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Civic Space in West Africa: Trends, Threats and Futures

This report maps the trends, drivers, targets, tactics, enablers, and flashpoints of future threats in the civic space in West Africa. The trends-mapping and foresight analysis derive from the incident-tracking of crackdowns on the civic space in 16 West African countries between 2017 – 2022 on the Closing Spaces Database ( Beyond building evidence of a democratic recession characterized by an increasingly shrinking civic space in the subregion, the report details actions for increasing civil society’s preparedness and capacity to reclaim closed civic spaces, foresight future threats, and be able to counter them more effectively. This regional trend analysis was undertaken under the auspices of the Ford Foundation-supported Civic Space Resource Hub (CSR-Hub) for West Africa, which offers West African civil society organizations operating in restricted environments the levers and resources to enhance their institutional resilience and effectiveness.


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