Back to overview

International IDEA facilitates a study tour to the IEC in South Africa on political finance

The visiting delegation from Sierra Leone comprising members of PPRC, International IDEA.
The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), through the Sierra Leone Democracy Strengthening Programme, funded by the European Union (EU) has facilitated a 4-day (19th – 22nd February) peer learning visit for the PPRC aimed at fostering shared learning and exploring best practices in political and campaign financing for the PPRC of Sierra Leone.

This is in response to the provisions of the Political Parties Act (PPA) No. 25 of 2022 on candidates and political party finance regulatory functions of the PPRC, and the recommendations of national and international elections observation groups, especially recommendation 10 of the EU Elections Observation Mission of 2023.

The four days of peer learning facilitated the mutual exchange of ideas, systems and processes in candidate and political party campaign financing regulation for the PPRC. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of South Africa stands out as one of the few African Elections Management Bodies (EMBs) with an effective political finance regulatory framework, and the IEC has a dedicated political finance directorate with extensive experience in party funding and regulating money in politics. The peer learning visit provides an opportunity for staff and management of the PPRC to gain useful insight into the political finance regulation in South Africa and the work of the IEC in maintaining an efficient online party finance system.

Political and campaign finance is a crucial aspect of democratic governance; ensuring fairness, accountability, and integrity in electoral processes. Recognizing this, International IDEA has supported the development of a draft political campaign finance regulation for the PPRC, which is awaiting validation from political parties before presentation to parliament. Upon validation, the PPRC will commence the process of regulating campaign financing in Sierra Leone.

During the visit to South Africa, participants had the opportunity to interact with leading experts, practitioners, and regulators at the IEC to gain a deeper understanding of the political finance landscape in South Africa. Through meetings and interactive sessions, the team explored various topics, including legal frameworks, enforcement strategies, financial reporting procedures, sanctions and enforcements, records management, monitoring, and communication. This initiative aimed to facilitate participants’ learning from both the successes and challenges encountered by the IEC in political finance regulations. The team also interacted with South African civil society organisations working on political party funding and campaign financing, including the ‘My Vote Counts’ and the ‘Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC).

This collaborative endeavour highlights International IDEA's commitment to supporting democratic governance and electoral integrity. By facilitating peer-to-peer learning and capacity-building initiatives,  International IDEA aims to strengthen the capacity of the PPRC to roll out strategies and activities for increasing coordination and contribution to effective political finance regulation in Sierra Leone.

Dr Idrissa Mamoud Tarawallie, Head of International IDEA, Sierra Leone Country Programme said that ‘’Knowing where and how political parties and candidates raise money, and how they spend and account for such resources, is a major determinant of electoral fairness and integrity. As a global democracy-strengthening intergovernmental organization, International IDEA is excited to have been able to leverage on its good relationship with the IEC of South Africa to Support the PPRC to strengthen its capacity to regulate money in politics, an arena that has been largely underregulated in Sierra Leone’’.

The outgoing Chairman of the PPRC, Hon. Justice Abdulai M. Bangurah, noted that “one of the major legacies of my stewardship at the PPRC, is our excellent relationship with International IDEA, who have supported us with critical interventions to enhance capacity and constitutional mandate of the PPRC. I am happy to leave PPRC which is capacitated with a set of regulations on political campaign financing, and the unique opportunity to learn from our South African peers who are trailblazers in political financing regulation in the continent’’.

For media inquiries, please contact Dr Idrissa Mamoud Tarawallie, Head of Programme Email:; Olushogo A. David, Executive Secretary – PPRC (+23278443294) or Alfred Fornah, Communications Officer, International IDEA Sierra Leone, Phone: 077908976.


About the authors

Former staff member - Alfred Fornah
Communications Officer
Close tooltip