Within the context of the Italian-funded Pro Electoral Integrity, financed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, through the Italian – African Peace Facility (IAPF) instrument, we have supported the African Union Commission (AUC) in organising the 7th Annual Continental Forum of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) on 14-15 November 2022 in Maputo, Mozambique as well as the General Assembly of the Association of African Electoral Authorities (AAEA), on 16 November 2022, hosted by the Electoral National Commission (CNE) of Mozambique.
Almost 130 people participated in the 7th Annual EMBs Forum, included chairs person and other senior officials of EMBs from all AU Member States, the AUC Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, members of the Association of African Electoral Authorities, Regional Economic Communities networks of EMBs, International Organizations in the electoral field, Civil Society Organisations and academia working in the elections field and another key democratic governance actors.
The theme of the forum, “Building resilience of election management bodies to safeguard democracy in Africa” with the goal to reflect the current complexity of the political, sociocultural, technological, economic, legal, security and ecological situations. These contexts constitute a significant challenge for EMBs to organise free, transparent and democratic elections in accordance with both international and continental standards.
Ms Ana Comoana, Mozambican Minister of State Administration and Public Service officially opened the forum after the welcome remarks delivered by Rev Carlos Matsinhe, Chairperson of the National Electoral Commission of Mozambique and the statement by Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security and our founder and Executive Director, Fabio Bargiacchi.
The discussion revolved around 7 main thematic areas, namely:
- Diagnosing the challenge of EMBs resilience in Africa;
- Safeguarding institutional longevity: confronting the problem of high turnover of EMB leadership in Africa;
- Promoting gender in EMB leadership: experiences of women chairpersons of EMBs in Africa.
- Overcoming economic challenges through sustainable financing of EMBs.
- Developing sustainable risk-mitigation strategies for addressing the ecological impact on election management.
- Addressing electoral security and cyber-security to safeguard electoral integrity in Africa.
- Let’s talk elections 2023: challenges ahead and exploring strategies to foster resilience in election management
During the first session, the Founder and Executive Director of ECES, Fabio Bargiacchi, presented on EMBs: Examining Internal Institutional Challenges to Strengthening Resilience in Election Management in Africa. It was also the opportunity to launch the ECES publication titled: Strategic Planning for the Electoral Management Bodies: using Quality Management Principles.
You can find here the press release of the African Union