The African Union Commission in collaboration with the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) of Somalia organized a three-day BRIDGE (on Electoral Systems Module Course from 3-5 July 2017 at the Sarova Stanley Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. Twenty participants comprising senior NIEC officials as well as policy makers involved in the constitution-making process as well as the drafting of the electoral law. The key objective of the workshop was to expose NIEC and key election stakeholders to various electoral systems in Africa and beyond in order to facilitate informed decision-making on the choice of the most suitable electoral system for Somalia based on lessons and experiences from other contexts. Somali policy makers are currently engaged in a consultative process of drafting a permanent Constitution which will form the basis for the conducting future general elections based on universal suffrage scheduled to take place in 2020.
The course content included the following broad topics:
- Underlying Principles of Electoral Systems
- Basics of Electoral Systems
- Different Types of Electoral Systems and analysis of their Strengths and Weaknesses and exploring the suitability or non-suitability of each to the Somali context
- Implications of Different Electoral Systems
- Representation in Electoral Systems (Under-represented groups including women.
- Quotas and Systems
- Drafting of Strategic Reform Plans
Two BRIDGE facilitators (1 Female and 1 Male) participated in the delivery of the course. The following facilitators exhibited a good combination of professional experience and diverse background and expertise:
- Sibongile Zimemo (Female); (Consultant; South Africa) – Expert Lead Facilitator
- Robert Gerenge (Male): (African Union Commission) – Semi-Accredited Facilitator
This programme also presented an opportunity for the Semi-Accredited facilitator to complete his fieldwork. Robert conducted himself in a professional manner and executed his tasks as required with such diligence and commitment and was therefore accredited as a BRIDGE Workshop Facilitator.
The guest speakers for the workshop were; Saiyid Ali Sheikh Mohamed, Deputy Chairperson NIEC and Hon. and Fawzia Yusuf H Adam Deputy Minister, Somali Government of Somalia.
Congratulations to Robert on obtaining full BRIDGE Accreditation!
Thanking NIEC and the sponsor of the workshop the African Union Commission for a well-organised workshop.
Wishing NIEC everything of the best on the hard work that lies ahead.