ECOWAS and partners organise BRIDGE training on Boundary Delimitation for West African election officials

A 5-day BRIDGE training on the Module: Boundary Delimitation, was conducted from July 26 to 30, 2021 in Lomé, Togo. The event was a collaboration between the ECOWAS Commission, The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the European Union. The beneficiaries of the training were 22 officials from 12 national Election Management Bodies and 8 election related institutions in West Africa. The training was conducted in English and French (with simultaneous interpretation) as well as in Portuguese.

The BRIDGE training on Boundary Delimitation has come at a moment where in many countries in West Africa, the question of electoral boundaries is the subject of much controversy. Many more electoral disputes in the sub-region have their sources in the nature electoral boundaries are delineated. The objective for the training was, among others, to introduce participants to the main principles and criteria for a good boundary delimitation exercise. The training was also to build on practical experiences while encouraging participants to evaluate electoral boundaries drawn in their various countries and how that can potentially be improved and sustained, taking into consideration their own context.

Some lessons learned from this multi-lingual BRIDGE workshop is that, it is very helpful to create groups where some participants are bi-lingual. Interpreters were also given handouts on topics ahead of the sessions to guide and help them to be prepared.

Due to the COVID pandemic, all participants had a PCR test and part of the code of conduct for the training was to have a nose-mask on at all times. Sanction instituted is to have one’s mobile phone seized for a session.

The training was facilitated by Theophilus Dowetin, Euloge Aidasso, Barou Luther and Aderemi Ajibewa, (who satisfied the required for his full BRIDGE accreditation at the end of the workshop).

By Theo. Dowetin

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