Building and Stabilizing Political Institutions (Post-election) in West Africa

Framework workshop for actors and experts in political governance in Burkina Faso on the theme: Building and stabilizing political institutions (post-election) in West Africa - the case of Burkina Faso

General Information

Policy Workshop

16 January 2021

Burkina Faso

Workshop Organizer:
Ba­lai Ci­to­yen (Bur­ki­na Fa­so)

Workshop Report (in French)

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Thematic focus

The early 1990s, marked by the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the communist countries of the former Eastern bloc, initiated the wave of democratization in Africa. However, the process of democratization had already begun earlier in a number of African countries (e.g. Senegal, Cape Verde, Mauritius, Lesotho). However, most African countries launched it in the early 1990s in two different ways. On the one hand, national conferences, as it should be recalled, are an invention, an African contribution to the theory of democratization. The other path of democratization, less original, consisted in anticipating the demand for a sovereign national conference (offensive strategy) or in reforming the constitutional and political system under national and international pressure (defensive strategy).

Regardless of the path taken, the democratization process has allowed in several countries the establishment of multiparty politics, political, economic and trade union pluralism, the organization of contested elections, the drafting of new constitutions and their adoption by referendum; in other words, the organization of democratic life. The effervescence that accompanied this process was such that some observers did not hesitate to announce the irreversible nature of pluralist democracy at the African level, and particularly in West Africa.

The signing of the Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance by ECOWAS Heads of State and Government had indeed ended up making people think that the countries of this space had irreversibly entered the universe of democratic countries. Yet democracy, considered in the form of "free and democratic elections" in the traditional sense of liberal democracy, is no longer a response to the problems of political instability in West Africa. The recent events (coup d'état of August 18, 2020) in Mali is a striking demonstration of this.

Burkina Faso, which has many socio-politicaland security similarities, is in the process of organizing a coupled (presidential and legislative) election in November 2020. It is therefore appropriate for the Balai Citoyen as a force for citizen proposalsto develop an approach that explores the future post-election of 2020.

This policy workshop will identify different potential scenarios and provide decision support to improve the stability of political institutions. The workshop will be conducted on a participatory approach in the form of three "World café" sessions. The "Perspectives" session will allow the drafting of scenarios of possible futures and the networking of civil society actors and experts for the consolidation of political institutions.

Tentative Programme

Friday, January 15, 2021:

  • Arrival of non-resident participants in Ouagadougou

Saturday, 16 January 2021:

  • 07h00 -08h00: Arrival of participants in the room
  • 08h00 -08h30: Opening Ceremony (Mr. Serge BAMBARA; Mr. Eric Ismael KINDA)
  • 08h30 -10h00: World café 1 "unconstitutional alternation in West Africa" (Expert: Dr. Abdoul Karim SAIDOU, Political Scientist & Facilitator: Mr. Moumouni COMPAORE, Lawyer)
  • 10h00 -10h30: Break
  • 10:30 -12:00: World Café 2 "Democratic alternation" (Expert: Dr. Abdoul Karim SAIDOU, Political Scientist & Facilitator: Mr. Moumouni COMPAORE, Lawyer)
  • 12h00 -13h00: Lunch
  • 13h00 -14h30: World café 3 "the stability of political institutions in West Africa" (Expert: Dr. Abdoul KarimSAIDOU, Political Scientist & Facilitator: Mr Miphal LANKOANDE, sociologist-specialist in governance and monitoring of public policies)
  • 14h30 -16h30: Perspectives: draft scenarios of possible futures and networking of civil society actors and experts for the consolidation of political institutions (Expert: Dr. Abdoul Karim SAIDOU, Political scientist, General report of the workshop, Mr. Cheickna YARANANGORE, Philosopher)
  • 16h30 -16h45: Closing speech

Target audience

This political workshop will bring together 30 participants: actors from political parties, political movements, citizens' movements, young activists -whistleblowers, researchers, academics, actors working in political governance in order to conduct a prospective reflection that will serve as a basis for the formulation of new paradigms for the legitimization of political power and institutional stability in Burkina Faso.

Learning goals

  • Promote a better understanding of the challenges (major reforms, the role of political actors or citizens in situations of constitutional and unconstitutional alternation) relating to the stability of political institutions.
  • Strengthen the capacities of governance actors to insert innovative practices that are better anchored in the realities of the populations.
  • To create a mobilizing force, synergy and strengthened partnership between actors (CSOs, experts, political parties) in political governance in Burkina Faso.