In October 2022, an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) technical commission and the transition authorities jointly reached a compromise on a consolidated transition timetable covering twenty-four months beginning in January 2023. Seven months into the process, the participation of young people and women is proving more important than ever. Young people and women have an even greater interest in taking part in the political process, as their future depends on it. In the run-up to the next elections, there is no doubt that young and female members of political parties aspire to leadership within their political parties, with the ultimate aim of securing a decision-making position.
Faced with this major challenge for Guinea, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), as part of its "Supporting the Transition and Electoral Processes in Guinea (STEP)" program funded through USAID, organized a capacity-building workshop for young people and women in political parties in Conakry. This four-year program aims to support a peaceful and inclusive return to constitutional order in Guinea.
This workshop aimed to provide participants with the means to promote their voices in debates within and outside the party. This is done by strengthening their ability to influence the programs and decisions of their parties through proper qualification in the fields of political communication, managing an electoral campaign, mobilizing human and material resources and building coalitions.
This training course mobilized 30 participants from various political groups: the Forum of Youth in Political Parties (Forum des Jeunes des Partis politiques - FONAJEP), the Working Group of Women and Girls of Guinean Political Parties (Cadre de concertation des filles et femmes des partis politiques - CCFFPPG), the Code of Conduct Monitoring Committee (CCMC), as well as executives from the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization (Ministère de l'Administration du Territoire et de la Décentralisation - MATD).
The opening and closing ceremonies were attended by the Vice-President of the Conseil National de la Transition (CNT), Ms. Maïmouna Yombouno; the Director of Governance, Rights and Democracy, Ms. Danielle Carnes; the Deputy Head of Mission of the United States Embassy in Guinea, Ms. Anne Dudte; and the Central and West Africa Director of NDI, Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh.
In his welcome address, NDI Central and West Africa Regional Director Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh thanked the U.S. government and USAID for their ongoing support, and the Guinean authorities for their commitment. He recalled that, "in the face of the various development challenges, the participation of populations in political life in general, and of young people and women in particular, is more important than ever." He thanked the participants for their commitment to working together, and hoped that they would take advantage of the information and skills gained from the training to enable them to contribute effectively to the promotion and strengthening of democracy in Guinea.
Taking the floor, Madame Anne Dudte, Deputy Chief of the US Embassy Mission in Guinea, similarly stressed the importance of the participation of young people and women in the democratic process, as voters and candidates. She expressed confidence in their ability to positively influence the programs and decisions of their political parties with regard to the participation of women and young people.
Present at the official launch of the workshop, Hadja Maïmouna Yombouno, vice-president of the Conseil National de la Transition (CNT), said that an inclusive transition leading to peaceful elections must involve young people and women. It is in this context that, “the CNT appreciates NDI's approach to training young people and women from political parties,” she said, before officially launching the workshop.
At the end of the two-day training course, the participants expressed their satisfaction with the quality of the training content and the contribution it would make to their political development, before formulating their requests.
FONAJEP member Thierno Diaraye Barry invites the MATD “to get more involved in revising the political party charter, by including a provision allowing young people to hold electoral positions when drawing up electoral lists within the various political parties.”
For Hadja Ousmane Diallo, spokesperson for the CCFFPPG, whose creation was supported by NDI, in view of the importance of this training, "we hope that NDI will help us, through the STEP program, to extend this training to our colleagues in the interior of the country, as it will enable us to better understand the challenges of political communication.” With help from NDI’s STEP program, young people and women are going to play a critical role in the upcoming Guinea elections as informed, mobilized leaders in their parties.
Author: Fatoumata Keïta, Senior Communication and Media Officer for the Central and West Africa Team; Translated by Madeline Monaco, Program Associate for the Central and West Africa Team
NDI is a non-profit, non-partisan, non-governmental organization that works in partnership around the world to strengthen and safeguard democratic institutions, processes, norms and values to secure a better quality of life for all. NDI envisions a world where democracy and freedom prevail, with dignity for all.