HISTORY OF FOSDA
The Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA) is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) established in 2001 by a small group of African Scholars abroad concened about the conflict in West Africa at the end of the twentieth century, FOSDA was formed to examine the causes of these conflicts and to further improve the capacity of African institutions and civil society organizations (CSOs) in the field of human security and development.
FOSDA is devoted to conducting research and providing training on issues that affects the development of West African sub-region;it provides a forum for exchange of theoritical and practical knowledge and experiences for the enhancement of human security. FOSDA also designs and implements projects at the grassroots level to serve the needs of people in eradicating poverty and establishing human rights.
Over the years, FOSDA has developed a niche in the development and implementation of projects focusing on conflict prevention and management, voter education and community mobilisation towards the empowerment of women and youth in Ghana.
At the beginning of 2012 FOSDA undertook an extensive consultation of its staff, partners and beneficiaries employing depth interviews, discussion groups and
Since its formation in 2001 FOSDA has successfully implemented a variety of projects focused on reducing threats to human safety and security in Ghana and across the West African sub‐region. FOSDA has received support from international and national donors and worked in partnership with a range of civil society organisations and government institutions. These projects include:
Small Arms and Light Weapons in West Africa Since 2001, FOSDA has launched a number of successful national and sub‐regional education, sensitisation and training programmes targeting civil society, parliamentarians, the ECOWAS Secretariat (now commission), West African Government Institutions, the African Union, the United Nations and development partners to address the negative impact of small arms and light weapons (SALW). FOSDA initiated the campaign for the renewal of the ECOWAS Moratorium in 2001 and 2004 by mobilising civil society organisations in West Africa and other members of the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) to lobby their governments to support the call for the renewal of the Moratorium for three more years. Following the second renewal of the Moratorium in 2004, FOSDA worked with members of the West Africa Action Network on Small Arms (WAANSA) to push for the transformation of the Moratorium into a legally binding Convention. The ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, Their Ammunition and Other Related Materials was adopted by the Authority of Heads of State and Government on the 14th June 2006 in Abuja, Nigeria. It entered into force with the deposit of the 9th instrument of ratification, by the Government of the Republic of Benin, on the 29th September 2009. Ghana ratified the convention in March 2010.
Peace Building and Conflict Prevention in Northern Ghana FOSDA recognises that the continued tensions in northern Ghana, and the very real risk of these escalating into violence, hamper the development of the region. FOSDA has worked on a variety of peace building initiatives in the northern regions, including the innovative annual Ride for Peace. The annual Ride for Peace was initiated in November 2004 in the Yendi Municipality of the Northern Region of Ghana, an area particularly prone to inter‐tribal tension. The competition was borne out of the need for pragmatic steps to stem the increasing factional armed hostilities following the murder of the Paramount chief of the Dagomba people, Ya Na Yakubu Andani II. The competition consists of Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA) Strategic Plan: 2012 ‐ 2016 4 sixty men and women deemed to be the best bicycle riders in their various area councils competing in a 15km bicycle race in the midst of thousands of cheering spectators. It is a non partisan and a non sectarian competition which enjoys wide media coverage. During the event posters, banners and placards bearing peace messages are used to sensitize people on team work, peaceful collaboration and non‐ violence. At the end of the third year of the event a Peace Square with a woodlot was created in the community of Adibo to acknowledge their three consecutive wins in the competition.
Ballots Not Bullets FOSDA developed a programme called Ballots Not Bullets in 2004 to encourage non‐violence during elections and the promote democratic governance in Ghana. The campaign included election observation, peace rallies and media engagement. It has since become a West African project in which all ECOWAS countries want Ballots Not Bullets replicated during their elections. So far, the campaign for non‐violent elections has been held in Liberia, Ghana and Sierra Leone. The project puts special focus on youth and their role in peaceful elections
Youth in Governance FOSDA’s Youth in Governance Project (YIG) focuses on promoting democracy and good governance across the West African sub‐region by enhancing youth participation in governance and decision making at all levels. The project seeks to build the capacity of youth and create a platform for them to participate in governance and demand accountability from duty bearers. The YIG project has so far been implemented in Ghana, Togo, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The project is funded by Ibis West Africa under their West Africa Human Rights and Democratisation (WAHRD) Programme. As part of the WAHRD Programme FOSDA works in an Alliance with the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) and the West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP).
Women’s Economic and Political Empowerment This five‐year project, funded by Comic Relief UK and implemented in partnership with the GHARWEG (Ghana Refugee Welfare Group) Advice, Training and Career Centre UK, seeks to raise awareness of the connection between poverty and the under‐representation of women at all levels of decision making in Ghana. The project focuses on increasing women’s representation in the three regions of northern Ghana (the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions) where issues of literacy, poverty and food security are far greater than the national average. It involves a number of capacity building and policy lobbying strategies and actions designed to facilitate dialogue among community members and key stakeholders to increase women’s participation in governance and decision‐making and consequently their ability to fight poverty. It is consistent with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) 1325, 1820 and 1888 for the sustained fight against feminised poverty and exclusion.