6 September 2023
Deputy Minister Botes to participate in the validation meeting of Continental Elections Management Bodies
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Alvin Botes, will on Wednesday, 6 September 2023, participate in the Validation Workshop of the Principles and Guidelines of the Use of Digital and Social Media in Elections in Africa, to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The development of the Draft Principles and Guidelines on the Use of Digital and Social Media in Africa was mandated by the Association of African Electoral Authorities (AAEA) during its General Assembly held in Mozambique in November 2022 and was led by the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa, working closely with the African Union Commission (AUC) and the AAEA.
The Electoral Commission of South Africa is supported by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation through the African Renaissance Fund.
The Principles and Guidelines on the Use of Digital and Social Media in Elections in Africa are aimed at addressing the lacuna in the existing legal, regulatory and institutional architecture governing elections in Africa, which include the 2002 OAU/AU Declaration of Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa, the 1981 African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights as well as the 2007 African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance by specifically incorporating issues of digital and social media in elections.
Furthermore, the Principles and Guidelines on the Use of Digital and Social Media in Election in Africa aim to create awareness among Election Management Bodies and other stakeholders on the benefits and threats of digital and social media to the electoral process and integrity, as well as to foster policy development on digital and social media in elections by Election Management Bodies, Regional Economic Communities and Member States.
The Validation Workshop, which will be hosted by the AU Commission’s Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, constitutes a technical review of the Principles and Guidelines and it is expected to bring together 80 participants comprising the following stakeholders: AU Commission, Electoral Management Bodies, AAEA Members from the five African Regional Networks, representatives from AU Member States, representatives of Civil Society, traditional and new media as well as representatives of partner organisations; namely, the UNDP, UNESCO and other relevant UN agencies resident in Addis Ababa.
It is envisaged that following the Validation Workshop, the Principles, and Guidelines on the Use of Digital and Social Media in Elections in Africa will be adopted by the AAEA General Assembly, alongside the Annual Election Management Bodies Forum to be organised by the AU Commission in Cotonou, Benin, in November 2023.
It is expected that Deputy Minister Botes will present a statement affirming South Africa’s support for the principles and guidelines.
Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, 082 884 5974
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
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