We are proud to have supported the 24th Annual General Conference of the Electoral Commissions Forum of the Southern African Development Community (ECF-SADC) held in Swakopmund, Namibia on the 25-26 October 2022. This important event was hosted by the Election Commission of Namibia, bringing together over 150 representatives and participants from its 15-member Election Management Bodies (EMBs), local civil society organizations, political parties and other electoral actors on the topic of “Stakeholder Engagement and Accountability to promote public trust in Electoral Processes in the SADC Region”.
Founded in 1998, The ECF-SADC is an independent organization based in Botswana, regrouping EMBs of the SADC region namely Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, among others. The SADC ECF's mandate to strengthen co-operation amongst Electoral Commissions in the SADC region and promote free, fair, credible, and transparent elections in the SADC region.
In this framework, we presented and shared our experience on the benefits of having Media Monitoring and Early warning systems for EMBs. This is particularly important in managing new challenges including hate speech and disinformation posed to the integrity and trust in the electoral process. We strongly believe that support to EMBS to effectively conduct media monitoring, can be an important area of collaboration, and strengthen democratic processes.
Having a longstanding cooperation with the ECF-SADC in regard to the promotion of democracy and support of electoral processes in SADC Region, we are honoured to have contributed and participated to this 24th Annual General Conference.
As it happens, this cooperation dates back to the founding of ECES, that was jointly established in 2010 by Fabio Bargiacchi and late Abbot Apollinaire Malu Malu, former President of the electoral commission in DRC and former Deputy Chairperson Executive Committee of the ECF SADC, who passed away six years ago but remains with us in our memories and hearts. Together they established ECES as a specialized European organization promoting electoral and democratic strengthening worldwide by incorporating the views and values of the EU and EU member states as donors but also that of beneficiary countries and placing the focus on activities. 12 years on, ECES has worked in more than 50 countries, providing advisory services, operational support and management of large projects mainstreaming capacity and leadership development via peer exchanges and comparative experiences, dialogue and the prevention and mitigation of electoral conflicts.
In the honour of our co-founder Malu Malu, we seize the moment to reaffirm our commitment to support electoral and democratic processes in Africa and beyond and we look forward to continuing our support and collaboration with ECF SADC.