ANTANANARIVO – The United States and Madagascar are collaborating to strengthen Malagasy democratic institutions ahead of next year’s elections through a new elections support project.
Launched today by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the new activity will help increase public understanding of democratic principles, voting rights and responsibilities, and citizens’ knowledge on voting procedures. It will also train media and civil society organizations to identify, report, and counter misinformation during the electoral process.
USAID Mission Director Anne N. Williams joined Madagascar’s President of the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) Arsène Andrianarisedo December 12 to introduce Ndao Hifidy (“let’s vote”), an 18-month, $1.2 million (MGA 5.3 billion) civic education project. The project will promote citizen understanding of and confidence in electoral processes and participation in the upcoming 2023 elections.
“A strong civic education program will help ensure the free participation of eligible voters in properly conducted elections and help increase voter turnout,” Ms. Williams said. “This project helps the Malagasy people make informed decisions about who they want their leaders to be moving forward.”
Ndao Hifidy is implemented by the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA). EISA works to promote credible elections, participatory democracy, and human rights culture, while strengthening governance and consolidating democracy in Africa.
The U.S. government works together with Madagascar like “mpirahalahy mianala” to reinforce transparency, promote citizen participation in democratic processes, and improve the rule of law. Since 2019, USAID has provided $7 million to support democracy and governance in Madagascar.