The South African Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Alvin Botes, has concluded his visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he participated in the Validation Workshop of the Principles and Guidelines of the Use of Digital and social media in Elections.
The General Assembly of the Association of African Electoral Authorities has mandated the IEC to implement resolutions and guidelines for safeguarding electoral integrity in the digital age as well as producing strategies for combating digital disinformation.
Botes delivered a speech affirming South Africa’s support for the principles and guidelines for the use of digital and social media in elections, in Africa.
In his address, the Deputy Minister said: “It is important for governments and electoral management bodies to take advantage of these digital and social media to inform and capacitate our youth, given that our continent has a youthful populace”.
He told delegates that digital and social media can also be harnessed to reach various sectors of society, including those in rural areas, as well as those living with disabilities to ensure that no one is left behind.
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.