Senegal Creates Cyber Command Center to Ensure Transparent Election
A consortium of Senegal’s civil society organizations has set up a technology hub in Dakar to use web and mobile apps to ensure transparency in Sunday’s crucial presidential election.
The initiative is set up by Sunu Election (Our Election in local Wollof dialect) program, an initiative of civil society groups supported by the US government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to contribute to the consolidation of democracy Senegal.
Inside a conference hall in Raddison Blue Hotel, twenty five students and young graduates sit in front of their laptops and smart phones, busy collecting and processing data. Election activities across the country are sent to this cyber center by the 2000 observers employed by Sunu Election to monitor the polls nationwide. The operators regularly glance at a huge wall-mounted map of Senegal hanging on the wall. It displays different dots representing each of Senegal’s electoral regions.
“This is extremely important because it helps to make the electoral process more transparent because our observers use parallel vote tabulation approach. All our data will be compared with the official data and see if everything well,” says Tijani Dogola, one of the coordinators.
Every data processed in the center is sent to samaelection.com for public consumption and scrutiny.
Sunu Election has been set up to promote free, transparent and peaceful elections in Senegal. In the past, it has initiated the Sama Baat (my voice) campaign to mobilize voters, especially young people and women to get their voter cards and vote.