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Enhancing professional electoral management capabilities

The Electoral Commission and Unisa have extended by three years a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to advance knowledge and skills development in the field of electoral democracy.

Standing, David Farirai (DIA: Unisa), David Letsoalo (IDRA: Unisa), Sy Mamabolo (Chief Electoral Officer: IEC), Prof Andrew Phillips (ED: CHS), Stephina Motlhoki (CHS: Unisa), Prof Puleng Segalo (CHS: Unisa), Adv Sipho Mantula (IDRA), and Siza Magubane (DIA: Unisa), and, seated, Glen Mashinini (Chairperson: IEC) and Prof Mandla Makhanya (Principal and Vice-Chancellor: Unisa)

Glen Mashinini (Chairperson: IEC) and Prof Mandla Makhanya (Principal and Vice-Chancellor: Unisa)

Electoral Commission Chairperson Glen Mashinini and Unisa Principal and Vice-Chancellor Prof Mandla Makhanya signed the MoU on 19 November 2018.

The understanding seeks to strengthen knowledge and expertise in electoral democracy through the development of education and training programmes for election practitioners in Africa. It also seeks to identify research opportunities to further enhance and promote democratic electoral principles, legislation and practices.Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mashinini said that the partnership with the continent’s leading distance-learning institution offered opportunities to expand knowledge and professionalism within electoral management bodies throughout Africa.

“The continued entrenchment of electoral democracy in our continent is an essential ingredient for the overall advancement of Africa and its people,” he said.

The VC said the agreement signalled the continuation of long-standing cooperation between Unisa and the Electoral Commission in the field of electoral management expertise.

Sy Mamabolo (Chief Electoral Officer: IEC), Glen Mashinini (Chairperson: IEC) and Prof Mandla Makhanya (Principal and Vice-Chancellor: Unisa)

Through a strategic partnership between the Electoral Commission, the Institute for African Renaissance Studies (IARS) at Unisa, and with funding and support from USAID, the Management of Democratic Elections in Africa (MDEA) certificate programme has over the past seven years been able to impart skills, knowledge, and expertise in the field of electoral democracy management to hundreds of electoral practitioners from all around Africa.

“The MoU sets the framework for the joint development and implementation of mutually beneficial programmes that will help enhance professional electoral management capabilities in South Africa and beyond,” said Makhanya.

*Submitted by Khomotso Mabusela

Publish date: 2018/11/20