As part of its contribution to the mitigation of electoral disputes in Africa, the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) launched on Tuesday 14th February, 2011 a book titled “Election Dispute Management Practice Guide for West Africa’’ in Accra, Ghana.
Elections in the recent past have triggered outbreaks of violence in many West African countries. Long and unaddressed grievances over bad governance and political exclusion are now finding popular expression in the demand for the conduct of transparent elections that are free, fair and credible. The development of the Practice Guide was supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). This will serve as an important resource for the conduct of credible, peace and transparent local and national elections. This strategic document focuses on the prevention, mitigation and resolution of electoral disputes. It will therefore serve as a Guide that will support our efforts in election disputes management and violence prevention in the West Africa sub-region and by extension the African continent.
The Keynote speech was delivered by Dr. Christiana Thorpe, Chair of the Electoral Commission of the Republic of Sierra Leone. She indicated that “the electoral management process must be owned by the people of the host country. Therefore, all stakeholders, including the political parties, business communities, religious communities, the media, civil society and the population at large must actively play their part in ensuring that the principles and values of the constitution of the country are protected.”
The Executive Governor of the Niger state of Nigeria – A.K.A Chief Servant, who was a special guest of Honour in his contribution emphasized that “each nation gives meaning to democracy in its own way, and in line with its own historical circumstances and political culture, even though the key to stable democracy remains free, fair and credible elections, which of necessity determines those who will be entrusted with the sovereignty of the people”….. As peaceful, fair and credible elections often determine the legitimacy of the leaders such elections throw up
A synopsis of the practice guide was provided by Professor Isaac Albert (Lead Consultant on the development of the guide and Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies) while the presentation and official launch was done by Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church Ghana and Chair of the National Peace Council (NPC). The NPC Chair commended WANEP for coming out with a timely and relevant tool to support conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts especially at a period when over 40 African countries are in the process of political transition and elections.
Follow link for keynote address “Managing Peaceful Elections in West Africa” delivered by Dr. Christiana Thorpe, Chair of the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone and the Speech of the Special Guest, Governor of Niger State, Nigeria.
- Launch in Pictures
- Speech by Dr. Christiana Thorpe, Chair of the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone
- Speech by Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, Executive Governor of Niger State, Nigeria
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