OSISA is a grant making and advocacy foundation that is a part of the global
Open Society Foundations Network.Through the three Soros foundations, OSI supports open society initiatives in 28 countries in Africa and occasionally provides funding to organizations in other countries as well. OSISA covers Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. OSIWA handles Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameron, Cape Verde, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
Our mission is to promote and support open societies, inclusive democratic governance based on transparent and accountable institutions, active citizenry and economic advancement.
OSIWA is dedicated to the creation of open societies in West Africa. We seek to promote inclusive democratic governance, transparent and accountable institutions and active citizenship in West Africa.
The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) funded voter education initiatives and, in Zambia and Malawi, campaigns to prevent incumbent presidents from running for unconstitutional third terms. The Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) promoted freedom of information laws and supported truth and reconciliation activities in Sierra Leone and Ghana.
In 2001, the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) consolidated itself as a regional organization distinct from other democracy funders in its ability to fill existing needs and gaps while maintaining the flexibility to respond quickly to new challenges. OSIWA’s overall mission is the promotion of open society where good governance, basic freedoms, and citizen’s empowerment prevail. OSIWA is dedicated to building a West Africa where civic participation is vibrant and where citizens understand democracy’s essentials as well as its strengths and limitations. OSIWA seeks to add value to civil society organizations through support to catalytic and innovative initiatives.
Program priorities include: human rights, notably women in politics, prisoner’s
rights, and transitional justice; good governance, encompassing constitutional
review mechanisms and electoral reform; media and communications, incorporating community radio and electronic information for libraries; and economic reform to foster accountability and combat corruption.
OSIWA became fully operational in 2001 with the opening of the regional office in Dakar, Senegal, in May.
Though OSIWA formally covers 18 countries, the foundation in 2001, in consultation with government and civil society leaders throughout the region, decided to prioritize support to Ghana, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. The eight represent a mix of Anglophone and Francophone countries and include states where prospects for open society have recently increased as well as states where openness has been gravely threatened. Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, and Senegal, for example,
are undergoing positive political transitions, despite prevailing social unrest in Nigeria and Senegal. Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone are intertwined in conflict fueled by competition for resources and political power. Cote d’Ivoire, a previously politically and economically stable country, is facing grave social and political turmoil.