The Big Issue Lagos, a new and pioneering Nigerian street magazine funded by UNDEF, was launched in November 2011. It is the part of an UNDEF-financed six-country project to use street papers to give marginalized people a platform from which their voices can be heard, encourage active democratic dialogue, and empower citizens to participate in conversations on democracy, human rights and development at local, regional and international levels. The Nigeria paper will also provide much needed jobs and training to people living in poverty in Lagos.
UNDEF funded and supported the organization of a conference in Cairo on 26-27 July on "Ways to Strengthen the Democratic Transformation of Egypt". The conference, held by The Cairo Institute for Human Right Studies in partnership with the Madrid-based think-tank FRIDE, drew more than 100 participants from Egyptian civil society, political parties and academic institutions as well as a number of foreign observers.
In Algeria -- as in Tunisia and Egypt -- greater participation by women is crucial to building better governance and genuine democracy. UNDEF has just launched a new initiative to strengthen the leadership of Algerian women in political parties, trade unions and professional associations. The project, implemented by Association Culturelle Amusnaw, will work to address the legacy of both Algeria's traditional male domination, and the years of terrorism during the 1990s which further inhibited women's political participation.
After 12 years of civil war in Burundi, the challenge is to keep addressing the divisive factors that drove the country's brutal armed conflict, while finding ways to nurture the country's fragile democracy. An UNDEF funded initiative trains women to take up leadership positions, and thus improve governance in the country as a whole. The project, implemented by Search for Common Ground, just launched a new radio series specifically for and about women leaders in the public and private sector.
Somalia is one of the world’s most challenging environments in which NGOs can operate. A new project funded by UNDEF in Somaliland works to raise women’s awareness of their rights and how to exercise them. Implemented by the local Women’s Integrated Network, the initiative develops the capacity of a core group of young professional women to train, support and assist women working in markets and shepherding. It works through consultation sessions such as this one at Hargeisa market.
Ensuring women's participation will be key to building a democratic and well-governed Egypt. Although women were granted full political rights more than 50 years ago, they have yet to achieve equal access to decision-making positions and participatory democracy. An UNDEF-backed initiative aims to strengthen women's participation, including in the coming elections.
The political participation of women will be critical in building the way forward in Tunisia after the historic events of early 2011. An UNDEF-funded project uses communication campaigns to promote a positive image of leadership by women from diverse backgrounds, improve awareness of women's rights, and advance gender equality. Implemented by the Tunis-based independent regional Centre of Arab Women Training and Research, the initiative also covers Tunisia's neighbours Algeria and Morocco.
En Côte d'Ivoire, le FNUD soutient le projet “la société civile engagée pour la démocratie et la bonne gouvernance”, mis en œuvre par West Africa Network for Peacebuilding in Côte d'Ivoire.Les élections présidentielles en Cote d’Ivoire initialement prévues en 2005 et repoussées à maintes reprises n’ont pu être organisées à ce jour.