In a bid to revive the Association of African Election Authorities (AAEA) and “contribute to the emergence of a political environment within and among African countries that is conducive to bringing about sustainable democratic development and integration in Africa”, the African Union (AU) has organised a 2-day forum for the Continental Election Management Bodies (EMB) at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra, Ghana.
The 23 and 24 July continental meeting was on the theme: “Promoting Credible and transparent electoral processes in Africa through inter-election management bodies cooperation and assistance”.
It was organised by the AU’s Department of Political Affairs (DPA) of the African Union Commission (AUC), through its Democracy and Electoral Assistance Unit (DEAU) to help “facilitate and coordinate the revival of the Association of African Election Authorities (AAEA)”.
The forum was well attended by representatives of electoral bodies across the including the Chairperson of the Election Commission (EC) of Ghana, Mrs Charlotte Osei, immediate past Chair of Ghana’s EC, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, Dr. Christopher Iyimoga (Commissioner of INEC, Nigeria), among others discussed key issues including:
• Historical Evolution of AAEA
• The adoption of a new Charter;
• The Election of Executive Members;
• The Election of a host country or Secretariat; and
• The official re-launched of the Association
• The financial position of AAEA
Resuscitation of AAEA
The Director for Political Affairs (AU) Commission, Dr. Khabele Matlose, stated that aim of the forum was to resuscitating the AAEA to help sustain and maintain democracy on the continent.
On the final day of the forum, however, was focused on the “The Role of Election Management Bodies in Preventing Election-Related Violence”. This afforded the opportunity to bring together the leadership of all EMBs on the continent to foster interaction amongst them and the AUC for the purposes of sharing experiences, structuring areas of support, share knowledge and cross-fertilization. In addition, the forum helped EMBs to gain practical insight into the programmes and activities of the DEAU with the aim of making effective use its program of support to EMBs and electoral processes of AU Member States.
The AAEA is a professional Organisation of African Electoral Management Bodies dedicated to the professionalism of election administration. The organisation focuses mainly on information exchange, technical assistance and participation in various activities including pre-election assessment and election observation.