Voice, vision, value at centre of CSO Week

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Senior Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) officials and invited guests applaud during the launch of CSO Week 2024 in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday. The week-long is scheduled to be held in Arusha from September 9 to 13. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The CSO Week 2024 theme is guided by the principles of vision, voice and value, emphasising collaboration across civil society, government and the private sector for Tanzania’s progress and prosperity

Dar es Salaam. At least 500 participants are expected to attend CSO Week 2024 scheduled for September 9 to 13 at Mount Meru Hotel in Arusha, and whose theme is “Voice, Vision, Value”.

Addressing a press conference in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday, Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) executive director Justice Rutenge said the week-long event is an important occasion for development actors in Tanzania as it brings together key civil society actors to enhance relations and partnerships.

The ultimate aim is to bolster civil society's engagement in Tanzania's development by forging new and strengthening existing collectives that address key developmental challenges.

“Our aim for the week is for a diversity of voices from civil society and partners to join in an intergenerational and inclusive forum and chart the way forward for Tanzania’s development.

The event will involve civil society organisations, including non-governmental organisations, non-state actors, faith-based organisations, foundations, trusts and ordinary citizens, with special attention on marginalised groups such as youth, women and people with disability,” he said.

Mr Rutenge welcomed the participation of the Vodacom Tanzania Foundation as CSO Week's main partner, adding that civil society partnerships are key in mitigating societal challenges as each actor plays an important role in their sector.

This year’s gathering is the sixth in a series of similar events held in 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022 and 2023 and will be held under the theme “Voice, Vision, Value’’. CSO Week 2024 offers a platform and blueprint for meaningful engagement and cooperation across the key sectors.

CSO Week 2024, set against the backdrop of significant global and local shifts, seeks to recalibrate its focus and methodologies. With Tanzania participating in crucial global elections, the event recognises the pivotal role of democratic processes in shaping the nation's future.

Recent peaceful demonstrations underscore a growing demand for transformation and active civic engagement, signalling the need to amplify voices and enhance political efficacy.

Also, as the world approaches the midpoint of the UN SDGs without significant progress, CSO Week 2024 aims to serve as a platform for rethinking, refocusing and recharging efforts towards sustainable development.

Additionally, the formulation of Vision 2050 presents an opportunity for collaboration across sectors to shape Tanzania's long-term development trajectory.

Therefore, the CSO Week 2024 theme is guided by the principles of vision, voice and value, emphasising collaboration across civil society, government and the private sector for Tanzania's progress and prosperity.

FCS strategic advisor Prudence Zoe Glorious said the CSO Week 2024 theme, "Voice, Vision, Value”, acknowledges that despite different roles, perspectives and learnings development actors share a common responsibility towards the country's development and encourages actors to use their voices to speak up, listen, share, foresight and explore ways that can bring about real and positive value by achieving a shared vision for Tanzania's future.

“Voice” emphasises the importance of diverse perspectives and inclusive participation. It invites every Tanzanian, from grassroots activists to national business leaders, to share their insights and experiences, she said, adding that it is about ensuring that everyone's voice is heard in the conversations that shape Tanzania's future, particularly in the run-up to significant electoral milestones.

“Vision”: With the backdrop of crafting Vision 2050 being the centre-fold, there is a need to harmonise collective aspiration for Tanzania's future. It is an invitation to align collective efforts and strategies to build a future that reflects shared goals.

Ms Glorious said "Value" is about figuring out measures that will make a real difference in people's lives through collective action.