On the 28th of November 2023, ECES participated to the celebration of the 25th Annual General Conference of the Electoral Commissions Forum of SADC countries (ECF-SADC) in Cape Town, South Africa. The conference titled “Collaborative Networks for Promoting Electoral Integrity & Preventing Electoral Violence” brings the 16 heads of Electoral management bodies of the SADC region.

It is with great honour, that our Founder and Executive Director, Fabio Bargiacchi, had, upon invention by the Independent Electoral Commission of SA and the ECF-SADC, the privilege to speak at the opening ceremony of the event.

Founded in 1998, the ECF-SADC is an independent organisation based in Botswana, regrouping EMBs of the SADC region, namely  Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, United Republic Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The ECF-SADC's mandate is to strengthen cooperation amongst Electoral Commissions in the SADC region and promote free, fair, credible, and transparent elections.

The collaboration between ECES and ECF-SADC dates back to the inception phase of ECES, more than a decade ago. Following the work of the first President of the ECES Management Board, Abbot Apollinaire Malu Malu, former President of the electoral commission in the DRC and former Deputy Chairperson Executive Committee of the ECF-SADC, ECES has developed an effective collaboration with ECF-SADC over the years.

During his opening remarks, although remembering ECES and the ECF-SACD long journey, our Executive Director, Fabio Bargiacchi, presented an innovative number of tools and applications that ECES can offer to support the specific need of any EMB:

  • Our Unified Social Media Monitoring and Early Warning System (USMEW), uses technology to efficiently monitor incidents of violence and hate speech, aiding EMBs or networks of EMBs in collecting the right information to make informed decisions that allow for the mitigation and prevention of conflict in an extremely sensitive and often very competitive and tense electoral context.
  • The Global Election Management System (GEMS), produced alongside partner Democracy Essentials, assists in achieving the ultimate goal of making informed decisions for electoral operations. This platform focuses on three key areas: planning, risk management, and communication with field personnel and external electoral stakeholders to build up the appropriate institutional communication with the outside world and electoral stakeholders in a country.

It was with great pleasure that ECES marked its presence at the 25th Annual General Conference of the Electoral Commissions Forum of SADC countries.'

After 13 years of ECES journey, this conference was both marked by impetuses of reflection on more than a decade of goals achieved through collaborative work. However, it was also embedded in an enthusiastic perspective, of the goals yet to be achieved, based on ECES constant development and innovation.