CEPS members in a new pilot project to repair and rehabilitate public places. (Seychelles Nation)
The Citizens Engagement Platform Seychelles (CEPS) is working to determine the exact situation of civil society in the country in a bid to get external help in its work, said a top official.
According to CEPS‘ chief executive, Alvin Laurence, “This year we should expect to see CEPS addressing both the local and international agenda in parallelism, however, this must be delicately managed as we participate primarily in funded missions.”
Laurence spoke to SNA after he attended the inaugural annual high-level stakeholder symposium of the Southern African Council of Non-Governmental Organisations (SAf-CNGO) in South Africa from January 22 to 26.
The SAf-CNGO, in collaboration with the GIZ Project, hosted the capacity building and regional exchange workshop on “Monitoring the Implementation of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs).”
Among other things, emphasis was laid on the need to foster networking among trade unions and civil society actors from the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) EPA and that of the Eastern and Southern African regions.
Laurence said that the importance of collaborating with international partners cannot be overemphasised.
“This year we should expect to see CEPS addressing both the local and international agenda in parallelism, however, this must be delicately managed as we participate primarily in funded missions,” he added.
“These are opportunities to share the best practices, establish indices and mobilise both monetary and human resources,” Laurence told SNA. “It’s from those meetings that we can present the real context of civil society in Seychelles for further assistance,” he added.
This was the first overseas mission CEPS undertook this year and the civil society plans to have others during the year.
“CEPS will this year focus on regional cooperation with the aim of mobilising more resources for the sector and reinforcing the mutual understanding and synergy among Civil Society Organisations (CSO) in the SADC region,” said the CEO.
CEPS is the platform that groups several non-profit organisations such as associations, federations and foundations and it embarked on the revival of the civil society sector in 2021 as part of the post-COVID-19 approach.
This was done by reviewing its internal procedures and subsequently its local and international partnerships in 2022 and 2023 respectively.
While this approach is bearing fruits, there are several challenges and opportunities locally and internationally that must be addressed, hence the need for an active ‘foreign policy’ for CEPS, which is expected to broaden the collaboration in the region and facilitate resource mobilisation.