Search for Common Ground Tanzania is implementing a 18-month project (October 2021- April 2023) titled “Uchaguzi Bila Zogo – Supporting Post-Election Dialogue and Reconciliation in Zanzibar”.
Despite Zanzibar having experienced severe political tensions, in particular related to elections, recent political developments in both the Tanzania Federal Government and the Administration in Zanzibar have opened the room for greater collaboration among political parties and for increased involvement of civil society. In this rapidly changing context, the project aims at strengthening inclusive post-election dialogue and reconciliation efforts in Zanzibar. Specifically, the project aims to improve the integration of high-level political actors into community-level post-election dialogue and reconciliation efforts.
The baseline assessment presents several opportunities for collaboration and positive interaction, such as 1) a need for more collaboration between policy makers and their communities; 2) positive messaging by politicians, for instance through more dialogue at the grassroots level; 3) vertical dialogue through the use of technology (e.g. Sema na Rais); 4) recognising the importance of the justice system and its potential to strengthen social cohesion and peaceful coexistence; 5) improve civic awareness among policy-makers, shehias (the government administrative structure at the community level) and communities and 6) the role that youth and women can play in dialogue with policy- makers.
The baseline assessment also presents several recommendations, for instance running dialogues in structured settings to account for power dynamics in fragile settings and giving a central role to youth and women – women need support both to safely engage in public spaces and to be trained on social and large-scale conflict transformation, whereas youth need to be fully part of the current and future political processes to ensure inclusiveness of the process.