In a new collaboration, West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) in Ghana will house the regional secretariat of the International Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR). WACSI’s aim is to strengthen the institutional and operational capacities of CSOs through capacity strengthening programmes for increased and effective policy engagement.
The main purpose of the collaboration is to provide an administrative base for ISTR’s Africa Network which will be known as ISTRAN. Established to support emerging African scholarship on civil society and philanthropy, ISTRAN is now comprised of over 130 African researchers and scholars from across the continent.
It also includes members of the African diaspora who work in the US and Europe. Its principal activities include biennial conferences and professional development workshops.
The collaboration includes the appointment of part-time staff based at WACSI to coordinate and expand the network, develop a mentoring programme, and publish the ISTRAN newsletter four times a year. In addition, Nana Asantewa Afadzinu, executive director of WACSI, has been elected to the board of directors of ISTR for a four-year term.
The network’s next conference will be held this year in Accra, Ghana from 21 to 23 June on the theme ‘Civil Society and Philanthropy in Africa: Contexts, Contradictions, Possibilities’. It will lay stress on attracting emerging African scholarship and greater academic understanding of philanthropy.
‘Academic interest in the philanthropic sector has not been seen as worthy of analysis or theorizing. We hope that this conference will create a change,’ says an ISTR press release. It is anticipated that over 100 researchers from West Africa and beyond will attend.
For more information http://www.istr.org/?page=Africa.