The ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC) in Abuja on Thursday, 1st February 2018 launched a regional study on Cost of Elections as part of its initiative to encourage reduction of electoral expenses in West Africa.
Adele Jinadu, a professor of political science and a former Commissioner of Nigeria’s Electoral Commission is the Lead Consultant of the three-member expert team, which will conduct the study in the three language zones (English, French and Portuguese) of ECOWAS. The two other consultants are Mr. Francis Laleye from Benin Republic and Mr Jose Sanches from Cabo Verde.
“Elections are not only very expensive to run, but have also become a source of avoidable political conflicts in our region, so ECONEC is taking steps to address these challenges in a proactive manner,” Prof Mahmood Yakubu, President of ECONEC governing board and Chair of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Nigeria, said recently.
The findings of the study are expected to be presented at a Conference of Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) from Western and Southern Africa taking place in Abuja in April 2018. The outcome will provide a strong advocacy tool for the sensitisation and mobilisation of stakeholders on the need to scale down the spiralling cost of election administration. It will also encourage pooling of resources by EMBs, and strengthening of transparency and prudent use of resources, to make democracy more cost-effective, participatory and inclusive. The study is supported by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), ECONEC’s key partner.
ECONEC is also to undertake Needs Assessment and Solidarity missions to its members planning elections, and follow-up missions for the implementation of ECOWAS Election Observation missions’ recommendations. These activities are consistent with ECONEC’s mandate of providing support and advocacy for its members, promotion of credible elections and good governance, and the encouragement of gradual harmonisation of electoral laws and best practices through experience-sharing, and peer-learning of good practices in electoral matters in the region.