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PRESS RELEASE: ELECTORAL ACCOUNTABILITY SUMMIT IN AFRICA

 

 

Twenty-four countries across the continent of Africa will be holding elections this year. These transitions in leadership provide an opportunity to entrench democratic political systems and to gauge the effectiveness of institutions mandated to safeguard our democracies.

My Vote Counts and Democracy Development Program will therefore host an Electoral Accountability Summit in Durban on 10 and 11 July 2019. This two day event will see activists, Members of Parliament and Electoral Commissioners from across Africa discussing elections, alternative mechanisms of accountability and reform.

Unfortunately, many of our past elections have been mired in controversy. Research indicates that more than half of Africa’s ongoing conflicts are a result of claims over legitimacy which poses a massive security risk.

Although some African countries have made strides in the consolidation of their electoral democracies, studies reveal that the threat to electoral integrity is greater in Africa than it is anywhere else in the world. Furthermore, many countries have suffered from political violence, capture of state institutions, militarisation and a deeper entrenchment of autocracy.

The need for electoral reform is often brought to the fore just before elections. However, this is problematic as it is impossible to enact the required reform in such a short amount of time. While it is critical to address our imminent electoral challenges, it is also important for civil society organisations to take the long view.

Therefore, this period in which almost half the continent is holding elections is best suited to reflect on the effectiveness of our electoral systems, our institutions and political culture in order to ascertain how we can ensure greater electoral accountability on the continent in preparation for the next cycle of elections and beyond.

We believe that the Summit will create an opportunity for participants to share their experiences and knowledge on the trends, lessons learnt and challenges on electoral accountability, in addition to the role of election stakeholders and the need for electoral reform.

We hope that discussions at the Summit will provide insight and raise awareness of the gaps in our electoral laws and systems, and identify solutions and strategies to address these.

When: 10 & 11 July 2019
Time: Day One 09:00 AM -16:30 PM | Day Two 08:30 AM - 13:30 PM
Where: Onomo Hotel, 56 KE Masinga Rd, Stamford Hill, Durban

Speakers:

Alice Mosothoane - Member of Parliament (Lesotho)
Annet Nyakecho - Member of Parliament (Uganda)
Boniface Mwangi - Activist (Kenya)
Denis Kadima - Executive Director of EISA (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Fadzayi Mahere - Lawyer and Political Activist (Zimbabwe)
Hussein Adam - Electoral Commissioner (Somalia)
Dr Ola Bello - Executive Director, Good Governance Africa (Nigeria)
Ruth Mollel - Member of Parliament (Tanzania)
Sam Alfandika - Malawi Electoral Commission CEO (Malawi)
Sy Mamabolo - Independent Electoral Commission CEO (Republic of South Africa)

Media wishing to attend or request media interviews should please contact any of the following by 4 July 2019:
Sheilan Clarke - communications@myvotecounts.org.za
Sthabiso Mdledle - sthabisom@ddp.org.za
Issued on behalf of My Vote Counts and Democracy Development Program



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