First Implementation Workshop on the African continent

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Participants were drawn from electoral management bodies in Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda and Zambia. Four of the 25 participants also came from NGOs, namely the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA), the Institute for Education in Democracy (IED) and the Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (ZESN).

The course was facilitated by Rushdi Nackerdien, Alexandra Hovelacque and Margot Gould and was run from 5 to 7 November 2007 at the Burgerspark Hotel in Pretoria. All the participants had been on a BRIDGE course before, whether it was the Showcase (August 2006) or a TtF (November 2006 and May 2007). At least three of the participants were also fully accredited BRIDGE facilitators, namely Koki Muli from Kenya and Harris Potani and Thandie Nkovole from Malawi.

Group Photo of Participants at the Implementation Workshop

Much of the Implementation Workshop focused on budgets and proposal writing with several countries planning to run BRIDGE within the next 12 months. In fact Malawi and Kenya had BRIDGE workshops scheduled for dates before month end. Malawi is rolling out registration and public outreach training to all its staff and Kenya is conducting observer training ahead of the December elections.

Many of the participants have remarked on very concrete instances where BRIDGE courses have impacted positively not only on their own individual development but also on the organisations they work for. From improved elections administration to increased enthusiasm within the EMB executive management, participants are able to talk positively about the impact their attendance of BRIDGE courses has had in the last 12 months. With many BRIDGE activities being planned for the next few years, one can look forward to BRIDGE becoming a common part of the elections vocabulary of southern and east Africa.

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