The National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) and the Research for Development (REPOA), a Tanzanian based Think Tank group jointly organized the 11th African policy circle meeting which was held at Bingu International Conference Center in Lilongwe. The African policy Circle is a network that provides a platform for African Civil society to work together and develop new solutions to African Problems. This year’s APC meeting was held under the theme “Sustainable African Cities of the Future“.

Delivering his speech, Dr Zolomphi Nkowani the Board chair for NICE Trust said “ Most cities in Africa, and our cities in Malawi are facing high rapid rate of urbanization, as a result the cities are faced with challenges that will affect the long-term sustainability of life if measures are not put in place to manage such rapid growth. This theme will further be discussed into three major subthemes namely: Transport and mobility; water and sanitation, solid waste management, and possibilities of civic engagement in these areas”.

“Mobility and transport are two related concepts that impact how a community accesses key services such as education, culture, employment, leisure, as well as markets and other societal engagements. Sustained long-term migration and population growth have led to major development challenges for mobility and transport in key urban centers in Africa. The 11th APC meeting will seek to address this imbalance by encouraging participants to embrace inherent challenges and promote innovative ideas to effect mobility and transport policy in Africa” added Dr NKowani.

Commenting on urban water supply and sanitation management, Nkowani said that urban centers in Africa face rapid growth of low-income settlements and major challenges in providing the population with access to safe water and sanitation. This represents environmental, economic and social challenges, which are intensified by the process of urbanization. “The 11th APC meeting in particular also will seek to explore innovative ways to achieve urban sustainable sanitation and water management in Africa to carter for both immediate and future needs of the urban population in Africa”.

“African cities produce significant amounts of solid waste and literature has revealed that 80 – 90% of solid waste generated in urban areas is not collected and is disposed of by burning or burying, posing significant environment and health hazard risks. The meeting further sought to explore innovative, inclusive and sustainable ways of improving urban solid waste management in Africa. NICE by being a member of APC sees the platform as critical in supporting citizen participation in policy process and through educating the public. NICE will therefore endeavor to integrate ideas generated from the APC platform into civic education campaigns as one way of ensuring that Malawi benefits from the APC”.

As one way of helping people to take part in public life through democracy, National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) has been involved in the first phase of the registration where by civic and education materials are being disseminated in the areas where registration has started in order to encourage people to register for the 2014 tripartite elections. Different messages are being spread through different media to make sure that on one is left out in the upcoming elections.

National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) brought different artists together in the bid to launch the 2014 tripartite elections’ mobilization and awareness campaign. The launch took place at Kamuzu Upper Stadium in Blantyre. The show attracted a very big audience who came to patronize artists like Black Missioneries, Anthony Makondetsa, Ethel Kamwendo Banda, Theo Thomson, Fikisa, Gwamba, Mudzi Cultural Troupe and many more. The launch also strengthened partnership between NICE and some of the artists that were accredited to take part in civic education.

National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) with the supervision of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) facilitated a workshop on the production of civic and voter messages fro the 2014 tripartite elections. Civic and voter message development and dissemination is one of the pillars of the successful conduct of free and fair elections and it enables voters to make informed choices during voting period. The workshop took place starting from 15th to 17th of July, 2013 at Victoria Hotel in Blantyre.

 NICE launched Voter and Civic education songs as part of the strategy to bring awareness to different quarters of the society. The songs done by different artists in different genres was done in order to give everyone the messages about elections in their own tastes of music. The guest of honour, Commissioner, Nancy Tembo applauded NICE for taking this Initiative and said this will help to reach the remotest areas of the country where electoral messages are hard to reach. “This will help to make 2014 tripartite elections free, fair, transparent, regular and accessible to everyone and these are essential elements in the development of