Ghana’s 2012 general elections witnessed a significant application of Information and Communication technologies (ICTs) by all stakeholders including political parties, the media, civil society actors, elections observers, candidates, citizens as well as the electoral commission of Ghana.
Following this trend, there is ample evidence that the November 7, 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections is going to see a pronounced usage of ICTs. In light of this, Penplusbytes will host its 2nd African Elections Project (AEP) Lecture on the theme “Leveraging ICTs to Facilitate Free & Fair Ghana 2016 elections” on Wednesday 8th June, 2016 at the New Media Hub (Osu Ako Adjei, near the Ako Adjei Park) at 6.00pm prompt.
Gregg Pascal Zachary, a professor at the School for the Future of Innovations at Arizona State University, USA will be the distinguished speaker for the event. Professor Zachary studies the future of journalism and the effects of technological change on politics and media. He is a former senior writer for The Wall Street Journal, a columnist for The New York Times, and the author of five books.
This lecture comes at the time when the Inspector General of Ghana’s Police, John Kudalor is calling for a ban on social media use on the day of the 2016 elections. This call has erupted diverse discussions and arguments on whether or not there is a need to implement such an activity to safeguard the credibility of elections in Ghana. This trending topic is expected to form part of this important lecture.
The event will explore and throw more light on how technology is making a difference in elections and how stakeholders working around Ghana’s 2016 elections can use new digital technologies to improve the quality of this years’ general elections.
“New digital tools are taking the elections landscape by storm, however, we have not had enough dialogue about its implications for elections. Therefore this lecture is expected to bring together stakeholders to deliberate on the best strategies to ensure we can use new digital technologies to support Ghana’s quest to have a credible election come November 7th” said Kwami Ahiabenu II, Executive Director, Penplusbytes.
He added that, “this lecture will also expose attendees to how technology is modernising elections across the world and offering dynamic and versatile opportunities for citizens to participate and engage in the electoral process.”
The lecture is expected to be attended by key leaders in political parties, academia, the electoral commission and the media whose varied contributions are shaping the upcoming Ghana elections to ensure it is credible, free and fair.
The African Elections Project AEP established in 2008, is a ground breaking project of Penplusbytes (www.penplusbytes.org) enhancing the ability of journalists, citizen journalists and the news media to provide more timely and relevant elections information and knowledge while undertaking monitoring of specific and important aspects of governance. Using new digital tools like social media, mapping software and other, AEP has covered elections in over 14 African countries including Ghana and more than 35 elections remotely.
Penplusbytes is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to empower the media through the use of Information and Communications Technology to advance journalism in the coverage of governance and accountability, new media and innovations, and mining, oil and gas.