- The Southern Africa Trust has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with multi-stakeholders in Mauritius as part of the poverty reduction initiatives in the Island.
The MoU signed with the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Senior Citizens Welfare and Reform Institutions of Mauritius and the Mauritius Council of Social Service (MACOSS) seek to co-operate in building the capability of civil society to engage in pro-poor policy influencing work at the national and regional levels.
The instrument is also aimed at promoting greater citizen participation in national poverty reduction initiatives and regional integration in Mauritius and the southern Africa region.
The MOU was signed yesterday in Port Louis, Mauritius by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Senior Citizens Welfare and Reform Institutions, Anbanaden Veerasamy, MACOSS Secretary, Ram Nookadee, and Neville Gabriel, Executive Director of the Southern Africa Trust. It was also attended by the Mauritian Minister of Social Security, Sheilabai Bappoo, and the Chairperson of MACOSS, Mekraj Baldowa.
“For an effective and sustained drive to overcome poverty in our region, it is imperative to increase engagement between civil society organisations and governments. We need to develop leadership in both sectors to strengthen the capability of both to do this. We need to develop stronger relations of accountability and cohesion between governments and citizens’ organizations. That’s what we are committing to do together today,” said Mr Gabriel after the signing.
Key areas of collaboration will include, setting up a Civil Society Leadership Academy: a regional civil society learning and leadership centre to strengthen policy and advocacy skills, promote civil society governance and accountability, and develop networking skills; a “leadership for change” programme for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Mauritius and the rest of the southern Africa region which will be an ongoing programme with the first intake in 2010.
The initiative will also see to it the identification of 30 to 50 organisations in the field of poverty reduction, for capacity development over the next three years, while also promoting awareness about new national legislative frameworks for NGOs in the region, including Mauritius; and strengthening corporate social responsibility mechanisms in support of the NGO sector.
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