The Directorate of Political Affairs (DPA) in the Department of Political Affairs, Peace, and Security of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, in collaboration with the Office of the Resident Representative of the President of the ECOWAS Commission in Liberia, is holding a 3-day training and interactive workshop with political actors and stakeholders in Liberia, from 30th August to 1st September 2023.
The aim of the workshop is to enhance dialogue and mediation skills of political actors and stakeholders, ahead of the forthcoming General Elections scheduled for 10 October 2023.
The workshop which is part of ECOWAS strategic and operational electoral assistance to Member States, is a follow up to the Joint ECOWAS-African Union pre-election Fact-Finding Mission deployed to the country from the 23 to 29 July 2023, to assess the level of preparedness for the elections by the Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) and other political actors and institutions.
Conscious that election periods are moments of heightened political tension, the workshop aimed to contribute to enhancing the participants’ dialogue and mediation skills, create space for interactive engagements and opportunity to sensitize the population on the ECOWAS normative principles and frameworks on democracy and good governance, in particular, inclusive participatory processes, for free, fair, transparent, and credible elections.
Participants include, representatives from the National Election Commission of Liberia, the Liberian National Police, the Armed Forces of Liberia, the Liberian Immigration Services, County Peace Committees, the Inter-Religious Council and Traditional authorities, the National Peacebuilding Office, civil society organisations, women and youth networks and the media, as well as the Liberian Bar Association, the Inter-Party Consultative Committee and the National Commission on Disability.
The Workshop was declared opened by the Resident Representative of the President of the ECOWAS Commission in Liberia, H.E. Amb. Josephine Nkrumah and also had in attendance, Mrs Christine Umutoni, the UN Resident Coordinator in Liberia and Mrs.
Theresa Brownne Lansanah, the Chairperson of the National Election Commission (NEC) of Liberia. Some members of the diplomatic Corps and ECOWAS Ambassadors in the Republic of Liberia were also present.
The training and interactive workshop is being facilitated by staff of the Directorate of Political Affairs, ECOWAS Commission led by Dr Onyinye Onwuka, Head of Mediation and Coordination of Regional Political Affairs Division (DPA), supported by resource persons.
It would be recalled that similar workshops were organized in the lead-up to the recently held 2023 general elections in Nigeria and Sierra Leone and around the electoral processes of several other Member States.