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"Towards Sustainable Democratic Institutions in Southern Africa"

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"Towards Sustainable Democratic Institutions in Southern Africa" 2000

The challenges of building and consolidating democracy in Southern Africa will be in focus at a major regional conference to be held in Gaborone, Botswana on May 8-10 2000. The conference, titled "Towards Sustainable Democratic Institutions in Southern Africa" is being organized jointly by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), Government of Botswana and Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary and Election Fora.

Agenda Download in PDF format here:

Monday 8 May
Tuesday 9 May
Wednesday 10 May

Monday 8 May

11.00 - 11.45 Press Conference

12.00-1.00 Conference Outline, Objectives and Clarifications

In this short session International IDEA, and its collaborating partner organizations, SADC Elections Forum and Parliamentary Forum, clarify the purpose of organizing the Conference.

Professor Reg Austin: Director of Programmes, International IDEA

Justice L. Makame: President of the SADC Elections Forum

Dr Kasuka Mutukwa: Executive Secretary of the SADC

1.00 - 3.00 Lunch

3.00 - 4.00 Opening Session

Chair: Lord David Steel of Aikwood: Presiding Officer of the Parliament of Scotland

Speakers: President Festus Gontebanye Mogae, President of Botswana

Mr Bengt Säve-Söderbergh, Secretary-General of International IDEA

Mr Jan Trøjborg, Danish Minister for Development Co-operation

4.00 - 4.15 Coffee

4.15 - 5.30 Session I: Overview of Elections in SADC region

In the 1990s there has been a wave of democratization sweeping through the Southern Africa with many countries holding "free and fair" elections for the first time. During the 1999-2000 most of the countries of the region such as Malawi, South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Tanzania, Lesotho and Zambia either have had or will soon have elections. Though it is now universally acknowledged that merely hold good elections is not sufficient to sustain democracy but still it is the basis on which other efforts must be based. But even the holding of elections is not always free from various controversies and a number of lessons could be learnt from the recent experience of holding elections in the countries of Southern Africa. International IDEA had commissioned electoral case studies in a number of countries in the region. This session discusses an overview of the electoral scene in the SADC region.

Chair: Hon. B. K. Temane: Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Botswana

Speaker: Dr David Pottie: Senior Researcher, Representative from the Election Institute of South Africa

SADC Elections Forum: Presentation of over view paper on elections in Southern Africa and discussion

Discussant: Mrs. Christine Warioba: Gender and Elections, Southern Africa Development Community

6.30 - 8.30 Reception hosted by the Government of Botswana

Tuesday 9 May

8.30 - 9.45 Session II: Presentations of Electoral Case Studies from Lesotho, Mozambique and South Africa

Problems faced by countries emerging from erstwhile dictatorship or from apartheid are different. During the transitional period the problems seem to be common such as voter registration problem, boundary delimitation, electoral system's adoption, lack of finances for undertaking voter education and for organizing electoral logistics etc. Amongst the studies commissioned by International IDEA were countries which were having "free and fair" elections only for the second time now. They face a set of problems peculiar to them only. Herewith analyze common problems and share experiences. The presentations of this session are based on those studies and are intended to create a debate on these issues. The case studies of South Africa, Mozambique and Lesotho are presented in this session.

Chair: Dr Brigalia Bam: South African Electoral Commission

Speakers: Mr Sehoai Santho: National University of Lesotho

Mr Marc De Tollenaere: UNDP, Mozambique

Dr Meshack Khosa: Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa

Discussant: Mr M. I. A. Rahman: Chairperson Electoral Commission of Mauritius

10.00 - 11.30 Session III: Presentation of Electoral Case Studies from Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe

Some of the SADC countries have had quite a few successful elections since holding their "first democratic election" and could now be regarded as having graduated to "second-generation" elections. International IDEA has commissioned studies in Botswana and Namibia as well as in Zimbabwe (due to go to the polls soon) to know what set of problems are faced by these countries. In this session, the findings of the case studies are presented for discussion.

Chair: Mr. Peter Harris: Senior Executive, International IDEA

Speakers: Dr Somolekae & Dr. Molomo: University of Botswana

Dr Solomon Nkiwane: University of Zimbabwe

Mr Joram Rukambe: Director of the Electoral Commission of Namibia

Discussants: Mr Sam Graham: Former Chief Electoral Officer of Trinidad & Tobago

Mr Mandla Mchunu: Chief Executive Officer of

Independent Electoral Commission, South Africa

11.30 - 11.45 Coffee break

11:45-1:00 Session IV: Overview of Political Parties in SADC region

The political party as an institution is in a state of crisis and, in the region, they are far from being free, democratic, financially sound and publicly accountable institutions. Problems such as internal wrangling, dominance by an individual leader, male supremacy, lack of accountability, poverty etc. characterize the state of most political parties in the region. Based on an analysis of recent elections in Southern Africa, this session addresses various issues in the region as a whole and discusses strategies and recommendations for enhancing democratic institutions while at the same time promoting female leadership in political parties.

Chair: Lord David Steel of Aikwood: Presiding Officer of the

Parliament of Scotland

Speaker: Prof. Lloyd Sachikonye: University of Zimbabwe Presentation of over view paper on political parties in Southern Africa and discussion

Discussant: Mrs Margaret Dongo MP: Parliament of Zimbabwe

Dr Onalenna Selolwane, University of Botswana

Representative from the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) Party

1:00-2:15 Lunch

2:15-3:30 Session V: Presentation of Case Studies on the Functioning of Political Parties from Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania

This session addresses various issues related to the state of political parties in three specific countries of the region - Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania. The discussion will primarily focus on these issues: (i) using their most recent performance in the latest election assess the democratic, organizational and financial preparedness of political parties in the region; (ii) isolate common problems of political parties and identify strategies of resolving them; (iii) using international comparative experiences, identify and discuss alternative strategies and options available for funding political parties; (iv) identify other management, legal, institutional and organizational issues facing political parties and recommend programmes of support; and (v) discuss ways and recommend strategies for enhancing women leadership in political parties and other institutions of democratic governance.

Chair: Mr Sam Mpasu, M.P.: Speaker of National Assembly, Malawi

Speakers: Prof. Muna Ndulo: Cornell Law School: Zambia

Prof. Mwesign Baregu: Southern African Regional Institute for Policy Studies (SARIPS): Tanzania

Discussants: Mr Eugenio Antonino Ngolo "Manuvakola" of UNITA, Angola

Mr Lempy Lucas: Deputy Secretary for SWAPO Youth League: Namibia

Representative from the Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO) Party

3:30-4:00 Coffee break

4:00-5:30 Working Groups on Political Parties and Electoral Management

The participants will be divided up into groups of 15 to 20. Each group will discuss one specific theme relevant to the functioning of Political Parties and Management of Elections in the SADC region. The conclusions from the workshops will be brought together and presented Wednesday May 10th in Session IX: Presentations from Workshops.

6:30-8:00 Reception

Wednesday 10 May

8:30-10:45 Session VII: Roundtable discussion on the Funding of Political Parties

From an early stage International IDEA identified political parties as being a crucial democracy-sustaining institution. Political parties are indispensable to the working of modern democracies, as the health of the political parties directly affects the quality of democracy. The specific area chosen by International IDEA to initiate study is the funding of political parties. A handbook meant for field-practitioners has been put together and will form the basis of discussion for the round table session. This handbook analyses different frameworks available for political finance around the world and lists various options within each framework. It is not dictate which approach is best but rather leaves each user to choose suitable option/s depending on specific requirements. Invariably the problems of political finance are multifaceted and solving one might have unintended consequences in other related areas giving-rise to other problems. The handbook contains pioneering work on a global scale in that it is first book in the field of political party finance that contains comparative legal analysis from about 60 countries from around the world. It relates experiences from mature democracies as well as from the emerging democracies and from all of the countries of the European Union. The session is planned to give an overview of the handbook and to present regional / continental perspectives on issues of political finance in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia

Chair: H.E. Lt. Gen. M.S. Merafhe, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Botswana

Speakers: Africa overview Prof. Yaw Saffu:

Latin American overview Mr Daniel Zovatto: Senior Executive, International IDEA

Asian overview Prof. Rei Shiratori:

European Overview Dr Michael Pinto-Duschinsky:

Discussant: Limakatso R. Ntakatsane: Party Leader, Interim

Political Authority, Lesotho

10:45-11:00 Coffee Break

11:00-1:00 Session IX: Presentations from Workshops

11:00 - 11:50 Election Working Groups

Chair: Mr Joram Rukambe: Director of the Electoral Commission on Namibia

12.00 - 13.00 Political Party Working Groups

Chair: Prof. Samson Moyo: SAPES, Zimbabwe

1:00-1:15 Round up and Way Forward

(recommendations) by:

Mr Bengt Säve-Söderbergh, Secretary-General, International IDEA

Justice L. Makame: President of the SADC Elections Forum

Dr Kasuka Mutukwa: Executive Secretary of the SADC Parliamentary Forum

14.30 Excursion organized by the Government of Botswana

Botswana Conference : Agenda
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