Open Society Initiative for West Africa

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The Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) is a West African organization which promotes democratic values. OSIWA "believes that it best serves by sustaining catalytic and innovative initiatives that add value to the efforts of West Africa's civil society." OSIWA also believes in the value of cooperation with similarly minded groups and governments.OSIWA covers 18 countries, which include the 15 members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), as well as Cameroon, Chad, and Mauritania. It supports civil society communities and advocates to governments on issues of governance; law, justice and human rights; public health and development; information, communication technology, and media.

The current chair of the OSIWA board is El Hadj Sy from Senegal. Past Chairs include Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, current President of Liberia and Abdul Tejan-Cole, Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission in Sierra Leone.

OSIWA was established in 2000 as a part of the global network of autonomous Soros Foundations. OSIWA promotes open societies where democracy, good governance, the rule of law, basic freedoms and widespread civic participation prevail.

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