The Japanese government has reached an agreement with the UNDP to provide three million dollars to the multi-partner program called Supporting Elections for Ethiopia’s Democracy Strengthening (SEEDS).
The 40-million-dollar multi-partner SEEDS program seeks to strengthen the institutional capacity of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) to efficiently deliver on its mandate to enhance public trust and confidence in the election process.
The financing agreement was signed on Thursday, 15 August 2019, by Ambassador Daisuke Matsunaga of Japan and UNDP’s Resident Representative, Turhan Saleh, in the presence of the Chairperson of NEBE, Birtukan Mideksa.
Japan’s financial support will go towards the procurement of ballot boxes and indelible ink markers to avoid double voting, in line with internationally approved standards, to enhance the credibility and transparency of Ethiopia’s election scheduled for 2020.
Birtukan on the occasion noted that the transparency of the ballet box was symbolic of the commitment of NEBE to ensure a transparent election process that would make everyone proud.
She recalled that in previous elections, Ethiopia had not used transparent ballot boxes, and this had been a cause for complaints and suspicion.
Ambassador Daisuke Matsunaga expressed his hope that the upcoming election will help to improve the lives of the Ethiopian people.
Ethiopia’s general election is slated for May 2020.