Mobilizing Democratic Forces: Civil Society and Political Society

The World Movement for Democracy, a global network of democrats who come together for mutual support and cooperation, in partnership with the Youngstars Foundation, and the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA), are hosting a meeting with the theme: Mobilizing Democratic Forces: Civil Society and Political Society, which will take place in Abuja on December 2-3, 2015, at the Barcelona International Limited Hotel. The Abuja meeting will bring together some 50 emerging leaders of African democracy movements.

Following the Youth Leadership and Democratic Transition meeting held in Dakar, Senegal, on March 12-14, 2015, the World Movement for Democracy is organize the Pan-African meeting in Abuja, Nigeria on December 2- 3 (2 days), 2015, bringing 50-60 emerging leaders of African democracy movements to continue the March discussions on the roles of civil society and political society in building and sustaining democratic movements. Through this discussion, the World Movement seeks to help deepen the understanding of “Dos” and “Don’ts” in engaging political society and building broader democracy movements.

This meeting will be organized primarily around workshops that enable participants to share knowledge, skills, and experiences in building democracy in their respective countries. Participants will include practitioners from political parties, nongovernmental organizations, research institutes, civic education organizations, and democracy support foundations, as well as parliamentarians with a special interest in democracy. The main objective of this meeting will be to enable the participants to teach and learn from each other and to develop relationships of cross-border solidarity.

The meeting in Abuja will include plenary discussions and workshops to discuss the following topics, among others:

• Are political parties a part of civil society?
• Legal restrictions on political gathering and association
• Mapping spaces for optimal youth participation in political and civil society
• Crossing over: Civil society actor turned political actor

The meeting will also provide an opportunity to discuss lessons learned from Nigeria’s unique experience in partnering between civil society and political society, and the recent Nigerian elections.

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