The Department of Political Affairs (DPA) of the African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has organized a training workshop on electoral boundaries delimitation for the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) from 23 to 25 April 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya.
The multi-stakeholder training workshop drew Somali participants from the NIEC, Ministries of Constitutional and Interior Affairs, the Boundary and Federal Commission, Office of the Prime Minister, among others.
The capacity building workshop on electoral boundaries delimitation is in response to the request from NIEC to the DPA to provide electoral assistance in implementation of its 5-Year Strategic Plan (2017-2021). Pursuant to Chapter Seven of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, the AU has a mandate to provide electoral support to Election Management Bodies (EMBs) of Member States. Support to NIEC is one of the priority EMBs identified by the DPA in providing sustainable electoral-cycle based technical assistance.
The workshop is conducted at a crucial moment when Somali stakeholders are engaged in constitutional-making process and development of the legal framework for the general elections based on universal suffrage scheduled to take place in 2020-2021. This is the second capacity building initiative by the DPA targeting NIEC and other electoral stakeholders in Somalia, which builds on the training on electoral systems which was conducted in July 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya.
Electoral systems design is inextricably related to the process of electoral boundary delimitation. Collectively, electoral systems and electoral boundary delimitation are crucial in shaping the type of electoral architecture for any country. This training is therefore crucial in contributing to the sustainability of democratic governance, peace and political stability in Somalia. This is in line with AU Agenda 2063, The “Africa We Want”, specifically Aspiration 3 which envisions “An Africa of good governance, democracy, and respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law.”