Ghana: The Africa Elections Project (AEP) launched an online map, based-on Ushahidi platform. The map aims to ensure smooth election process across the continent by displaying reports from the electoral commission, civil society groups and citizens on the upcoming general election. In addition, the map will display all polling stations, parliamentary and presidential candidates and political parties by constituency and regions.
According to Jerry Sam, the Project Director of Africa Elections, the online map would also provide information about everything from security issues to polling station logistics and voter education activities.
He said the idea behind the project was to encourage full citizen participation in the electoral process by providing them a modern, attractive, user-friendly and interactive, well-structured online election platform to enable citizens, journalists and civil society organisations, share news, audio and videos on the elections.
Sam told GRAPHIC.COM.GH that the AEP had initiated the move to help provide leadership in the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to cover Ghana’s upcoming general election in December. Ushahidi has started mapping incidents around the biometric voter registration exercise which was still underway, he added.
Ushahidi, which means ‘testimony’ in Swahili, was initially developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election fallout at the beginning of 2008.
Sam stated that the Ghana version was being done via multiple channels including a toll-free SMS short code (prefix aep to 1902 on all network and 7000 on MTN), email, twitter and web forms. The information collected would be verified and published with a dynamic timeline that shows when and where every incident happened.
“We are providing this leadership to enable peaceful, transparent and credible elections in Ghana using new media platform”, he noted.
He added that apart from the Ghana Votes platform, the project will involve the use of an online ICT portal mashed up with facebook, twitter, flickr, youtube, podcasts, and Blackberry broadcasts to enable citizens and other stakeholders to easily share insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other and also send and receive images, video and audio about the electoral process to promote and ensure transparency and credibility in the final outcome of the elections.
The project is being funded by Strengthening Transparency Accountability and Responsiveness in Ghana (STAR-Ghana).
Source: Peace FM