National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) chair Halima Ibrahim has called on civil society organisations to align their civic campaign activities with that of the Commission’s strategic plan and roadmap to ensure effectiveness and harmony.
Speaking during a visit at the offices of Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) in Mogadishu, Halima said it was imperative for organisations working in elections-related areas to work closely with NIEC to ensure coherence, especially in outreach campaigns.
“Engaging on civic and voter education and voter registration information will allow both institutions to speak with one voice and use the same messages during outreach campaign,” the elections body chief said.
EISA acting country director Mukenyi Badibanga said his organisation’s civic engagement programme, ‘STAND UP SOMALIA’ will contribute towards the 2020 electoral process in Somalia.
“The programme has a specific focus on women and youth groups who have an important role to play in shaping the political landscape through ongoing political processes. CSOs groups should be supported in regard to capacity building to strengthen the critical role they played following the collapse of the state in 1991”, Mukenyi stated.
The ‘STAND UP SOMALIA’ which in full stands for ‘Support Towards a Democratic, Unified and Peaceful Somalia’ is aimed at providing support to civil society organisations (CSOs) across Banaadir region and the Federal Member States.
In terms of the electoral process, the CSOs will be trained on election-related questions as well as other relevant thematic areas such as informing the public on voter registration and civic and voter education, EISA noted.
EISA said in a statement the ‘STAND UP SOMALIA’ follows on the recently implemented programme “Supporting transition, stability and democratisation in Somalia”, with generous support from the Embassy of Sweden Nairobi.
Halima also lauded EISA for its work in Somalia and urged them to consider women, youth, IDPs and marginalised groups in all its actions
Both EISA and NIEC discussed areas of collaboration in light of upcoming elections in 2020.