On the 20th of October 2020 the EU Ambassador to Zambia and COMESA, HE Jacek Jankowski, handed over a symbolic check of 6 MEUR to the election basket fund which is being implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Government of Zambia. This brings the contribution of the Team Europe (EU and EU Member States/MS) to a total of 7.8 MEUR. The support involves multiple electoral stakeholders and covers the entire election cycle. It aims to strengthen electoral institutions and processes through long term capacity building of the Electoral Commission, the National Assembly, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Home Affairs.
Communication and outreach activities are critical for inclusive participation, in particular of women and youth. People in lawful custody who will be entitled to vote for the first time during the 2021 elections are also targeted. Moreover, the project will enhance conflict prevention and mitigation in the run up to the August 2021 elections mainly through training of police, the establishment of an early warning system and support to conflict management committees. This latter component is designed to directly address the increasing risk of electoral violence that has characterised Zambian politics in recent years. During the hand-over ceremony, the EU Ambassador stressed that the months to come will lay the foundations for election day and the future of Zambia. It is important that all stakeholders, including government authorities, political parties, civil society and media secure adequate dialogue and inclusive participation, notably of marginalised groups. Zambian people deserve elections they can trust. He concluded that the success is fully dependent on the commitment of the Zambian stakeholders who truly understand that "leadership is not about the next election, it's about next generation" as rightly said by Simon Sinek, an author and a motivational speaker.