More than 80 participants from Africa’s five regions will gather for the pre-eighth African Governance Forum (AGF-VIII), a sub-regional forum on democracy, elections and the management of diversity in Africa, which begins on Wednesday in Arusha.
East African Community (EAC) Secretary General Dr Richard Sezibera will open the forum.
AGF-VII guest of honour advocate Pansy Tlakula, the chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa and the Electoral Commissions Forum of Southern African Development Community (Sadc) countries, will deliver a keynote address, according to a press statement from the EAC Secretariat.
The sub-regional forum is jointly hosted by the EAC, African Union Commission (AUC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
The goal of the sub-regional forum is to examine and deliberate on the state of democracy, elections and diversity management in each of the five sub-regions of the African continent, namely Central, East, North, Southern and West Africa.
The deliberations will highlight progress made on the democratisation process on the continent, identifying remaining challenges, profile of best practices and concrete policy recommendations.
The policy recommendations aim at influencing appropriate electoral and governance reforms at both national and regional levels to address the challenges. The reform agenda will relate directly to elections, governance reforms and related institutional and policy mechanisms aimed at inculcating a culture of constructive management of diversity and peaceful conflict resolution in the five sub-regions.
Stakeholders include the eight regional economic communities (RECs) recognised by the AU, Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs), civil society organisations, think-tanks and governance experts, development partners and UN agencies.
It is hoped that this forum will contribute to positive electoral and governance reforms in Africa aimed at promoting democratic, credible and transparent elections and constructive diversity management.
Additionally, the forum is one of the continental initiatives aimed at enhancing complementarity and building synergies on core issues of democratic governance.
The sub-regional forum will offer concrete policy-relevant and development-oriented recommendations for the promotion of democratic, credible and transparent elections and constructive management of diversity in Africa.
It is a precursor to the AGF-VIII on democracy, elections and management of diversity, which will take place in November this year.