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CGG to engage citizens on constitutional review process

May 4, 2015 By Alusine Sesay

With funds from the Open Society Initiative for Africa (OSIWA), the Campaign for Good Governance (CGG) will embark on a national advocacy to guarantee the reflection of a wide range of voices in the reviewed constitution.

The nationwide advocacy will be conducted under the project titled ‘Advocacy for a Citizen’s Responsive Constitution’, and it is aimed at promoting an inclusive and participatory constitutional review process through the presentation of a citizen’s position paper to the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC).

Chairman of the CGG Board, Dr. Abu Bakarr Kargbo, told newsmen that the project was a component of the organization’s engagement within the review process since 2007, and that it compliments and accompanies the effort of the CRC and other state and non-state actors by cushioning the gaps and challenges that will limit and undermine inclusive participation in the process.

“This project will create space for increased participation of Sierra Leoneans across different sectors of society, especially ordinary citizens, women, youths and the disabled who may not have the opportunity to participate in the constitutional review consultations and its forums,” he said.

Dr. Kargbo added that the organization believes that ownership of the reviewed constitution lies in consensus building, giving an opportunity to citizens to articulate critical concerns prior to the final acceptance or rejection of the document during a referendum.

To facilitate the process and to make case for the relevance of the recommendations that will emanate from citizens, he said a team drawn from CGG’s partner groups has been constituted, and their mandate is to critically analyze the recommendations that citizens will present.

“Thematic areas of focus will be human rights and state policy, local government and decentralization, the executive, natural resource governance and the environment, as well as citizens and representation of the people,” he said. “Cross cutting themes will include women’s right and empowerment and gender, separation of powers, and economic and social rights.”

Executive Secretary of the Constitutional Review Committee, Samuel Coker, underscored the importance of citizen’s involvement in the process, noting that the CGG project is very supportive and timely.