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Promoting participation of diverse groups in elections
9 September 2015

‘There are many shades of Ivoirité’. This is the consensus from a workshop on elections and diversity in Cote d’Ivoire. It will help ensure that the upcoming elections in October are inclusive and representative of the country’s ethnic and religious groups.

The workshop was organised in Abidjan by the Institute for Security Studies’ African Centre for Peace and Security Training (ACPST) in collaboration with the alumni group Réseau de Promotion de la Diversité et la Paix en Côte d’Ivoire (REPDIPCI).

Lead facilitator Edouad Yao, who heads Action Internationale de Développement Intégral and coordinates REPDIPCI, made it his job to ask tough questions.

‘The question of diversity is fundamental to Côte d’Ivoire; it is like an open wound that we must speak frankly about, especially given the role it plays in matters of governance and democratic elections.’

Traditional and religious leaders, electoral commission members, political and legal representatives and members of civil society are among those examining the place of diversity in the upcoming Ivorian elections.

For the ACPST capacity building is not just a catch phrase
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For the ACPST, capacity building is not just a catch phrase. It goes beyond knowledge and skills transfer to use elicitive methodologies, where facilitators ask thought-provoking questions, prompting honest reflection from diametrically opposed attendees.

The workshop highlighted practical steps, especially ensuring all factions of society participate in the electoral process. Participants argued that political parties and the Independent Electoral Commission should focus on promoting ethical decision making and conduct, strengthening internal accountability for misconduct and promoting public participation from in and outside the country.

The ACPST supported the founding of REPDIPCI, a formally-organised group of alumni whose tenure at the ACPST has introduced them to the concepts of human security, governance, advocacy, climate change and other emerging threats. As with other national chapters of its network across the continent, the ACPST supports expert training and workshops, enabling dialogue on a variety of issues, from addressing xenophobia and managing diversity to promoting civil society action in post-conflict reconstruction. 

For more information contact:

Golda Keng Ajode, ISS: +251 933 581 045, gkeng@issafrica.org

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