EU Namibia and KAS launch ECSO project

WINDHOEK: The European Union (EU) and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) on Tuesday announced the commencement of the ‘Empowering Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Women, Youth, and Marginalized Communities as Equal Partners in Democracy’ (ECSO) project.’

The project, aimed at enhancing the participation of CSOs in governance and development issues stands at a budget of N.dollars 15 million, spanning 36 months from July 2023 to June 2026.

A joint statement availed here said the project’s implementation will be spearheaded by KAS with support from the Women’s Action for Development (WAD).

Focusing on the regions of //Karas, Kunene, and Erongo, where CSOs predominantly address gender dynamics, youth empowerment, and the concerns of marginalized communities, ECSO aims to strengthen these organizations through two core components: capacity building and advocacy activities.

‘These components have been identified as pivotal areas for civil society organizations striving for sustainability and impactful commun
ity change,’ the statement reads.

Building upon the success of two prior EU and KAS-supported projects, ECSO is designed to leverage existing structures.

In the statement, EU Ambassador to Namibia, Ana Beatriz Martins emphasized the significance of strengthening advocacy skills, particularly for youth and marginalized communities.

This project is intended to equip CSOs with the skills to advocate and complement the government’s efforts in achieving the goals outlined in Vision 2030 for the Namibian people, she said.

‘Despite Namibia’s progressive laws and policies in many civil rights areas, its commitment is hampered by often patriarchal structures, harmful gender practices and high levels of gender-based violence.

The project stands as a beacon for fostering a more inclusive and participatory democracy, where CSOs, women, youth, and marginalized communities play equal and vital roles in shaping the future of Namibia,’ the statement said.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency