Lesotho woman earns Creative scholarship to study electoral policy 


May 28, 2021

IMG-20210527-WA0008-e1622231227792-160x300 An electoral officer from Lesotho has been awarded the 2021 Charito Kruvant Scholarship for Electoral Excellence, the fourth person to receive the prestigious support to advance her skills in the Master’s of Electoral Policy and Administration online program through the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (School of Advanced Studies) in Pisa, Italy. 

Mapheello Juliet Nkopane, age 34, is a District Electoral Officer at the Independent Electoral Commission of Lesotho with 12 years of experience in this Southern Africa nation. In addition to her role in Lesotho, she observed presidential elections in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique and Botswana. 

“I facilitated and conducted six election phases in the highly contestant district of Leribe and Mafeteng,” she wrote in her application. “I have also been instrumental in facilitating the development of the 2019-2023 Strategic Plan for the Independent Electoral Commission of Lesotho.” 

Mapheello says the coursework will balance her experience with theory, as well as how to respond to challenges within the rapidly changing political environment, create conducive conditions for democratic elections and to facilitate elections in a non-partisan manner, among other objectives. 

“These skills will highly be required as Lesotho is currently undertaking key constitutional, security, parliamentary, judicial, public sector, economic and media sector reforms, which are critical and impetus of democracy,” she wrote in her application. 

Named for Creative’s Co-Founder and Board Chairperson, Charito Kruvant, the scholarship is aimed at applicants who are dedicated to improving women’s representation in electoral processes and those who are already working in electoral management or engaged with civil society. The scholarship continues Creative’s legacy of supporting women to be leaders in their fields. 

The Charito Kruvant Scholarship for Electoral Excellence is awarded to women from low-income countries with challenges to development who have been accepted into the Master’s of Electoral Policy and Administration online program. The scholarship of 5,000 Euros (about $6,100) will cover one-half of the program’s full tuition.  

A voter gets registered at a polling station in Hargeisa, Somaliland. November 13, 2017

“We had outstanding applicants for the scholarship program, which shows the caliber of women working on elections around the world,” says Kruvant. “Women like Mapheello are shaping their country’s future through democratic institutions and the vision of inclusion, particularly for women, through the electoral process.” 

Mapheello, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from the National University of Lesotho, has received a certificate in Management of Democratic Elections in Africa from the University of South Africa, a certificate in Strategic Business Management from the University of Cape Town and a certificate in Capacity development in Election Management from the India International Institute for Democracy and Election Management, as well as taken part in a variety of leadership and conflict mitigation seminars.  

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