; noting that there should be always dialogue between these two groups.
Read the full article at Foroyaa Online (Gambia).