Dodoma. Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa is today expected to open this year’s CSO Week in Dodoma.
The Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) said in a statement that the five-day multi-stakeholder conference, whose emphasis is on partnership and collaboration, brings together key civil society members and their respective organisations to effectively engage in in-depth discussions on their work, share experiences, and see how civil society organisations can strategically collaborate within the sector and with the public, government, donors and private sector.
FCS has organised the event in collaboration with the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), Legal Services Facilities (LSF), Save the Children, Wajibu Institute, UN Women, Oxfam, Twaweza, Policy Forum, Msichana Initiative, Hakirasilimali, United Nations Associations of Tanzania (UNA Tanzania), Accountability Tanzania (AcT2), Sikika, Tanganyika Law Society (TLS), Shirika la Walemavu Tanzania (Shivyawata) and Tanzania Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (Tango), among other civil society organisations (CSOs)
FCS executive director Francis Kiwanga said this year’s theme is “Progress Through Partnerships: Collaboration as a Driver for Development”.
“This theme places greater emphasis on partnership. For Tanzania to achieve its development vision and attain a level of growth envisioned in the Sustainable Development Goals, multi-stakeholder collaboration holds the key. In ensuring that we build the CSOs sector in the country, during CSO Week FCS will issue The CSO Excellence Awards in order to celebrate, recognise and honour achievements and contributions made by various institutions or individuals that have influenced development policy and practise in Tanzania,” he said.
Mr Kiwanga added that the awards primarily target civil society organisations operating in Tanzania, and are also aimed at profiling local CSOs’ work in order to develop broader appreciation of the important work of civil society organisations in the country. The inaugural awards ceremony will take place during CSO Week 2019.
He said CSO Week 2019 would direct its efforts at ensuring the optimum participation of actors from sectors as diverse as possible. The agenda will also be directed towards ensuring that these multi-sectoral actors are made a critical part of new collectives geared towards delivering development.
In a broader perspective, CSO Week seeks to create and deepen a sustainable model for growth fuelled by civil society’s effective engagement in efforts to achieve Tanzania’s development vision through collaboration to ensure that CSOs effectively serve excluded, marginalised and vulnerable populations in the interest of development in Tanzania. This is demonstrated by increased CSO participation and representation in government, which, in turn, translates into an improved operating environment for civil society organisations, which will be the primary driver of enhanced sustainability and impact of the civil society sector as a whole.
Last year the weeklong event took place in Dodoma, and was themed “Industrialisation Drive in Tanzania, People, Policy and Practise”. It brought together over 600 participants representing about 400 CSOs operating in the country.
The inaugural event was an important step in promoting the status of CSOs in Tanzanian society and an opportunity for CSO members to constructively engage with leaders representing the government and parliament of the United Republic of Tanzania. Several deliberative points were made on the event’s closing day, key among them calling for a consultative framework between CSOs and Parliament to build and improve collaboration between the two sides for the benefit of all Tanzanians.
Since then, there has been increasing appreciation among all stakeholders of the importance of CSO Week as a platform for comprehensive engagement between and among stakeholders.