DATE: 18 – 20, October, 2011




Appendix 1: Group Exercises Appendix 2: Programme Agenda Appendix 3: List of Participants


About ECOWAS Commission ECOWAS was established on 28 May, 1975 to promote cooperation and integration among West African countries. It was initially made up of the following sixteen (16) Member States: Benin , Burkina Faso , Cape Verde , Cote d'Ivoire , The Gambia, Ghana , Guinea , Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali , Mauritania , Niger , Nigeria , Senegal , Sierra Leone and Togo . Following the withdrawal of Mauritania in 2001, there are now fifteen (15) Member States making up the community. The mission of ECOWAS is to promote cooperation and development in all spheres of economic activity through the removal of all forms of trade barriers and obstacles to the free movement of persons, goods and services, as well as the harmonizing of regional sector policies. The main objective is to establish a large West African common market and create a monetary union. About WACSI West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) was established by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa and the Soros Foundation Network to enhance the capacity of civil society in the region. The Institute was set up in an attempt to bridge the institutional and operational gaps identified in civil society. WACSI’s role will be to serve as a resource center engaged in training, research, documentation, and policy dialogue for NSAs in West Africa. The advocacy work of the Institute is conducted through its policy dialogue process, which brings together different stakeholders to deliberate on topical issues that affect West African States. Position papers will be published by the institute and disseminated to policy makers.


1. INTRODUCTION ECOWAS in collaboration with the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) organised a training course for ECOWAS Non State Actor partner’s within the sub region in Accra, Ghana from the 18-20 October, 2011. The overall objective of the training course was to develop the grants management capacities, resource mobilization and proposal writing skills of selected Non-State Actors (NSAs). In 2008, the European Union through the ECOWAS Commission launched a Call for Proposals with the global objective to strengthen the capacity of NSAs to enable them to play an effective and relevant role in the regional integration process. NSAs within the ECOWAS region were given the opportunity to send their grant proposals to source funds from the European Development Fund (EDF) to support their developmental agendas in their respective countries. Following the evaluation of the proposals and validation of their eligibility in line with European Union guidelines, 12 applicants out of 67 NSAs representing West Africa were recommended for grants provided by the European Union Development Fund. Concerned by the findings of this analysis, it became imperative that ECOWAS Commission not only shares the results of this experience with NSAs in the region, but also facilitates a forum and discussion on how regional actors with structure and competence can mentor small NSAs including community based actors to strengthen their capacity in grant management. In addition the ECOWAS Commission proposed a list of potential NSAs who submitted applications in the ECOWAS–EU Call for proposal but were eliminated at the Concept Note and Full Application to participate in capacity building training course. Training Objectives The specific objectives of the training were to: § § Provide Non-State Actors with skills, concepts and guidelines to develop winning proposals; and Strengthen the resource mobilization and grant management competencies of non-state actors.

Expected Outcomes By the end of the training, participants should be able to: § § § § § § § Understand and apply various forms of resource mobilization and grants management techniques; Familiar with the types of proposals that sell to various donors; Understand and apply effective grants management techniques; Develop eye catching concepts; Produce grants summaries according to various donors; Sharpen their reporting skills; and Apply budgeting techniques


Training Methodology The training course was delivered using interactive, learner-centered methods, audio visual tools, experiential learning, and practical exercises. Participants shared “real life” organizational experiences. The creativity and participatory approaches were emphasized throughout the training to help and encourage active involvement of all participants. Opening Remarks The training course commenced with a welcome message from the ECOWAS Commissioner, Human Development and Gender-ECOWAS Commission. This message was delivered by the Civil Society Director, Dr. Sintiki T. Ugbe on her behalf. She thanked the participants for honoring the invitation to the training and briefed the participants on ECOWAS Commission’s mandate within the West African sub-region. She reiterated that the course will provide the platform to learn and use models aimed at increasing the capacities of NSAs within the sub-region. She stressed that participants should take advantage of the knowledge, experience and networking opportunities. Dr. Ugbe stated that the training is in recognition of the efforts of all the NSAs in the region who participated in “Call for Proposals”, and a commitment by ECOWAS Commission to support them. Thus, the training is intended to enhance the capacity of NSAs in proposal writing so that we can increase the number of NSAs able to access funding to support regional initiatives. She added that the ECOWAS Commission is partnering with WACSI to benefit from its thematic experience in training and capacity building to ensure a successful training outcome for participating organisations. On behalf of the Executive Director of WACSI, Charles Vandyck, WACSI’s Capacity Building Officer stated that WACSI serves as a civil society resource hub that designs and delivers capacity development interventions to strengthen the operational and institutional capacity of NSAs. Mr. Vandyck emphasized that the course is tailored to improve the grant management competencies of NSAs. Mr. Vandyck stated that the two of WACSI’s lead trainer’s will deliver the training and guide participants through the practical know-how and tools that should be employed during proposal writing, resource mobilisation and grants management. The two resource persons were Daniel Andoh - Resource Mobilization and Proposal Writing Expert and Gilbert M. Atta-Boakye – Budgeting and Financial Management Expert Charles Vandyck reiterated that participants should take advantage of the training course to network, contribute and share their experiences.


2. COURSE SESSIONS The course began with ground rules. These rules were: § § § § § § § Punctuality Respect for all opinions Every input is valuable We are time constrained and would appreciate conciseness and focus Everyone must participate Nothing is taboo Mobile phones on silent/vibration/off This was followed by participants

The ground rules were unanimously agreed upon. documenting their expectations of the training.

Participants’ Expectations and Concerns Participant expectations and concerns are articulated below: § § § § § § § § § § Access useful resource materials to enrich their understanding of grants management; Develop the techniques necessary to draft winning proposals; Acquire skills in project formulation; The training methodology should be practical and easy to understand; Consider proposal writing for young organizations which have no previous track record in terms of achievements; How to enhance project plan and develop logical budgeting format; The standardized EU format for proposal writing; The contents of the training manuals should be clear, short and systematically articulated; Show detailed knowledge of the expectations of donors; and Comprehensive budget at different stages of a project.

Participant’s provided feedback about their impressions of the EU’s Call for proposal application process. Most participants expressed their displeasure about the lack of communication from the ECOWAS Commission. Some participants stated that the procedures adopted in the Call for proposal were not clear and transparent. Dr. Ugbe took note of the concerns expressed by participants. She however, clarified the proposal evaluation process, by stating the all eligible proposals were evaluated by External Assessors appointed by the EU. The Evaluation Committee that vetted the work of the External Assessors was made up of representatives from ECOWAS and UEMOA Commissions. Dr. Sintiki Ugbe (Chair) and Mrs. Violet Ukpanyang (Secretary) are nonvoting members of the Evaluation Committee in line with EU guidelines. In addition, she remarked that the reasons that led to the rejection of proposals by the assessors were particularly related to non-conformity to proposal procedures and the EU guidelines. Session 1: Overview of the Project cycle and Project Cycle Management The first session commenced with a brief introduction by Daniel Andoh on his background and expertise in proposal writing, vetting and awarding of funds to successful proposals. Daniel Andoh defined a developmental project as an intervention which addresses developmental problems by offering particular forms of support to a defined target group in a specified geographic location within a set time-frame and with the aim of bringing about an ongoing improvement in the living conditions of people. A project is not an idea, objective or repetitive task. A project cycle is a chronological process and stages that a project undergoes to address unique needs in society, and this eventually reflect in the lives of the target group. 6    

The project life cycle undergoes the following stages: § § § § § Analyzing the context; Design the project; Prepare to Implement; Implement the Plan; and Evaluate the work.

The trainer emphasized that it is imperative to tailor the project proposal to meet the specification and proposed style of the donor. In essence, any attempt to present the most convincing and generally accepted proposal writing approach outside of the donor’s expressed specification will not impress . In relation to a point raised earlier, the participants were exposed to the EU’s grant sourcing to ensure that they assimilate and familiarize themselves with this structure in future proposals. The EU project cycle approach is outlined as follows: STAGE Activities Within The Project Life Cycle Programming § Review of socio-economic indicators § Review of National and Donor priorities § Agreement on sectoral and thematic focus development Identification § Initial formulation of project area § Screening of project ideas for project study Formulation § Conduct of feasibility study § Detailed specification of project idea § Drafting of Financing proposal Financing Implementation § § § § § § § Examination of financing proposal by Financial committee Financing decision Tendering and Contract award Mobilisation and execution of project Monitoring Analysis of project effects and impact Recommendations for remedial action or guidance for future actions.


The trainer summarized the essential outline/format of project proposals namely; background; sector and problem analysis; project description; assumptions, project risks and flexibility; implementation arrangements; and verification of cross-cutting issues and the logframe matrix Session 2: Basic Concepts in Resource Mobilization The facilitator highlighted the basic guidelines to be considered in making your organisation attractive for donor funding, these include conducting donor intelligence analysis to provide an overview of the donor environment to see where opportunities were available. It aids in knowing which donors to target, and at what specific times of their financial cycle. § It is essential to conduct background studies of the donors and partners to know their culture, history and developmental interest to be able to successfully source funds from them. 7    

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Demonstrate in the proposal a sound articulation of the problem through tools such as appraisal reports, academic studies and needs assessment. These should be done prior to the proposal application. Having audited accounts shows that the organization’s financial reporting processes are in place.. NSAs should strive to forge and develop relationships that will engender trust, integrity and good will. This can be developed to a point where donors can contact NSAs to undertake subsequent projects without requesting for proposals. Donors are interested in whether NSAs have other donors funding the same project. They are willing to support the project with other donors because the risks and achievements would be shared. Leveraging on workforce diversity and positioning to enter new markets. For instance, the engagement of foreign interns and volunteers. Your office/institutional setting should be structured in a way that will project the good image of your organization.

In addition, potential grantees should also endeavor to map out and understand the different elements of interest peculiar to donors. NSAs must identify the shift in developmental paradigm of current trends in order to tailor their proposals for projects that can attract funds. There are three key factors that donors consider when allocating funds to grantees. They include but are not limited to: § § § Legitimacy: It is only the organizations that have been established according to their country’s laws and regulations are considered to be legitimate. Transparency: This refers to open communication with internal and external stakeholders regarding an organization’s financial and management health. Accountability: This refers to an organization’s ability to stand up for its mission, and to be guided by sound management and financial principles. An organization should properly manage its resources, and be able to report back to donors.

In building a base of donors, the focus should be less on resource mobilization or “fund raising”, but more on “friend raising”. The funds become a by-product of a symbiotic relationship, and not so much as an end in itself. In this relationship there must be an exchange; the funding for a social investment. The trainer reiterated that in as much as grantees are trying to receive funds from donors, donors are also looking for grantees who can submit a quality proposal to receive funds. Session 3: The Logical Frame, and It’s Link to Resource Mobilization and Grants Management The facilitator stated that the process of preparing a logical framework, assist in illustrating in a clear, self-explanatory and coherently way the use of the resources to be mobilized. The logical framework gives a snapshot of how the the limited resources will be managed and the indicators of success The Logical Framework The logical framework (LogFRAME) is a planning and management tool used for systematic and logical thinking for: § § Planning projects; Monitoring projects; and 8    


Evaluating projects.

It connects a project’s means with its end. The LogFRAME has the following functions: § § § § Communicate project’s objectives clearly and simply; Ability to incorporate the views of all the stakeholders of a project; Tool to summarize the key features of a project design; and It is an upfront planner that provides essential information.

The LogFRAME should be: § § § § Concise - normally not longer than 2 sides of paper; Easy to understand for those sighting it for the first time. No acronyms; Include beneficiaries in the design of the LogFRAME; and A basis for monitoring and evaluation – must be reviewed and amended regularly.

The benefits of a LogFRAME include: § § § § § § § It brings together the key components of a project; It presents them in a concise and coherent way (clarifies and shows logic of how the project is expected to work); It separates the various levels in the hierarchy of objectives (helps to avoid confusion of inputs and outputs); It clarifies the relationships which underlie judgments about likely efficiency and effectiveness of projects; It identifies the main factors related to the success of the project; It provides a basis for monitoring and evaluation by identifying indicators of success and means of quantification or assessment; and It encourages a multidisciplinary approach to project preparation and supervision.

The facilitator assigned participants to five different groups to develop their LogFRAMES for hypothetical project topics. The results of the groups are annexed to the report as appendix 1. Session 4: Developing a Winning Proposal The trainer articulated certain fundamental guidelines to be considered when writing a winning proposal. This includes: § § § § § § § § A project proposed must solve a problem in which the donor is interested to fund; The potential grantee should provide evidence in the proposal that the project has a reasonable chance to work; Winning the funding is a process, not an event. The proposal must be systematic, logical, consistent and promising to the donor; Donor funding is not a charity. It is a social investment that must produce returns and address a need in society; Donors like to partner on a project. If you have one donor who is willing to invest in your project, it is likely you can attract more donors; The NSA or potential grantee should be realistic. When a project is won, the project and proposal becomes elements of a binding contract; Communication flow with donors must be easy and transparent. Reporting to donors on any unforeseen contingencies is necessary for appreciation of the issues at stake; All the guidelines specified in the Request for Proposal must be followed; 9    

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In drafting a proposal, the writer must give something back in exchange. Something that can ensure the buy –in of donors; Donors are professionals evaluating your proposal, so it has to be impressive; The proposals should not be too short or too long; and The contents must be specific on target groups and interventions.

Session 5: Budgeting The session began with participants sharing their experiences on how they planned their budget for the EU’s call for application. The responses from the participants are highlighted below: § § § § Some NSAs stated that they did not have ample time to properly analyze and present a comprehensive budget. There was an instance where the value of the dollar increased with respect to the local currency after the funds were received. The NSA went back to re-negotiate with donors to revise the initial budget for the project. It is vital to state in the logical framework, the number of staff members who are actively involved in the project as well as their roles with respect to the project. This clearly communicates to donors that the NSA is making optimum use of the funds allocated to it. NSA in developing their budgets for proposals should always find out if the donors will pay for slaries of project staff or capture it under administrative cost.Facilitator emphasized that it varies from donor to donor and it is very important to know what each donors requires.

The facilitator added that the process of donor intelligence is necessary to unveil some of these peculiar strategies. The facilitator stressed that one of the key issues that relates to budgeting is the ability to know the proposed cost of the project that will be undertaken. The NSA should submit a budget that is easy to read, coherent in thought and realistic. However, it is proactive to make provisions for contingencies that may arise in the immediate future after funds have been received. These adjustments can be communicated with donors for clarity and appreciation of the issue. The cost effectiveness of the budget is another important element that should be considered when drafting the proposal. The budget must show that few resources have been used to execute the project without compromising its sustainability and quality. Overview of European Union’s Grant-Making Procedures The Programme Officer of the European Union country office in Ghana. John Allan Bogrebon highlighted on the European Union’s requirements for the call of proposal from potential grantees and NSAs. The presenter outlined the standardized procedures that must be adhered to in order to secure funds from the EU. The selection criteria for those who qualified to receive the grants were based on these guidelines: Stage 1: Restricted Call § § The use of a ‘restricted call’ system where applicants of grants are required to submit a four-page document of the project to EU donors for evaluation. The distinction between OPEN and Restricted Calls should be well articulated. To qualify for the EU grant, the applicant must be a member of Potential Data On-line Registration (PADOR). Applicants, who registered with PADOR on-line, automatically qualify for their four-paged documents to be reviewed.


Stage 2: Main Proposal For the evaluation of the main proposals, the following factors are considered. Each of these factors is awarded points in the folloing order: § § § § § Financial and operational capacities (20 points) The relevance of the project action (30 points) Effectiveness and feasibility of the project (20 points) Sustainability of the project (15 points) Budget and cost effectiveness (15 points)

The programme officer remarked that those proposals which do not make it to the next stage should not be perceived as ineffective but not considered because they failed to meet the selection criteria. The above guidelines notwithstanding, other factors arealso considered during the final stage of the selection. Session 6: Developing and Implementing an M&E Plan To ensure effective grants management, monitoring, evaluation and sustainability mechanisms must be developed and strengthened. These mechanisms should be clearly illustrated in the logical framework to show how roles, systems, communication flow and response rates are monitored and regulated. Grant management should not be only considered as receiving funds and using those funds to execute projects but also ensuring that donors are given an efficient and sustainable project in exchange. The facilitator explained the following terminologies: § Monitoring is a continuous process of collecting and analyzing information to compare how well a project; programme or policy is performing against expected results. To monitor is to look at what is being done. Monitoring deals mostly with two levels: Inputs and Outputs. Inputs are people, training, equipment and resources that we put into a project, in order to achieve outputs. Outputs are the activities or services we deliver. Evaluation is an assessment of a planned, ongoing, or completed intervention to determine its relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability. The intent is to incorporate lessons learned into the decision-making process. To evaluate is to assess the value of something periodically. To evaluate is to examine what has been achieved. Evaluation deals with: Outcome and Impact. Outcomes are changes in behavior and/or skills. Impacts are outcomes intended to lead to improvement in a specific indicator. Sustainability is the continuous running of a project by beneficiaries after the donor funds or resources committed to the project ends. It is the sustainability of the advantages that the target group obtains by the availability and use of the project results (goods and services).



The following questions should guide potential grantees when developing proposals for funding: § § § Measurable Results: Are indicators of success and expected results appropriate and measurable? Budget: Are costs reasonable for the activities described? Relevance: The extent to which the project is related with the initial problematic situation, and is suited to the priorities and policies of the target group, partner country and donor.

The possible questions in terms of Relevance are: 1. To what extent will the objectives of the project contribute to solve a problem? 2. Do the project objectives correspond to the real needs of target beneficiaries? 11    

3. Are there complementary relationship between the project and other activities financed by the Government and/or other donors? When these questions are addressed properly, it will ensure proper management of grants to engender productive project results. Questions and Contributions In the course of the training, some participants raised questions that enriched the course. These include: § § § § § § Is it prudent for NSAs to collaborate to write a joint proposal to source funds from Donors? Should NSAs always meet the donors’ deadline for the project even when the project is not feasible within a stipulated duration? There is the danger of including a lot of activities into the proposal to impress donors. Is there a technique that can be used to cut down the activities? There are instances where the project takes off and shortly after that it is interrupted by an unforeseen circumstance. How does a NSA address that challenge? In some of the European Union proposals, NSAs are furnished with the prevailing market prices for goods and services. How do you deal with such a situation? Does the EU takes into cognizance the financial capacity of the institutions and their previous achievements?

The facilitators responded to all the questions raised: § It is persuasive for NSAs to come together and write a joint proposal. However, the NSAs should be able to demonstrate clearly the specialized role of each NSA and how they complement themselves to be able to source funds from donors. Rescheduling to do activities 1 and 2 or activity 1 and 3 at the same time can save time to complete the project on time. It is also necessary to revisit donors to discuss the possibility of an extension, when the rescheduling becomes impossible. It is advisable to use the template that the donor provides and adhere strictly to the questions asked on the template. However, where templates are not provided, the information that is added should be relevant and logically presented. Donors are human beings like potential grantees and are ready to listen and reason with NSAs when there are obstacles and natural causes that may delay the project. NSAs must go to them and renegotiate the terms. Donors appreciate honesty and transparency of the issues at stake. Donors within a country may have a fair knowledge of prevailing market prices. Therefore NSAs must use evidence such as invoices to prove their case where necessary. This should be communicated with donors. The EU evaluates proposal based strictly on what the NSAs present to it. The previous track record with other donors does not affect the performance of your proposal. The evaluation is done independently off other projects. The content of the proposal determines your acceptance or otherwise.




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Participants also made contributions during the training. These contributions include § § A good stakeholder analysis brings out the issue of direct and indirect impact of the project; There is never a second chance for a bad first impression with donors. The image of your organization is important; 12    

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There was an instance where the value of dollar increased in relation to a local currency after the funds have been received. The donors were met for a renegotiation of the budget; NSAs as grantees should not state “administrative cost” or “co-ordination fee” as “salaries” for staff working on the project. A donor intelligence analysis will reveal this information to potential grantees. The appropriate term to be used can be communicated with donors; It is convincing to state and include the Monitoring, Evaluation and Sustainability mechanisms into your proposal. This information is necessary for continuity of the project, and to persuade donors to accept your proposal. M&E should be 10% of any budgeting cost, and this should be factored into the proposal. M&E should be consistent with the budget plan; and Provisions should be made for contingencies such as inflation and other unforeseen circumstances.

The Executive Director of Media Response, Samuel Dodoo provided a detailed account of the proposal his organization submitted to the EU. Media Response was one of the organizations selected by the EU. 3. CONCLUSION The goal of the training was to provide NSAs with skills, concepts and guidelines to develop winning proposals, and to enhance their resource mobilisation and grant management skills. The training course created opportunities for participants to share experiences, exchange information and receive expert advice on resource mobilization and grants management. The trainers articulated that the donor’s terms of reference, intelligence analysis, and development interest area and logical frameworks should be strictly conformed to and these should serve as guidelines for grant application procedures. Participants received a hands-on experience in EU proposal writing requirements and procedures necessary to source funds. The Principal Programme Officer at ECOWAS Civil Society Directorate, Violet Ukpanyang acknowledged the importance of the workshop and thanked WACSI for ensuring that the workshop was well-organized, comprehensive and relevant to participants’ needs. Mrs Ukpanyang thanked participants for their contributions that fed into an interactive training. Participants also thanked the facilitators for an insightful and educative training. They expressed their appreciation to ECOWAS for organising such a training to bridge the proposal writing and grants management gaps within NSAs in the West African sub-region.


APPENDIX 1: GROUP EXERCISES ON CREATING LOG FRAMES Group 1: Overall objective Intervention Areas Eliminate abuse and hardships in the home by 50% at the end of the course. Build the capacity of orphanage staffs and other stakeholders for proper management of the home. Build the capacity of institutions access to funds. Advocate for the review and strengthen of rules and regulations for the orphanage homes Workshops on best practices Training workshop for children, to empower them to know their rights. Indicator Child abuse and hardship reduced by 30% within six month Number of workshops/meetings organized for staffs and other stakeholders Best develop practices Means of Verification Weekly, monthly and quarterly reports Assumptions

Project purpose

Report of meetings/workshops, photographs of workshops hels, video coverage of improved facilities

Lack of funds and commitment

Number of workshops organize on fundraising Media Hiring of consultants to review home rules Venue, training materials, consultants Facilitators, venue, t.m,supplies New laws/rules /regulations adopted Reports Media coverage Lack of funds Lack of commitment



Group 2: STAKEHOLDERS First: Journalists Professional organisations and Media School of Training Second: Ministries of communication, Justice, and Interior Political parties Newspaper Regulation Authorities International organisations PROBLEM TREE The problem: Media-A threat to democracy Cause 1: Lack of professionalism 1 a – Lack of training 1 b- Disregard for professional ethics Cause 2: Media partisan 2 a- Absence of collective convention 2 b - Socio professional precariousness OBJECTIVE TREE

Ensure that media become an asset for democracy Ensure media professionalism Improve the training Ensure that ethics are observed Ensure media impartiality Facilitate the establishment of a collective convention for journalists Improve the conditions of work of journalists


Interventions Overall objective Contribute to ensure that media become an asset of democracy. 1. Ensure professional journalism. 2. Ensure fairness by the media. Outcomes 1. Improved level of training for journanists 2. Improved conditions of work for journalists. 3. Respect for ethics 4. The establishment of convention is encouraged Activities 1. Organising training sessions for journalists 2. Organise awareness programmes for media managers and Media regulatory authorities. 3. Organise programmes to create awareness among different players of the sector.



Specific objectives

100 journalists were trained. 50 sessions of awareness were organized 10 sessions, 50 media managers and 3 Media regulation authorities members are sensitised.


GROUP 3 WOMEN PARTICIPATION IN ELECTIONS IS UNINSPIRING In the last decade, the issue of poor women participation in leadership has gained prominence in most West African countries. Several attempts have been made by many women groups to address the issue by rallying behind their female aspirants to win slots in parliament and Government. However, the progress been made even during elections appear to be unsatisfactory. In an attempt to ensure that women take up new leadership roles in society, certain practical and coordinated approach have been mapped out to address the issue. This approach is to identify the baseline causes of low involvement of women leaders in government. The causal factors include but are not limited to: § § § § § § The primitive belief that women are inferior to men and are not to be given any public office to run. Archaic religious beliefs that perceive women as subordinates to their husbands and must submit to their husbands at all times. Low Income and financial support for women. Limited educational opportunities for the girl child. Low self-esteem Inadequate civic education on the leadership potential of women leaders.


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