Alexis Mugisha: Candidate coaching for the Rwandan Senate Elections

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Commentary
Alexis Mugisha: Candidate coaching for the Rwandan Senate Elections
In 2019, Alexis Mugisha, Commissioner General of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda and Secretary General of the Eastern Africa Greens Federation (EAGF), participated in the Green Talent Accelerator programme. Alexis planned to stand as a candidate in the Rwandan Senate elections in September 2019, and his objectives in the programme mainly focused on his preparation for this.

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In 2019, Alexis Mugisha, Commissioner General of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda and Secretary General of the Eastern Africa Greens Federation (EAGF), participated in the Green Talent Accelerator programme.

Alexis planned to stand as a candidate in the Rwandan Senate elections in September 2019, and his objectives in the programme mainly focused on his preparation for this. In particular Alexis highlighted building his skillset and experience in public speaking, communication to different audiences and media management as some of his main goals.

For his participation, a tailored programme was designed in which Alexis was paired with an experienced campaign and public relations expert to provide individual coaching on these areas, along with other aspects of campaigning, in the run up to the Senate elections.

This started with three days of in-person coaching in Kigali, with sessions focused on speech writing, public speaking, message development, traditional media management, social media and other communication channels and campaign strategy. It was then followed by remote coaching to build on the training and put the skills learnt into practice, as well as providing guidance and support on activities during the pre-campaign period. 

Two Senate seats were contested within Rwanda’s National Political Party Forum, where Alexis stood as a candidate, one for a man and one for woman. Alexis finished in second position for the male seat. In the run up to the election, he spoke in public several times including media interviews, national TV appearances and an address to the General Assembly of the National Political Party Forum.

He explained that the skills he built as part of the programme helped a lot during these events, especially in preparing speeches and positions to take during interviews. Alexis hopes to be selected again as a candidate for his party in the next round of Senate elections scheduled for this year, and continues to take opportunities for public speaking and media appearances where possible. This includes as part of his role as Secretary General for the Eastern Africa Greens Federation, where he speaks in front of different governance boards, EAGF members and at press conferences.