Electoral officials from across Commonwealth countries in Africa have joined a workshop in Ghana on delivering transparent, credible, and inclusive electoral processes.
Representatives from 15 Election Management Bodies have converged in Accra for the five-day Commonwealth Election Professionals (CEP) programme under the theme “Delivering credible and inclusive elections in the era of COVID-19: Building public trust and confidence throughout the electoral cycle.”
The training event is co-hosted by the Election Commission of Ghana. Opening the workshop, Samuel Tettey, Deputy Chairman of The Electoral Commission Ghana said:
“Building public trust and confidence in elections in the context of Covid-19 requires extra effort and innovation to sustain the integrity of the elections. So, I would encourage everyone to be actively engaged in the various course sessions and discussions during the training workshop and come out with recommendations that will offer participants and the Commonwealth EMB’s an opportunity to have better and improved election process to deliver credible elections that will be beneficial to all of us.”
The Australian High Commissioner in Ghana, HE Gregory Andrews, who also attended the opening ceremony, told participants that Australia is fully behind and funding the CEP Initiative to strengthen democratic processes across the Commonwealth.
He said: “Election management bodies, are the guardians of the integrity and the credibility of the electoral processes in their various countries and play a critical role in the realisation of the commonwealth’s common values as expressed in its charter.”
Topics on the agenda of the five-day event include gender and social inclusion, public health, reforms, and innovations to maintain confidence and increase participation in electoral processes, managing stakeholders to maintain and promote the credibility and inclusivity of electoral processes, public information and communications as well as managing stakeholder confidence in the post-election environment.
Speaking as a representative of the Commonwealth Secretariat Lindiwe Maleleka, , praised the work that has gone into developing the training programme.
She said: “This training event will serve as a valuable forum for the exchange of experience in delivering electoral processes in these exceptionally challenging times, and crucially, the sharing of emerging good practice. Seven of the Election Management Bodies represented in Accra have held local or national level elections since the outbreak of the global pandemic in March 2020. A further six EMBs are due to deliver elections either later this year or in 2022. I commend to you this opportunity to listen and learn from each other.”
Participating countries include Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.
The workshop is the latest in a series of regional training sessions held by the CEP Initiative, a project funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, since 2013.