Press Releases

ECOWAS Promotes Inclusiveness in the Electoral Process in the Region

07 Aug, 2019
Mr. Voelkel, Mrs. Finda Koroma, H.E. Ketil Karlsen, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas,Prof Mahmood, Boss Mustapha, Dr Ajibewa, Director and Ms. Monica Frassoni

Abuja, 5th August 2019. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) through the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC) organised a one-day symposium on the promotion of inclusivity in the electoral process in the Region.

The symposium, which took place on the 5th of August 2019, precedes the Sixth ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions Biennial General Assembly, which will hold on the 6th of August 2019, all in Abuja, Nigeria.

Apart from promoting inclusivity in the electoral process, the symposium provided a platform for the discussion of the legal framework and practical steps for enhancing the participation of women, youth, Persons with Disability (PWDs) and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, whose speech was read by Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said that despite the progress made so far in the electoral process in the region more needs to be done by Governments through legislation and by political parties through affirmative action in the nomination of candidates for election.

President Buhari stressed that stakeholders also need to advocate for greater inclusion of all segments of the society in the democratic and electoral processes.

While decrying the rising cost of conducting elections in the Region, H.E. Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, whose speech Dr. Remi Ajibewa, Director of Political Affairs, ECOWAS Commission read, pledged ECOWAS continued partnership and collaboration with ECONEC to ensure that elections and electoral processes in Member States continue to improve.

In her keynote address, Madam Finda E.M. Koroma, the Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, stressed the importance of the symposium as a platform to reflect on the growing calls for the greater participation and representation of women, youth, PWDs and IDPs in politics and electoral processes.

She said the region with estimated population of 320 million people have 52% women and 64% of the population below the age of 25, still show glaring challenges to inclusive participation in politics. “We must remain mindful that inclusive participation in political processes leads to sustainable peace and stability in the West African region”, She added.

Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria and the Chair of the ECONEC said that a critical issue for the future of ECONEC is funding.

He noted that while the support of ECOWAS and the development partners is appreciated there was need to for ECONEC members to fulfil their financial obligation towards the organisation.
Highlight of the event was the presentation of the study “Cost of Elections in the ECOWAS Region: Country Study of Benin Republic, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal” commissioned by the ECONEC. A book on the election activities of the ECONEC was also launched at the opening.

Member States