Related Documents
 
   
Tentative Election Calendar 2009-2010
(en/ fr)
   
   
Contact
Ms Shumbana Karume- Head
Ext. 164
karumes@africa-union.org
Mr. Guy Cyrille Tapoko- Elections Officer
Ext. 309
tapokog@africa-union.org
Mr. Mbari Calixte Aristide- Elections Officer
Ext. 150
mbaricm@africa-union.org

Telephone Std.:
00(251-11) 551 7700
Ext. 254
Fax: 00 (251-11) 5510473
 


THE AFRICAN UNION DEMOCRACY AND
ELECTIONS ASSISTANCE UNIT (DEAU)

Background

The Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), at its 38th Ordinary Session held in Durban, South Africa in 2002, approved a Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa. The Declaration underlined the need to strengthen the Organisation’s efforts in advancing the democratization process in Africa in view of its ever-growing role in monitoring and observation of elections. In response to this Declaration, the Council of Ministers meeting in Durban in July 2002, adopted a decision EX.CL/Dec.300 (IX) “to set up a Democracy and Electoral Assistance Unit within the Political Affairs Department of the African Union Commission”.

In support of the Council of Minister’s decision to set up a new administrative unit for democracy and elections; the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in the interim requested the Secretary General of the AU to undertake a feasibility study on the establishment of a Unit, within the general secretariat. The feasibility study was conducted by the Commission in April 2006, which broadly defined the Unit’s mandates and objectives concerning the relevant electoral processes, as well as its operational and organizational structures. The recommendations and findings of the study were subsequently submitted for validation to a Meeting of Independent Experts held in Addis Ababa on the 4th of May 2006. This was followed by the Executive Council decision adopted in Banjul 2006, which approved the setting up of the Democracy and Electoral Assistance Unit (DEAU).

Objectives

The DEAU, as developed by electoral and other experts, has been given a broad mission, it has the responsibility of not only coordinating and organising the participation of the African Union in the observation of elections but also implement the African Union Commission’s program for the promotion of democracy and democratic elections in the continent. This mission is in line with its overall mandate and objectives namely to:

• Disseminate and promote African Union instruments relating to democracy;

• Facilitate the building of capacities of national electoral institutions through training, exchange of human and material resources;

• Facilitate training in the field of election observation;

• Process requests for electoral assistance;

• Develop effective election observation systems;

• Coordinate election observation and monitoring missions; and

• Implement the Commission’s program on constitutions and constitutional processes.

Initial Work plan

The Unit is now fully operational and functioning under a staff structure consisting of a Head of Unit and two election officers in the Department of Political Affairs. Soon after it became operational, the Unit identified its core strategic priorities for its work plan. These include the following:

• AU Elections Observations;

• Creation of master & subsidiary database of EMBs and related electoral bodies;

• Training of AU Election Observers in the five AU regions;

• Technical Assistance to National Election Management Bodies (EMBs) upon request in major election processes (i.e. Election logistics, Registration of voters, Training of election officers, Delimitation of electoral districts);

• Continental Meeting for National Election Management Bodies (EMBs) of Member States;

• Regional meetings on the promotion of electoral processes with respect to Election Management Bodies (EMBs) performance.