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2 mai 2010 7 02 /05 /mai /2010 11:25

1.   IN   ANGOLA






Bernard Duchène, a member of the Spiritain order, has lived in Angola for more than thirty years.  .

His main objective is to strengthen civil society.

You can meet him in an interview made during his last visit to Paris in June 2009

Sur Dailymotion, la vidéo : B. Duchène et la société civile en Angola










by Bernard Duchène


Generated by various organizations, the project for a National Conference of Civil Society emerged in 2007. Members of Civil Society designed this conference as a response to the need to promote dialogue and exchange experience between several different civil society organizations.

At the same time, the Conference contributed to an increased coordination and dialogue between these CSOs (Civil Society Organizations) on the one hand and with the state, donors and other social actors, on the other.

Proponents of this initiative thought the time had come for the FONGA (Forum of Angolan NGOs) to act as the driving force of this process. And, in fact, the first National Conference of Civil Society was organized by the Forum. It was held on 6th, 7th  and 8th November 2007 in the Auditorium of the Catholic University of Angola in Luanda, with the theme: "Building Unity in Diversity".

During the preparation of the first National Conference in 17 provinces, all except the Kwanza Norte - see map below - there were meetings of representatives of NGOs, associations, unions, churches and the government. During these meetings, the concerns and needs of each province were identified. And the candidates for attending the National Conference were elected.


Among the concerns presented at the National Conference were the following points:

The role and functions of Civil Society Organisations with the private sector and the government;

The diversity of its member organizations and their interests;

The different kinds of joint activities related to public affairs.

These themes were incorporated into the agenda of the Conference which attracted 150 participants: delegates from the provinces, officers of various national and international organizations, representatives of the government and international donors.

The Second National Conference 2008

This Conference was not prepared by the FONGA, which, due to its lack of experience in this kind of organizing, was criticized in the Expanded Coordination Group, and ultimately withdrew entirely from the process of the National Civil Society Conferences.  During the second quarter of 2008 the Coordination Group was expanded to include the provinces and not only the NGOs but also the basic community organizations (BCOs), Trade Unions, faith-based organizations and other associations.


These preparations were centred round three topics:

1.  How to bring about an effective collaboration amongst Civil Society Organizations to establish the Coordination Group for the Provinces.  

2.  Establishing ways to facilitate information sharing.

3. Encouraging dialogue with governmental bodies and local administration entities.

The great advantage of organizing these civil society conferences is that they provide the legal opportunity for the man in the street to express himself and realize the importance of debating with others how to improve society.

Prior to the first Civil Society National Conference, there were conferences in each province. This time, for the third national conference, in addition to the provincial conference in each province, there were municipal conferences (four or more in each province).

The team coordinating the preparation of the National Conference in 2009 used Internet to    contact the provincial conferences so that everyone was aware of the topics discussed, the difficulties encountered and the enthusiasm generated by each provincial or municipal conference.  As a result, a culture of debate and criticism has begun to develope.

As to my role in these programmes: In 2008 I was approached to organize the Kwanza Norte Civil Society Conference because I am chairman of an association called the Joint  Commission of Human Rights of Kwanza Norte, founded in 1999 and recognized in the  State Gazette since April 2009. We have a committee in each municipality of the Province.

We seek to build a wide platform for debate and discussion throughout the country:  Creating spaces for dialogue and debate, for example in our province, by appealing to the provincial government to submit its town planning projects for our city Ndalatando and for the budget of this province.

As another example, in Benguela, every Thursday there is a debate centered round issues of national interest.  The debate is relayed by internet and sent to the coordinators who prepare each civil society provincial conference.  



Bernard Duchêne, Spiritain Order















The 2nd Angolan Civil Society Conference

25 – 27th November 2008


Final Report

Extracts from the closing speech of the Dominican Fra João Domingos



Civil society has a long history in Angola.  It benefited from some local structures set up by the colonists.  I had the opportunity to talk with  the « elders » in the Congo and I realized that not only writers, singers, musicians, priests and pastors, etc.., fought for independence, but the  people also participated in this struggle.

The farmers themselves were often furious:  Every time they had fertile land, it was taken over by the colonists.

Many simple wage-earners who complained to their employers of unfair treatment were accused of being rebels and sent to prison.  I realized that when people are truly aware of their dignity, their rights, what is just and unjust, and when they grow tired of being oppressed, they rebel and react.


Because it is part of their nature as sons of God, created in his image.

The human person is sacred.


We will gain credibility and authority if we solve our problems by ourselves.

We seek the betterment of society.
Our contribution to society as citizens must be participation at all levels. And this activity must take place all day, every day,  both on a local level but also in the towns and provinces.  The greatest strength a country can have is its people.  Power is in the hands of the people, not only our voting power but also the power of our voice, our participation, our conscience,  our work, our initiatives. We have power and we  are responsible. The government is responsible, and we are all responsible. 
Congratulations to all those who worked to organize this Conference ...

Fra João Domingos








Angola Press


The United States will continue to support Angola

Benguela - The United States Ambassador to Angola, Dan Mozena, reconfirmed on Thursday in Benguela Province, his country's commitment to continue to support Angola in important civil society initiatives that contribute to growth.

Dan Mozena, who was speaking at the Third National Conference of Civil Society that opened on Tuesday, said the U.S. will continue to support initiatives for technical assistance and small scale financing of training schemes in more than 50 Angolan civil society organizations  engaged in community development.

The Water and Sanitation sector, literacy, income generation, prevention and treatment of HIV / AIDS and malaria, were other areas of intervention identified by the U.S. diplomat.

Dan Mozena emphasized the important role of civil society in the multisectoral development of Angola, which is why the U.S. is willing to contribute to its success.

He said, the National Conference of Civil Society is an area where people discuss issues, present their projects and work together for common objectives.






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Octobre 2009,

Les associations de la Coalition Publiez Ce Que Vous Payez – France, se retrouvent à Paris, au Secours Catholique, rue du Bac, avec Marou Amadou et Ali Idrissa, tous deux membres de la coalition PCQVP – Niger.

Marou a été arrêté et incarcéré le 10 août pour les positions qu'il avait prises en tant que Président du Fusad sur le coup d'état constitutionnel. Il a été mis en liberté provisoire après cinq semaines d'incarcération et vient quelques jours en France et en Belgique. C'est l'opportunité pour nous de rencontrer ces deux militants.

Je suis allé à cette rencontre avec camescope et appareil photo. Mais en les entendant et en comprenant ce qui se passe au Niger, je me dis : « Vaut mieux ne pas sortir mes appareils. Mettre Marou et Ali sur internet, c’est les exposer un peu plus ».

Je leur pose tout de même la question :

- « Il vaut mieux éviter les photos et les interviews sur internet ? ».

Mais, surprise :

« Non, au contraire. Vous pouvez filmer, faire connaitre notre combat. Nous voulons vivre. Nous n’avons pas peur. Nous voulons une meilleure répartition des richesses, nous voulons un peu plus de démocratie. Pourquoi avoir peur ? Nous ne pouvons pas vivre dans la peur. Soutenez nous. »

Gérard Warenghem


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