PRELIMINARY STATEMENT OF THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTE’S INTERNATIONAL OBSERVER MISSION TO GHANA’S DECEMBER 7 PRESIDENTIAL AND LEGISLATIVE ELECTIONS
This preliminary statement is offered by the international observer delegation fielded by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) to Ghana’s December 7, 2016, presidential and legislative elections. The 30-person delegation with members from 14 countries was co-led by: Johnnie Carson, senior advisor to the president of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), member of the NDI board of directors, and former U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs; Yvonne Mokgoro, board chair of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and former justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa; Pat Merloe, senior associate and director of electoral programs at NDI; and Christopher Fomunyoh, senior associate for Africa and regional director at NDI.
This edition of the Governance Social Media Index (GSMI) provides an assessment of which political parties and leaders have the most presence on social media and the level of their engagement ahead of the elections based on Penplusbytes’ monitoring.
Premised on the same objectives as the 1st and 2nd Quarter reports, Penplusbytes’ 3rd Quarter Social Media Index (SMI) report reviews the outlook and performance of various Newspapers, Radio and TV establishments in Ghana based on their presence, followers and likes on social media; particularly Facebook and Twitter. With data collected remaining valid as at 15th October, 2016, this report measures how media entities utilize their online platforms to reach out and engage their target audience by employing a quantitative research module. The module provides relevant numerical figures which informs the rankings.
The second edition of the GSMI, compiled on 30th September, 2016, builds on the first edition with a detailed analysis on the use of social media assets by these actors and what has changed. The second Governance Social Media Index (GSMI) was compiled after the disqualification of 13 presidential candidates from the 2016 General Elections by the Electoral Commission of Ghana. This edition however, includes these candidates because they were part of the first GSMI. The 2nd GSMI reveals that, political actors continue to use the social media to create a sense of connection and engagement with the larger citizenry.
Penplusbytes, a leader in enhancing the work of journalists and promoting effective governance using technology in Africa, has released the 2nd Social Media Index (SMI) report on Ghana's print, and electronic media - Radio and Television. This SMI report reveals the performance of established newspapers, radio and TV stations in Ghana in the 2nd quarter of the year based on their presence, followers and likes on social media as at 30th June, 2016. Essentially, this report measures how these media entities utilize their online platforms to reach out and engage their target audience by employing a quantitative research module. The module provides relevant numerical figures which informs the rankings.
The use of social media in Ghana, one of the first countries in sub-Saharan Africa to have Internet access has really caught on well with all segments of the population, particularly with political parties and their leaders as a medium for political engagement. In addition, key election management bodies also reach out to their target audience through social media. This Governance Social Media Index-Ghana report provides a baseline information about the presence of political parties, political party leaders and key election management bodies on social media in Ghana and their followings as at June 8th, 2016. Essentially, this report will form the basis for measuring how these political party leaders and institutions utilize their online platforms to reach out and engage their target audience and how this impact their electoral fortunes and the general society.