1. How do I become an observer?

Election professionals are required to apply and register to be enrolled on the ECOWAS roster [database] of ECOWAS Election Observers.

2. How do I get on the Elections Roster?

All candidates interested in participating in an EOM have to register their candidature in the Election Roster [register here] and keep their information updated [update here], particularly the contact information and résumé.

3. Can non-citizen of West Africa apply?

Only ECOWAS Citizens are qualified to apply as observer.

4. What kind of skills and experience do I need to be an election observer?

In general, ECOWAS election observers must:

  • Be in excellent health with a certified health certificate;
  • Be able to access email daily;
  • Be a computer literate;
  • Posses a valid ECOWAS passport from your country;
  • Be flexible and willing to adapt to changing schedules;
  • Be able to deploy rapidly, and endure harsh conditions with only basic accommodations;
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment;
  • Have experience in a particular country or region;
  • Proficiency in the local language is an asset;
  • Have prior elections experience.

5. I have no electoral experience (domestic or international. How do i become an observer?

The Electoral Assistance Division is delighted that so many people are eager to contribute to the democratic progress of countries in the region. Therefore they are specific criteria that each observer must meet. We encourage you to equip yourself with the skills necessary to be an effective international observer. Some examples of how to improve your candidacy are:

  • Attend an election observation training course;
  • Possess one of the ECOWAS language [English, French or Portuguese];
  • Working experience with organizations that are involved in elections (domestic or international);
  • Volunteer with a local NGO in your country to gain domestic electoral experience;
  • Apply by registering in the roster (database).

6. Do I need to pay to become an ECOWAS Election Observer?

ECOWAS does not request or require a fee/charge for the application or registration of an ECOWAS Election Observer.

7. How are individuals selected for electoral missions?

Once the ECOWAS Commission has decided to participate in an election observation in a member states; the Electoral Assistance Division then proceeds to search for fully registered observers in the roster.

Election Observers are selected based on individual profile, taking into account international and national electoral observation experience/expertise, related election experience/expertise, recent country experience/expertise, and linguistic ability.

8. What type of elections does ECOWAS observe?

Generally ECOWAS EOMs are deployed for Presidential elections, but we also observe legislative and local elections. However, the observation of these elections is reserved for cases of specific political reasons on decision from the ECOWAS President.

9. Where does ECOWAS observe election?

ECOWAS EOMs operate all fifteen Member States: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.