5 June 2018, Abuja, Nigeria – As conflicts continue to characterise countries in Africa by creating a morass for the African continent, it is pertinent that the prevention of conflicts in Africa becomes top of the agenda for the AU. Consequently, on the 5th of June 2018, the APRM National Secretariat Nigeria organized a sensitization workshop on violence-free elections in Nigeria to promote good governance for economic growth and development as well as silencing the guns initiative 2020.
The main objective of the workshop was to bring together experts and stakeholders as well as think-tanks for the success of the upcoming maiden edition of the High-Level Summit on ‘Elections and Violence in Africa: The Management of the Democratic order’.
The workshop was a result of a joint activity by the African Governance Architecture-African Peace and Security Architecture – APRM Joint Secretariat, that will feed into the Agenda 2063 Flagship of Silencing the Guns by 2020. The High-Level Summit is aimed at mobilizing the continent on an essential question facing governance in Africa – on ways the democratic order can be managed to avoid electoral violence and ensure development as well as how African governments can reorient their citizens and polity in pursuit of a more effective democratic order. It is believed that this High-Level Summit will define the focus of future annual Summits.
The preparatory workshop kicked off with opening statements from the representative of the Secretary General of the Federation, Mr Gabriel Aduda, the Permanent Secretary of the Political and Economic Affairs; the CEO of the APRM National Secretariat Nigeria, Hon. Princess Gloria Akobundu; Prof Al-Amin Abumanga, Member of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons; Prof Ibrahim Gambari, Vice-Chairperson of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons and CEO of Savanah Centre; Legal Officer and representative of the CEO of the APRM, Ms Mary Agbebaku-Izobo; Prof Oshita O. Oshita, Director General of the Institute of Peace and Security Resolution amongst others.
The stakeholders and experts at the preparatory meeting were representatives from the African Peer Review Mechanism, APRM State coordinators, Public institutions, private sector, civil society, Non-Governmental Organizations, Heads of Political Parties, Representatives of women and youth organizations, traditional leaders, community heads, the military, paramilitary, legal bodies and institutions, electoral institutes, local governments officials, National Council for Women Societies, National Youth Service Corps and a host of others.
The envisaged high-Level Summit scheduled to take place in August 2018, will examine the Governance of the Democratic Order in Africa with focus on Elections as a Source of Instability and Conflict in Africa; examine the role election plays in politically unstable environment; analyse the challenge of non-adherence of African Member states to the African Charter of Democracy, Elections and Governance; explore ways of how the African Peer Review Mechanism can be used as an early warning system/ tool for conflict prevention on the continent, among others.
The outcomes of the Abuja workshop were as follows:
- The workshop examined causes of electoral violence
- The workshop also suggested ways of eliminating it as well as improving of elections on the continent.
- The goals drawn from this preparatory Workshop, will be tied into key continental governance initiatives.