ECOWAS aims to tackle electoral challenges
In preparation of the 6th ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions Biennial General Assembly (ECONEC), the ECOWAS Commission organised a symposium on 5 August 2019 to brainstorm on how to achieve greater participation and representation of women, youth, and disadvantaged citizens in politics and electoral processes. Young people below the age of 25 make up more than two-thirds of the region’s population. Despite many efforts, women and the youth remain both largely underrepresented in politics. “We must remain mindful that inclusive participation in political processes leads to sustainable peace and stability in the West African region”, declared Ms Finda Koroma, Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission. On the sidelines of the event, the ECONEC Commission launched a study on the cost of elections in the ECOWAS region, including information on Benin, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia and Senegal. It also released an ECONEC activity report, which takes stock of the actions undertaking in support of greater inclusiveness in electoral contests. In parallel, a regional conference focused on electoral security in ECOWAS member countries. In 2017, one in four elections in Africa was characterised by violence and disruption. The next ECONEC General Assembly is scheduled to take place in Praia, Cabo Verde in 2021.