SPACES FOR CHANGE has received support from Open Society Foundations to host the maiden edition of the Clement Nwankwo Annual Lecture on Civil Society (CNALCS). The annual lecture series has been named after Clement Nwankwo in recognition of his pioneering role in the 80s, together with other front-line activists and human rights defenders, in laying the foundation for the organized third sector in Nigeria. It not only represents an effort towards preserving the sector’s iconic and cherished history, but also forms part of broader effort to mobilize actors to work together to defend the civic space.
A Planning Committee has been constituted, comprising the pioneer civil society leaders who played critical roles ‘at the very beginning’ when the foundation for organized civil society was laid. Committee members include Dr. Sonny Onyegbula, Dr. Otive Igbuzor, Hon. Abdul Oroh, Dr. Mrs. Comfort Jiti-Ogunye, Mr. Gbenga Aruleba and Mrs. Esther Uzoma. The Committee will be assisted by a team of secretaries.
Scheduled to hold on May 9, 2020, CNALCS will be hosted once every year, drawing on the professional expertise, personal experiences and institutional memory of senior civil society leaders. It will also offer a safe space and platform where activists, campaigners, movements and stakeholders in the human rights community will converge to discuss issues of interest affecting civil society as a whole. By galvanizing actors to periodically engage in public discourse addressing issues that cut across sectors, we aim to spearhead the process for building, nurturing and entrenching innovation, capacity building, knowledge-transfer and alliance-building within the Nigerian civil society.