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Posts from the ‘Tanzania’ Category

To friends and partners of DIPD


DEPPYN: Maiken Kristensen (LAU), Mahmoud Said (Egypt Freedom) & Ahmed El-Sayed (Egypt Freedom)

Dear friends and partners of DIPD.

Among many inspiring events during 2016, we would like to mention a few highlight: Danish youth politicians visited Myanmar; two regional Women in Politics seminars in Myanmar and Nepal; politicians from Danish municipalities conducted trainings in Kathmandu; party representatives from Palestine, Swaziland, Bhutan, Tanzania and Bolivia visited Denmark.

However, it has been a year of much suffering around the world. The Nordic and Global Political Party Peer Meeting took place at Utøya, where 69 young people meeting in the Social Democratic youth wing were killed in 2011. Welcoming us, the former Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jonas Gahr Støre, stressed the importance of protecting the democratic space and values that underpin our work.

Let that be a reminder to all of us that we are part of a global community committed to finding peaceful and democratic solutions to the challenges facing societies and humanity.

On behalf of the DIPD Team, I wish you an enjoyable and peaceful holiday period!


CHADEMA Secretary General at Danish Conservative Party Congress

The Danish Conservative Party had invited a delegation from their Tanzanian partner CHADEMA, to their annual congress in September 2016. The two parties have been cooporation since 2013 and their projects are supported by DIPD.  See and listen to CHADEMA Secretary General, Dr. Vincent Mashinhi, Speak at the Danish Conservative Party Congress here:


Tanzania one year after the election – seen from the oppositions’ view

Tanzania one year after the election – seen from the oppositions’ view

In October 2015, Tanzania held its most competitive election to date. The ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), won as it has done at every election since the Independence in 1961. Still, major changes have ensued. The new president, John Magufuli, by many seen as a party outsider, has set about changing the face of Tanzanian politics and society. His crack-down on corruption is hugely popular – so is his emphasis on a higher work ethics in government offices. However, these changes come with an authoritarian streak. Opposition party activities are banned; opposition politicians are arrested; a newspaper has been closed and freedom of expression is under threat. Moreover, political problems on Zanzibar continue to plague the Union.

At this seminar Monday, 26 September, representatives from the opposition party, Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA), will analyse the governance issues that these changes have brought about. Moreover, an analysis of major political differences on burning social, political and economic issues between CHADEMA and CCM will be presented.

CHADEMA is in Denmark invited by the Conservative Party as part of their Party-to-Party partnership under the Democracy Assistance Programme of the Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy DIPD.


Vincent Mashinji, Secretary-General, CHADEMA

John Mrema, Director of Publicity & Foreign Affairs, CHADEMA

Ole Therkildsen, Emeritus Researcher, DIIS


14:00-14:05      Welcome

                            Ole Therkildsen

14:05-14:25      How is it to be an opposition party in today’s Tanzania?

                            Vincent Mashinji

14:25-14:45      Major political disagreements between CHADEMA and CCM

                            John Mrema

14:45-15:00      Coffee break

15:00-16:00      Q&A

                            Chair: Ole Therkildsen

Practical information


DIIS ∙ Danish Institute for International Studies

Gl. Kalkbrænderi Vej 51A – 2100 Copenhagen

The seminar will be in English. Participation is free of charge, but registration is required. Please use our online registration form no later than Monday, 26 September 2016 at 10.00 am. Sign up

International Day for Democracy 2016

The International Day for Democracy September 15 is celebrated worldwide.

At the DIPD the day is an occasion to celebrate democratic progress around the world.     


Chairman of DIPD, Henrik Bach Mortensen, elaborates:

We are working dedicated to support the development of democratic societies in Africa, Asia, Latin Amerika and the Middle East together with the Danish political parties. Democracy is more that free and regular elections. It is equally about fostering a democratic culture in which exists the necessary political space for debate. DIPD works through inspiration, knowledge sharing and capacity development on the basis of Danish democratic traditions and experiences.

The Day is celebrated in several partner countries, including Bhutan, where the Director of DIPD, Bjørn Førde, takes part in the celebration of the young democracy. Since 2012 DIPD has contributed to the democratic development in Bhutan and supported a number of organisations with a special focus on women’s political participation, multiparty platform as well as the role of civil society, with the aim to support a democratic culture.

Director of DIPD, Bjørn Førde, tells from Bhutan:

“It is extremely positive to witness how DIPD’s partners have strengthened the democracy at local level. Not least how energetic mobilization and capacity development has ensured a doubling of the number of female candidates since 2011 for the local elections, which will take place at the end of the month. But there are still many challenges for the young democracy, which we can support, including that the political parties are strengthened and find their proper place.”

Also in Myanmar the Democracy Day is celebrated. After the landslide victory to the National League for Democracy at the Parliamentary elections in 2015, Aung San Suu Kyi, the party and the are in the difficult process of consolidating the transition to democracy. In order to celebrate the day DIPD co-organises a panel debate on the importance of national reconciliation to consolidate the transition to democracy in Myanmar, with among other the chair of the Peace Commission of Myanmar. The Danish Ambassador HE Peter Lysholdt Hansen will also participate.

In Nepal DIPD is co-organising a significant regional conference on Women in Politics political participation and social justice together with the National multiparty platform, JOMPOPS, which consists of the six most important political parties, which has contributed to create a framework for cooperation and coalition building – including cooperation between parties in the process of formulating a new constitution. After 14 years of waiting there is now hope that local elections will finally take place later this year.

However the situation is also very delicate and difficult in a number of countries.

Chairman of DIPD, Henrik Bach Mortensen, explains:

“Across our partner countries we are unfortunately experiencing a number of serious challenges for example in Tanzania, where the Party in Government, CCM, very recently issued a ban on all kind of political meetings and prohibited transmission for parliamentary sessions etc. In Egypt, we can see, how the “Arab spring” sure enough flourished massively, but the old power institutions are now back in control. In Swaziland our partners fight even to bring democracy on the agenda and access to express themselves.”

Swaziland is one of the few remaining monarchies, where the role of the parliament is mainly advisory, while the King has kept the legislative power. The ten year old constitution guarantee in principle the rights of freedom of expression and assembly; however the legal status of the political parties is unclear. Nevertheless exists a number of political parties, which struggle for democracy is supported by DIPD. A delegation from the partner of the Social Democrats partner has just been at a study trip to Denmark and acquired insights in both the political work in the Parliament, Christiansborg and the Danish culture of dialogue and debate at the Youth Peoples Summit.  

Background: The International Day of Democracy 2016

The UN has decided that International Day of Democracy 2016 should focus on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by UN member states a year ago. DIPD fully endorses this, and the critical role of parliaments in ensuring the agenda is translated into policies and laws to achieve the ambitious 17 goals – stipulates the importance of DIPDs democracy programme strengthening political parties.

The International Day of Democracy is an opportunity to take stock and celebrate progress, but also to take a closer look at where special attention is required because of backlashes, with shrinking space and democratic rights undermined and years of hard work aspiring to foster democratic culture being eroded.

During the process of shaping the SDGs, reference was made both to the social, economic and political human rights, emphasising their intrinsic value and instrumental potential towards achievement of sustainable development. The agenda and the 17 Goals, with their universal range gives a strong mandate to DIPDs type of democracy work.

The DIPD strategy for change take as its point of departure that political parties are important channels for choices of the electorate and thus for influence of the citizens on parliament and government and local bodies. Ideally, the political parties are instrumental in securing representation, inclusion and accountability.

The 2030 Agenda Declaration recognizes the need to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies that provide equal access to justice and are based on respect for human rights, on effective rule of law and good governance at all levels, and on transparent, effective and accountable institutions.

The work of DIPD on strengthening the capacity of political parties is answering to this end, as political parties potentially will play a crucial role in enhancing good governance at all levels, including by voicing citizens’ interests and hereby strengthen accountability. The establishment of DIPD by law of Parliament in 2010 signalled a commitment by the Danish political system to support the promotion and consolidation of democracy.

DIPD contributes to shaping and consolidating democracy in a variety of countries in Africa, Asia, Middle East and Latin America. With different historical backgrounds and present day realities, political parties and other stakeholders are facing similar challenges striving to develop a culture of multiparty dialogue.

The UN Secretary General states in his Message for the International Day of Democracy 2016

”Democratic principles run through the Agenda like a golden thread, from universal access to public goods, health care and education, as well as safe places to live and decent work opportunities for all. Goal 16 addresses democracy directly: it calls for inclusive societies and accountable institutions. The Goals demonstrate an important dynamic: effective democratic governance enhances quality of life for all people; and human development is more likely to take hold if people are given a real say in their own governance, and a chance to share in the fruits of progress.”


Youth sets the agenda at first Youth People’s Meeting

On 8 and 9 September 2016, the first ever edition of the Youth People’s Meeting has seen more than 20.000 young people gather for cross-political debates and democratic participation in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Social Democrats and the Social-Liberal Party also welcomed youth delegations from Swaziland and Tanzania to this democratic festival.

In June 2016, the 6th yearly edition of the People’s Meeting saw 100.000 peole gather for cross-political dialogue on the Danish island Bornholm. The event, which has often been used as a destination for DIPD partner delegations, is seen as a excellent display of how open and peaceful the Danish democracy can play out.

And just as strengthe20160909_141728ning the cross-political dialogue is a strategic focus of DIPD, so is the inclusion of youth in political parties and democratic processes. Often one specific aspect of the political life in Denmark is highligthed by visiting youth delegations from across the world: the autonomy of youth parties and the extensive possibilities for political engagement Danish youth enjoy.

The launch of the Youth People’s Meeting is therefore welcome addition to the political calendar, and the inaugural edition has seen the spirit of its more well-known “mother meeting” being well adapted to a younger audience. Most imporantly, large parts of this political festival is for youth, by youth.

The youth wing
In true multiparty fashion, all the Danish youth parties except one, have spent the last two days inviting young people in for discussions on youth issues and promoting youth participation in political parties. With all the parties clung together on one political shopping street at the festival, cross-political discussion often arised spontaniously and visitors could get an excellent introduction to the different political organisations.

The Youth People’s Meeting organizors have worked strategically with the inclusion of of students from the different youth educations, a target group that is often accused of being indifferent to political issues. The experience of the of the youth parties present at the festival was however quite different, with all of the reporting high attendance numbers at debates and a genuine interest in political issues.

Finally, the Friday program also included a cross-political youth party leader debate, where issues such as education, taxation and the declining trust in politicians were discussed in front of a strong audience.

Youth Party Leader debate at UFM 16

Bringing inspiration back home
As part of their ongoing partnerships with Tanzania’s Civic United Front (CUF) and Swazi Democratic Party (SWADEPA) respectively, the Social-Liberal Party and the Social Democrats welcomed youth delegations to the Youth People’s Meeting.

While both Tanzania and Swaziland faces very different political challanges than those the Danish youth discussed at their People’s Meeting, the visit provided useful inspiration:

“For us, it is very interesting to see how a festival like this works together with the education institutions, and how the youth parties engages the youth”, General Secretary of SWADEPA’s youth wing, Zamokuhle Jonga, explained.

DSU tent at UFM 16

DIPD continues to support the inclusion of youth in political parties, both through its multiparty partnerships in countries such as Myanmar and Egypt, but also through a support for party partnerships such as those developed by the Social Democrats and the Social-Liberal Party.