Left to right: Christophe Dangnihin (Europe Director, Benin Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Yves Leterme (Secretary-General, International IDEA), Emmanuel Tiando (Chairperson, CENA Benin), Adebayo Olukoshi (AwA Director, International IDEA), Mrs Toure (Benin, Ministry of Foreign Affairs) Maurice Mboula Jean-Claude Didier Enguelegue (Senior Programme Officer, International IDEA) & Tayuh Ngenge (Programme Officer, International IDEA).
The Secretary-General of International IDEA, Yves Leterme, undertook a working visit to Benin 3-5 April 2017 to deepen the partnership between International IDEA’s and its newest Member State Benin. The Republic of Benin joined as International IDEA’s 30th Member State in June 2016.
During the visit, Benin’s accession document to International IDEA was signed with the Secretary-General to the Presidency. A partnership agreement was also signed between International IDEA and the Autonomous National Electoral Commission (CENA) to contribute to strengthen the electoral process in Benin and to share lessons learned from Benin’s experience with other countries. This adds to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between International IDEA and the Constitutional Court of Benin in November 2016 to support Benin’s constitutional reform process.
Over the course of the two days, the Secretary-General held a series of bilateral meetings with among others, the Secretary-General to the Presidency of the Republic of Benin, Pascal Irénée Koupaki; the President of the Constitutional Court of Benin, Professor Theodore Holo; the President of the Autonomous National Electoral Commission (CENA), Emmanuel Tiando; as well as with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ambassadors and government officials. A press conference was also held in Cotonou.
Leterme also participated in the launch of the book Judicial Review Systems in West Africa: A Comparative Analysis published by International IDEA and the Hans Seidel Foundation. Leterme also held a lecture on “Democratic Governance and the Realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa” at the Faculty of Law and Political Science of the University of Abomey Calavi in Cotonou.
During his visit, Leterme highlighted the importance of rule of law for a healthy democracy and expressed his hope that the democratic experience of Benin should serve as an incentive for democratic progress in Africa, and beyond.