Event Reports

E-lection Bridge Academy 2019 in Grand-Bassam, Côte d’Ivoire

Young politicians from West Africa sharpen their political communication skills

The growing number of Internet users even in remote areas – where access is made possible by Smartphone devices – has helped raise the importance of online campaigning for political parties that are serious about engaging with the electorate.
In September KAS Media Africa gathered eight young politicians from four West African countries for the 2019 E-lection Bridge Academy which started off with a two-day workshop at Grand-Bassam, Côte d’Ivoire. Next, participants will go through nine weeks of rigorous online training, supervised by the University of Pretoria’s Heather Thuynsma.

The programme consists of nine modules that include party communication, voter targeting and also coaches young politicians in language usage.

“The voter must find himself in the middle of a political agenda in order to avoid frustration and indifference on the part of individuals for political and civic matters,” said Gérard Guèdègbé, trainer at the E-lection Bridge Academy.

The participants, drawn from Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung partner parties, discussed several issues including their election campaigns. Further, they did some practical exercises, shared experiences and acquired skills in political communication. Two of the participants from the Class of 2018, the first Francophone E-lection Bridge Academy were roped in as mentors to help this year’s cohort.

“Young employees of political parties are particularly important for the impact of politics – they shape the future,” said KAS Media Africa Director Christoph Plate, explaining the core focus of the programme.

Beydo Harouna Lamido, one of the mentors and a member of Niger’s MNSD-Nassara, not only said but also exhibited how the 2018 programme sharpened his political communication skills and improved his understanding of the use of social media. He paid tribute to KAS and the Academy. “Social media is a modern tool that promotes political communication,” he said. “It is necessary, even indispensable for political parties to use social media for better political communication.”

Looking at the bigger picture, KAS Abidjan Director Florian Karner reminded the participants that: “Political communication is essential for dialogue.”
Contact Person

Christoph Plate

Christoph Plate bild

Director Media Programme Subsahara Africa

christoph.plate@kas.de +27 11 214 29 00 +27 11 214 2913