One of the goals of the Memorandum of Understanding between ECCAS and EISA was to support member states engaged in the electoral process in accordance with the Brazzaville Declaration of 7 June 2005. This training was proposed in order to prepare ECCAS to respond effectively to the challenges of organizing elections by a professional, independent and non-partisan EMB in the Member States.
See also EISA's Partnerships
The next step following the drafting of the Principles governing democratic elections in Central Africa, is the advocacy to the different states lobbying for the benchmarks. To this end visits were made to three states, namely, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Congo, by the EISA Executive Director and the EISA Central Africa regional representative from October the 21 to 1 November.
These visits aimed at sensitizing the foreign ministries, ministries of the interior and the electoral management bodies of the visited countries to contents of the Principles with a view to their appropriation in the respective countries. EISA met with a positive response and was well received in each of the countries. Proposals were made to enrich the principles, which the drafters will take into account. This input will strengthen support for this instrument. Advocacy will continue in Burundi, Chad and Democratic Republic of Congo next year.
EISA supported the ECCAS Electoral Support Unit in the development of its Electoral Unit's Action Plan for 2019. The plan includes operationalising the Electoral Unit; producing and disseminating technical tools to support the electoral process; strengthening partnerships with relevant professional institutions; and strengthening the capacity and supporting the electoral processes of the member states. This plan was included in the department's overall annual plan and sent to the head of ECCAS. The Electoral Unit is waiting for funds to implement the plan.
Following the finalisation of the draft election Principles and Guidelines, it was submitted to the Secretary General of ECCAS for adoption by the competent authorities of ECCAS. Once the Guidelines have been endorsed by the Secretary General of ECCAS, the next step is to submit it to the Council of Ministers for adoption. The draft is transmitted to the Council of Heads of States for signing. Prior to this submission, the electoral assistance unit, with the support of EISA, will lobby member states in three selected countries, namely Cameroon, Republic of Congo and Equatorial Guinea for their input, using it as a sample of feedback.
With the technical and financial support from EISA, ECCAS organised a workshop in Congo-Brazzaville (Republic of Congo) on the 24 and 25 October 2018. The theme of the workshop was: "Prevention of crises and violence related to electoral processes in Central Africa". The workshop was attended by 24 participants, including three women and 21 men. Participants included the chairpersons of Election Management Bodies and members of civil society organisations of the ECCAS Member States, namely: Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, DRC, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of Congo and Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe. The United Nations Office of Central Africa (UNOCA) also attended.
A report of the workshop was produced that included recommendations addressed to the General Secretariat of ECCAS for the effective prevention of crises and violence related to electoral processes in Central Africa. This was a well-received workshop as it was the first time that the participants engaged constructively and proposed recommendations in preventing and managing election related conflict.
Following the roundtable held in Douala in November 2017, a two-day workshop was held in Douala on 16 and 17 May 2018, to validate of the draft Principles and guidelines governing democratic elections. The validation workshop was led by the EISA Executive Director. Participants included the chairpersons of Election Management Bodies and members of civil society organisations in the region. UNDP and the United Nations Office of Central Africa (UNOCA) also attended. Countries that participated included: Angola, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Sao Tome and Principe and Chad. Following the workshop, EISA has the responsibility to finalise the document, follow up and engage with the relevant governments and EMBS for the endorsement.
ECCAS's Electoral Unit and EISA, in responce to a request from the Chairperson of the CAR Autorité Nationale des Elections (ANE), trained trainers for political associations and party agents for the coming elections. The trainers provided cascaded training to their party agents who represented candidates in the presidential and legislatives elections. The training content was jointly agreed by EISA and ANE, and EISA developed the training agenda and materials.
The training took place in Bangui from 2 to 3 December, 2015, with 33 participants, of which 7 were women (21%). This workshop was initially scheduled for September but did not take place as planned following the outbreak of intercommunity's violence which did not allow the support of party poll watchers.
As part of this Memorandum between ECCAS and EISA, the Electoral Unit organized a workshop for the newly installed São Tomé and Príncipe EMB from 6th to 9th of July 2015 in São Tomé. The new Sao Tome and Principe EMB needed a progressive and transformative capability in effectively managing electoral processes that can contribute to improvement of the state of democracy in the country. ECCAS and EISA collaborated to facilitate a workshop where Sao Tome and Principe EMB can benefit from shared experiences.
The objectives were:
A total of 25 participants attended the workshop mainly comprising Commissioners and Senior Management personnel of STP EMB. EISA served as the resource institution in terms of facilitating the workshop. Comparative peer experience was provided by the Mozambican STAE.
EISA conducted a needs assessment in the Republic of Congo. The assessment did not yield the results expected by EISA owing to the tense political situation prevailing in the country. Opposition political parties and civil society organisations voiced their growing concerns about President Denis Sassou Nguesso's apparent attempts to change the constitution to enable him run for a third term. The perceived influence of the ruling political party on the independent Electoral Management Body (EMB) largely accounted for the refusal of the EMB to meet the EISA Mission in Brazzaville.
EISA facilitated a workshop for electoral stakeholders in Chad. The activity was held at the Sherabel Hotel, Ndjamena from 16-20 March 2015 aimed at supporting the democratic process in Chad as well as the electoral stakeholders of the country.
The 47 participants who attended the workshop were drawn from the National Electoral Commission (CNE), the judiciary, security forces, the media, and civil society. This workshop laid the foundation for Chadian stakeholders to play a constructive and responsive role in the democratic process.
Participants were introduced to topics relating to the institutional and legal framework of election management; electoral cycle and planning; electoral dispute resolution; democracy and elections and the conduct and importance of election observation. The participants were also exposed to international, continental and sub-regional normative frameworks and good practices governing the conduct of democratic elections.The training approach was structured to ensure that the trainees are capable of cascading the trainings to other members of their organisations.
Pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) in 2010, the two organisations held a collaborative workshop aimed at preparing key stakeholders to contribute to the successful conduct of the 12 October 2014 elections.
The participants in the ECCAS-convened capacity building workshop which was held on 22-26 September 2014 in the country's capital city, Sao Tome, were drawn from the National Electoral Commission (CNE), the judiciary, security forces, the media, and civil society.
Drawing from experiences and lessons-learned from various settings in Africa, EISA facilitated the workshop sessions which generally covered topics relating to institutional and legal framework of election management; the impact of electoral systems on political representation including gender variance; electoral cycle and planning; electoral dispute resolution; and the conduct and importance of election observation. During the workshop, participants were also exposed to international, continental and sub-regional normative frameworks and good practices governing the conduct of democratic elections.
This venture is part of the broader objective envisaged in the MoU between EISA and ECCAS aimed at increasing the role and capacity of ECCAS to assess elections as well as provide meaningful electoral assistance to its Member States. As from November 1, 2014, EISA will deploy an electoral expert in Libreville, Gabon, to ensure effective and long term support to ECCAS.
EISA's technical assistance to ECCAS is funded by the Swedish Government through the Africa Democracy Strengthening Programme III.