CSOs week attracts over 500 participants

AT least 500 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are expected to attend this year’s Civil Society Week, which will bring together multi-sector actors for discussions to steer the national development agenda.

The week, to be held in Arusha from October 24 to 28 allows for reflection on the approaches, systems and processes used by CSOs to address the development challenges that Tanzanians confront, particularly those that are complex, deep-rooted, and long-standing.

Francis Kiwanda, Executive Director of the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS), told journalists in Dar es Salaam yesterday that outreach events will be held during the CSO week to allow community members to voice their concerns about various issues impeding development efforts in their communities and propose solutions.

“This year, our focus is on people, so our theme is ‘Peoples Development Peoples Stories,’ emphasising that people are our most important constituency and partners. Thus we want them to propose solutions to issues in their areas,” he explained.

According to him, the week’s preparations are complete, and it has attracted more CSOs and participants this year than last. Last year, 150 CSOs participated in the week.

He stated that they are looking forward to this year’s CSO week to reflect on aligning private investment with sustainable social-economic development as social impact investments are an essential tool for directing investment toward long-term development.

The week emphasise the importance of collective engagement and collaboration to reach citizens and trickle to the citizen.

On her part, Country Director for Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), Berte Ulverseter said during the event they will host a session titled ‘Zooming into Local Government Authorities (LGAs) 10 per cent interest-free loans to women, youth and people with disabilities,”.

She said the aim of the session was to deliberate on the impact of the loans provided by the government on the livelihoods of the people and proposed areas for improvement.

“The session will involve sharing of business cases or testimonies from successful entrepreneurs,” Ms Ulverseter said.

On that account, she said beneficiaries from Manyara and Kilimanjaro where NCA implements economic empowerment projects will share their success stories and challenges they face in accessing government empowerment funds.

The Stanbic Bank Head of the Public Sector, Ms Doreen Dominic, stated that they will also have a session to empower Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneurs (SMEs) to take advantage of the various opportunities that are emerging in the country.

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