Official Language: French
Population: 15.3 million
In the last few years, other than pursuing regional initiatives, OSIWA did not intervene directly in Mali. But when events escalated in 2012, spurred by the March coup d’etat, the political and security crisis posed serious implications on the peace and stability of the greater West African Sahel Region (WASR). This was a primary factor in OSIWA’s decision to add Mali as its 10th country of priority in its 2014-2017 strategy.
In Mali, OSIWA has collaborated with local NGOs to provide technical and financial support for the two national elections that took place in 2013 (Presidential and Legislative). Partners included Oxfam and One World UK, with whom they established an Election Situation Room (ESR), alongside local COSs in an effort to increase the transparency and the credibility of the 2013 elections.
In 2013, OSIWA supported several successful initiatives in Mali including :
- Supporting the ESR both for the presidential and parliamentary elections. The ESR helped contribute to transparency in the polls, and allowed Mali’s civil society – for the first time ever – to go beyond simple election observation. The Minister in charge of elections, the CENI, the Electoral Management Bodies officials, the UN peace keeping mission for Mali (Minusma), Chief Bert Konders and many other officials commended Mali’s ESR and asked that it become a permanent feature for all elections in the country. The ESR Chairman was invited to the Organization international de la Francophonie (OIF) headquarters in Paris, in May 2014, to share their experience in the hopes it could be replicated elsewhere ;
- Recruiting a consultant to back the UN’s independent Human Rights expert in Mali. The objective was to facilitate the consultant’s work by conducting missions in Mali, carrying out research and analyses of human rights violations, and contributing to the first draft of the speeches to be made by the latter as part of the consultant’s mission. In 2014, OSIWA will continue to provide support to civil society organizations and the media to help them to be part of the electoral reform and constitutional review processes through advocacy targeting the government and legislature. OSIWA is also interested in supporting projects related to the following sectors and thematics :
- Reduce the impact of drug trafficking on governance
- Strengthen prevention and early warning information systems to help reduce militancy and violence
- Promote the use of transitional justice mechanisms and address challenges posed by international criminal justice
- Increase Access to Information (ATI) and Media Freedom
- Advance the inclusion and legal empowerment of women and differently-abled persons
- Strengthen agricultural and land systems