35 Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) from member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the South African Development Community (SADC) are expected to be in Nigeria as the country hosts an international conference which focuses on the use of technology during elections.
The conference scheduled for April 9 and 11 in Abuja, the country’s capital would have participants deliberate on several issues associated with the choice and deployment of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) during elections.
According to Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of Nigeria’s electoral body, the theme of the conference is “Opportunities and Challenges in the Use of Technology in Election: Lessons from West and Southern Africa.’’
He said on Thursday in a statement that the conference was with a view to deepening collaboration among EMBs and strengthening the credibility of electoral processes in the ECOWAS and SADC regions.
“It is being organised by INEC and the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC), in collaboration with the Electoral Commissions Forum of the SADC and with technical support from the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES)’’
Oyekanmi added that the conference would be funded by the European Union Support for Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) project, managed by ECES.
He disclosed that Chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of Kenya, Wafula Chebukati, would deliver a keynote address on “Electoral Trust and Integrity: Is Technology an Enabler or a Barrier?’’
“Seven other sessions and separate group discussions spread evenly across the entire duration of the meeting would follow.
“Senior election technology experts from various international organisations are also attending, bringing the participation of EMBs to 35 countries and roughly 100 participants.
“Some of the topics slated for discussion in the various sessions include Use of Technology in Elections: Overview of Recent Trends, Lessons Learnt, Issues, and Challenges; as well as Use of Technology in Civil/Voter Registration: Assessments, Opportunities and Matters Arising.
“The topics also include the Use of Technology in the Conduct of Elections: Voting, Result Collation, and Transmission; Use of Technology for Access to Information and Training/Capacity Building and the Future of Electoral Technology.”