The West Africa Democracy Solidarity (WADEMOS) Network is poised to undertake a solidarity mission to Sierra Leone from May 15–19, 2023, in preparation for the upcoming national elections slated for June 24, 2023.

The election observation team consists of representatives and member organizations from various entities, including the Women in Politics Forum (Nigeria), Center for Democratic Governance (Liberia), CDD-West Africa (Nigeria), Yiaga Africa (Nigeria), West Africa Election Organization Network (WAEON) (Regional), and the WADEMOS Secretariat in Accra, Ghana.

Despite the progress made towards regular democratic elections in Africa, concerns remain about the quality of these elections. Challenges persist, including mistrust between political parties, citizens, and Election Management Bodies, inaccuracies in the voter register, election-related violence, and recent failures in technology implementation.

The pre-election solidarity mission aims to foster collaboration among civil society organizations in West Africa, bringing together stakeholders at the national and regional levels to enhance the credibility and integrity of elections in the sub-region.

WADEMOS contributes to elections in West Africa by conducting assessment missions, providing capacity building on democracy and elections, and supporting post-election reviews for electoral reforms.

The Network shares its findings on the election preparations with all relevant stakeholders.

During their visit to Sierra Leone, the team will engage in discussions with key entities such as the National Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone, the media, civil society organizations, development partners, the National Security Agency, and the Sierra Leone Human Rights Commission.

The delegation will conclude their activities with a press briefing and a roundtable discussion, providing an opportunity to reflect on the challenges and prospects of the upcoming election and explore possibilities for democratic consolidation in West Africa.

This mission follows a similar initiative by the Network during the general elections in Nigeria. The coordination of this mission in Sierra Leone is led by WADEMOS Network members, including the National Election Watch (NEW), Campaign for Good Governance, and Institute for Governance Reform.

WADEMOS stands as an impartial and autonomous transnational democracy solidarity network led by civil society. With a wide reach spanning 15 countries in West Africa, the WADEMOS Network comprises more than 35 civil society organizations (CSOs). Its primary goal is to unite and harness the collective influence of civil society and other advocates of democracy, utilizing available resources and opportunities within the West African Region.

This collaborative effort aims to propel democratic principles forward, fostering democratic norms and driving meaningful reforms across the sub-region.