12 April 2018

Cameroon: Civil Societies Opt for Synergy

Collaborating with ELECAM officials, other organisations, traditional and administrative authorities across the country are part of the strategies to get more enlisted on electoral lists.

Encouraging citizens of voting age to register and participate in elections in the country is the collective responsibility. Civic duties are backed by the law and give individuals the chance of partaking in the democratic process of the State.

With the ballot box recognising every vote on an equal basis, civil society organisations have in that line embarked on working in synergy with concerned bodies to get Cameroonians above the age of 18 have their names added to the database of Elections Cameroon (ELECAM).

Most civil society organisations target physically challenged persons given that they could easily get discouraged when faced with additional societal encounters. Women and the youth are equally on the sensitization and encouragement list as a result of their lukewarm altitude towards participating in elections in past years.

SIGHTSAVERS Cameroon together with her partners under the initiative "Accessible Elections for Persons with Disabilities", uses the proximity strategy to have many more persons registered. Social centres, hospitals and recreational parks are visited with ELECAM staff to have potential voters enlisted. For the organisation More Women in Politics, taking advantage of festive days and commemorative periods to get potential voters is best as many people get united at a particular moment.

According to the National Coordinator, Prof Justine Diffo, the crowd which gets out on such days cannot be found easily on a daily basis. "We always take opportunities of days like the International Day of the Woman, Labour Day and Youth Day to sensitise the population on the importance of their taking part in the political process of the country," she said.

The Network for Solidarity, Empowerment and Transformation For All (NewSETA) on their part focuses on senstisation on the importance of contributing to democracy through voting. Its Executive Director, Ateki Caxton, states that the mobilisation of potential voters is not a one party affair, reason why they involve other stakeholders to get better impact.

"We opt to collaborate with other civil society organisations because the outcome is far positive. In addition, nobody has monopoly of knowledge. There is exchange of information and experiences which enable everyone improve," he stated.

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