Germany and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Launch the Africa Election Fund to Support Electoral Processes in Africa – African Business
The German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO), and the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) are both located in Germany.www.UNDP.org), launched the Africa Election Fund, to strengthen democracy in Africa through innovative, agile and timely support to electoral processes.
Different challenges are being posed to democracy around the world. It is a global responsibility to strengthen democracy. Elections have been a key driver of democratic and socio-economic progress. Elections can lead to conflict, and in some cases, even severe crises, if they aren’t conducted in an inclusive and transparent manner.
In light of technological evolution, harmful practices on social media and recent events on the continent, more capacity is required for innovation, adaptation and stronger ownership and inclusivity in Africa’s political and electoral environment. UNDP has established this new fund, with a €3 million initial commitment by Germany, to support African countries in owning and developing their democratic processes.
“The Africa Election Fund aims to support early phases of electoral cycles and prevent potential crises,” stated Ahunna Eziakonwa, UN Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa. “The Fund will provide the means to accelerate activities when appropriate, pilot new approaches, including the use of technologies, manage associated risks, and facilitate further collaboration among African Member States and at the regional level,” she continued.
The German government is optimistic that the Africa Election Fund will provide the necessary support for successful elections in Africa. Deike Potzel, Director-General for Crisis Prevention, Stabilization, Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Assistance at the GFFO, underscored: “Germany is committed to strengthening open societies and democratic institutions worldwide. We aim to make democracies more resilient, and to promote free and fair elections together with UNDP. The Africa Election Fund is a platform that will promote free and fair elections. It will also serve as a platform to exchange best practices and learn from others. Also, it can give us the chance to act early, when we see that elections might spark conflicts.”
While the African Union’s robust normative frameworks on elections, democracy and governance offer a solid foundation for the Fund, in addition to positive examples on the continent, renewed and integrated efforts are required in a context of severe constitutional crisis, increased security issues and a global crisis of trust in democratic institutions.
The Africa Election Fund will promote greater participation of youths and women, who despite their democratic weight, ambitions, and capacities, remain largely underrepresented. It will help them fully contribute to policies and decision-making which have socio-economic implications for their lives as well as their communities.
The Fund will also focus on how rapid technological development offers the potential to increase inclusion of citizens but also increases the pace at which unverified and inaccurate information is shared, thereby impacting trust in democratic processes.
UNDP has been a key implementing partner for electoral assistance over the past three decades. This partnership has witnessed firsthand the evolution of democratic and electoral landscapes over the past three decades. Africa accounts for 25% of all global development aid (ODA) that is allocated to elections. UNDP works closely with African Union member states based on requests for electoral assistance and where the UN confirms its ability to assist.
Distributed by APO Group for United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
For more information, please call:
Coordinator, UNDP Region Programme for Africa
UNDP is the United Nations’ leading organization that fights against poverty, inequality, climate change, and other injustices. With our extensive network of partners and experts in 170 nations, we assist countries to create integrated, sustainable solutions for peoples’ and planets. Learn more at www.UNDP.org/africa or follow https://bit.ly/3hyQGVzOn Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
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