November 11-14, 2009
The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD), Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will co-sponsor a Colloquium on African Elections from 12‐14 November 2009 in Accra, Ghana.
The colloquium will review the challenges and best practices in the conduct of elections in Africa, with a particular focus on lessons that could be shared from Ghana's 2008 electoral process.
Approximately 100 participants from 25 African countries will attend the colloquium. Participants will include elections commissioners, political party leaders, civic advocates, leaders of elections monitoring groups, journalists and high level officials of security services that oversee peace building and law enforcement missions around elections.
The Colloquium on African Elections: Best Practices and Cross-Sectoral Collaboration will seek to address two critical points:
1) the effective performance of entities involved in the electoral process and
2) the linkages that should exist among stakeholders, and how to foster cross-sectoral collaboration during elections.
Examining the strengths and weaknesses of the Ghanaian electoral process and how it compares with other African countries will facilitate sharing knowledge and strengthening linkages among different sectors of the electoral process. The anticipated outcome of discussions at the colloquium will be to identify guidelines on how to conduct credible elections, ease political tensions, enhance transparency, and facilitate the acceptance of genuine election results by political contestants and their supporters. Sharing best practices among African practitioners will enhance prospects for democratic elections across the continent and inspire professional conduct among various stakeholders in countries preparing for upcoming elections. The Consortium of organizers are hoping to compile the cases of best practices in elections in Africa and publish on a book form.