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ICT Companies Cashing in on Electronic Voting Initiatives

By Wayan Vota on August 26, 2010

Raila Odinga registering to vote
Raila Odinga registering to vote in 4 minutes flat

Regardless of their political affiliations, ICT firms should be pushing electronic voter registration and voting in every country of Africa. Why? Not only does it increase participation in the elections process, and make it more transparent, it also makes great business sense.

Here’s an example from Business Daily Africa: the Kenyan constitutional referendum earned several suppliers of technology goods and Internet services millions of shillings when the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) used electronic registration and voting in 18 constituencies.

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Nokia, the largest handset manufacturer, supplied IIEC with 18,000 mid-tier mobiles worth Sh38 million, according to documents seen by Business Daily. Listed telecom firm Safaricom provided 100 megabytes (MB) of data for each of the mobiles, earning it over Sh2 million in the two-day process.

Apart from handsets, the IIEC staff used laptops and other peripheral devices to conduct voter registration, voting, and tallying of results. The electoral body has said it plans to spend about Sh32 billion in a step by step process to build the infrastructure that would see Kenyans vote electronically in 20,000 polling centres around the country by 2012.

Now that’s a political change I think every ICT company can vote for!

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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks and is the Digital Health Director at IntraHealth International. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of IntraHealth International or other ICTWorks sponsors.
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