EU Launch N$15 million project to empower community

Martin Endjala

The European Union (EU), in partnership with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), has launched the Empowering Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Women, Youth, and Marginalized Communities as Equal Partners in Democracy (ECSO) project.

The initiative, with a budget of N$15 million, is co-funded by the EU and KAS.

The EU’s Ambassador to Namibia, Ana Martins said that the project aligns with the joint commitment of the EU and Namibia to enhance the participation of Civil Society Organizations in governance and development. The initiative will span three years, from July 2023 to June 2026, focusing on the //Karas, Kunene, and Erongo regions.

These areas are noted for addressing gender dynamics, youth empowerment, and the needs of marginalized communities.

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung will spearhead the implementation of the ECSO project, with support from Women’s Action for Development (WAD).

The project aims to strengthen CSOs through two core components: capacity building and advocacy activities.

These areas are vital for CSOs seeking sustainability and impactful community change.

Ambassador Martins emphasized the importance of building on the success of two previous EU and KAS-supported projects.

She stressed the significance of strengthening advocacy skills, especially among youth and marginalized communities.

“This project is intended to equip CSOs with the skills to advocate and complement the Government’s efforts in achieving Vision 2030 goals for the Namibian people,” Martins said.

She also pointed out that despite Namibia’s progressive laws and policies in many civil rights areas, the commitment is often hampered by patriarchal structures, harmful gender practices, and high levels of gender-based violence.

The ECSO 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 Namibia’s future.

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