17-18 Nov 2020
In order to strengthen the democratic culture, on 17-18 November, EISA held a session on the theme: Strategies for women and youth participation in the indirect election. During the discussions, several political activities and opportunities available to the youth and women were outlined and discussed as well as the challenges undermining Somali's transition to universal suffrage election and the future of the electoral process.
The workshop was held in Mogadishu and attended by 45 CSO representatives. While Democratic Coffee Breaks are similar to Let's talk elections, they focus on political parties while the latter focusses on election-related topics.
EISA continued to inform and educate citizens on electoral participation. EISA reached two Federal Members States, namely Puntland and Banadire Administration Region (Mogadishu) through an episode of Let's Talk Elections conducted in September, just days before the agreed Electoral Code, on the issue "Are political parties ready for the 2020-2021 elections?".
All episodes were aired on Somali TV, radio, and social platforms. The format of this activity continued to raise EISA's profile and extend the reach of this series. Somalis from the diaspora are also actively engaged through the use of social media platforms.
11 Jul 2020
To equip and build the capacity of political parties in Somalia, EISA organised an orientation workshop for newly registered political parties on 11 July in Mogadishu. The face to face workshop was attended by representatives of 27 political parties and EISA Somalia staff, while EISA Johannesburg staff participated online.
3 Dec 2019
EISA held a one-day multiparty dialogue with youth leaders from newly formed political parties in Mogadishu. The objective was to recognise and internalise how socialisation impacts on gender relations and hinders women's ability to participate and meaningfully contribute to political parties as well as to develop a common understanding on gender, inclusion, and governance. The meeting was attended by 32 participants (26 males and 6 females).
The dialogue was an opportunity for youth political leaders to voice their concerns and explore areas of common interest. Some of the concerns raised include their limited space within parties and delays in passing the electoral law by parliament. Leaders made suggestions to promote dialogue within their parties in order to manage internal tensions and to have inclusive dialogue.
30 Nov 2019
In order to increase political knowledge among Somali women and youth, EISA invited political party's youth leaders to participate in a one-day meeting on 30 November in Mogadishu. Twenty-three participants (18 male and 5 female) attended. At the end of the event, participants were able to identify who the Somali electoral stakeholders are, articulate their roles and how they, as political parties, relate to these stakeholders.
At the end of the meeting a notable number of participants from the political parties requested EISA to allow them to continue with the meeting as they wanted to reflect on what they had have learned. Some suggested forming a coalition to push the youth agenda. EISA is following upon the developments.
EISA conducted four one-day induction workshops for the temporarily registered political parties, exposing them to topics such as the historical overview of the political party system in Somalia, political leadership and the roles of and relations among electoral stakeholders. The workshops were attended by 107 leaders and officials, including women, from 38 political parties.
In view of the fact that political parties in Somalia were not yet registered, EISA worked with political associations based on EISA's Setting benchmarks for enhanced political party performance for democratic governance in Africa, to facilitate a workshop for 16 political associations.
Based on the success of the internal capacity trainings described above, political associations in Mogadishu identified the need to create a platform where they can engage their common understanding of how they should contribute to the development of a Political Parties' Law.
EISA facilitated the signing of a cooperation agreement which outlined how these associations can better work with one another, the government and with EISA. To this end a Political Associations Forum was established. Four sessions were held in which political associations met and discussed their views on the proposed Political Parties' Law. The data gathered during these Forum meetings were sent to the Parliamentary Committee on Political Parties to further engage with the political associations. Meetings were held with the Parliamentary Committee drafting the Political Parties' Law and the political associations that attended the EISA Political Associations Forum. The fledgling parties reported that their engagement on these issues was strengthened by having attended the EISA training and forum meetings which in turn placed them in a stronger position to engage more confidently in the process.
With political parties in Somalia not yet registered, EISA started working with political associations. Although political associations in Somalia are still in a nascent phase, they experience the same challenges as those in more stable democracies in terms of their organisational structures. Based on Benchmarks for Enhanced Political Party Performance for Democratic Governance in Africa) developed at EISA's Fifth Annual Symposium, 2010, EISA-Somalia facilitated a workshop for 16 political associations already established and more recently established, focusing on modules that defined what a political party stands for, policy-making processes, leadership and interaction with constituencies. This was the first such training session conducted in Somalia in recent years and it elicited a great deal of interest and interaction.