A former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has proffered solutions to some bottleneck associated with electoral process in Africa, urging leaders to deploy the Information Communication Technology (ICT) to ease the process.
Obasanjo spoke alongside the former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, on Tuesday in Abeokuta at a meeting of some African leaders on the review of electoral systems in Africa.
Former African Presidents who attended the meeting were, John Mahama (Ghana), Ernest Koroma (Sierra Leone) and former Prime Minister of Kenya, Raila Odinga.
In his opening remarks, Obasanjo hinted that “African leaders are poised to propose models of successful deployment of ICT in electoral systems in Africa for the sustenance of democracy in the region.”
Obasanjo, who is the Chairman of the Africa Progress Group (APG), pointed out that a seamless electoral process would guarantee sound governance, which he noted remains “a much sought-after element in the development of Africa.”
In his paper titled: “Practical Experience in the use of ICT in the Election Process in Africa: The Nigerian Experience,” Jega submitted that two essentially areas that technology has not yet been fully utilized are the electronic collation and transmission of results; and electronic voting.
The former INEC boss said the use of appropriate technology “goes a long way to improve the efficiency of the conduct of elections, as well as the integrity of elections, worldwide and especially in Africa.”
“Opportunities need to be explored and adequately utilised. But, we must constantly remember that the use of ICT in elections is a means to an end, and not an end in itself.
“That end perhaps, is electoral integrity for deepening and consolidating democracy. We need to constantly deploy measures that can ensure secure and sustainable use of ICTs in our electoral processes. We must think carefully, choose well, and make haste slowly,” Jega said.