Voter and Civic Education in Liberia, Monrovia
4-15 September 2023
Naymote Partners for Democratic Development completed a two customized 10-days BRIDGE training workshops on voter education, information and election observation for CSOs and political parties in Liberia from September 4-15, 2023. This activity was implemented with support from the ECOWAS Peace & Security Architecture and Operations (EPSAO) Project and facilitated by Rindai Chipfunde Vava as Lead Facilitator, Eddie D. Jarwolo, Linda Adzo Dormekpor, Shamsudeen Adio Yusuf and Abu Turay as Co- Facilitators. The training is primarily geared towards young people in line with a commitment to supporting the ECOWAS agenda on the promotion of enhanced youth engagement in the electoral process in West Africa, the training was held at the RLJ Kendeja Resort and Villas, Monrovia, Liberia.
The workshop trained a total of 60 (36 males and 24 females) participants in two separate batches. The first batch consisted of civil society actors, with a particular focus on youth participants. The second batch included representatives from both civil society organizations and political parties. Each of the batches consisted of 30 participants for five days. This training event equipped actors with voter education steps, strategies and different methods for different learners as well as conventional strategies for Election Observations to promote electoral accountability.
As Liberia prepares for the October 2023 legislative and presidential elections, the EU and Germany believe that a well-prepared and informed civil society, as well as effective political parties, is critical to the electoral process’s credibility and success. The information and skills acquired through the BRIDGE training program will not only help in the elections but also contribute to improving Liberia’s democratic institutions in the long run.
The workshop was officially opened by the Deputy Executive Director of the National Elections Commission, (NEC) in Liberia, Mr. Sam Cole and Mr. Peter Speyrer – Deputy Head of Mission, The Embassy of Germany in Liberia. They both appreciated and encouraged the participants to be committed and actively involved with the training.
“Given the partisan posture taken by many Liberian Journalists during these 2023 elections, the BRIDGE training reminded me as a journalist of my critical role in helping to ensure peaceful, free, fair, transparent, and credible elections. That is to remain non-political, impartial, and balanced in observing and reporting accurately about the entire process”. Joseph Daniel, a Liberian Journalist and participant.
The success of the workshop was largely due to the diversity of organizational experiences and knowledge. The two largest domestic election observation groups in Liberia, the Liberia Election Observation Network (LEON) and the Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC), provided the majority of the participants. The Federation of Liberian Youths, the Liberian National Students Union, and the Mano River Youth Parliament actively participated in the trainings. They are going to use the skills to cascade the training of more young people who are conducting voter education in the elections.
Naymote appreciates the European Union (EU), Germany, the GiZ, and the facilitators for the support in conducting this activity, both the ECC and LEON are using the skills in conducting a cascade training for 3000 STOs for the Liberia’s elections.
By Eddie D. Jarwolo, Monrovia, Liberia