Experts Group Meets on “Democracy, Elections and the Management of Diversity in Africa”


 

More than 40 governance experts met on 1-2 October 2012 in Addis Ababa to discuss and review the draft chapters of the Third African Governance Report (AGRIII).


The structure of the AGR III report under the theme “Elections and the Management of Diversity in Africa” includes: Political Architecture: State Building and Diversity; Democratic Transition and Diversity Management; Diversity and the Electoral Process; Electoral Administration and Management; Competitive Elections, Diversity and Conflict; Economics of Elections; Electoral, Political & Constitutional Reforms; and
Conclusion and Policy Recommendations.


The emerging findings from the AGR III process include the urge for affirmative action policies for marginalized groups of women, people with disabilities, youth and the poor in electoral, political and decision making institutions and processes. Second, that the electoral commission should be imbued with meaningful autonomy to discharge its responsibilities creditably well. Third, the appointment and selection of electoral commissioners should not be the sole prerogative of the president or the executive; it should be done through an independent, competitive and credible process, which should be transparent in its processes.

Fourth, that national unity government is a good temporary option in ameliorating political conflicts generated in the electoral process. But this option should be at best temporary.


Finally, that African countries should design electoral systems that respond to their peculiarities and diversity, rather than sticking with the colonial inherited electoral systems that many countries still practice.


The African Governance Report (AGR) is the most comprehensive report on governance in Africa. It assesses and monitors the progress African Countries are making on governance, identifies capacity gaps in governance institutions and makes appropriate policy recomme continent.