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Improving African Elections With The Blockchain

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Election in various geographical locations across the world is faced with somewhat of flaws or the other, even the most sincere of election is marred by corrupt individual who only have their selfish interest at heart ,of which is very much prominent amongst African countries. No one can guarantee the utmost sincerity of an election based on the modalities through which it is been conducted or practice in African countries.

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With blockchain becoming popular across various part of the world and adapted to business environments which could best suits it play and functionality. Africa political scene could be in for a revival leveraging the benefits of which this technology known as the internet 3.0 holds, with the biometric process which could help bring trust in an unstable political and economic environment.

The paper based method of electoral system is much more prominent developing economies which the lots of African states fall under compared to advanced economies of which few make use of the e-voting system while positively been aware of the dangers of hacking prone to an e-voting system which isn’t secured. This shows that the blockchain as a vital role to play on the path of both economies bring about authentication and transparency to the electoral system in various countries Deteriorating political culture; lack of transparency; poor communication between political and electoral stakeholders and institutions; institutional and systems breakdown; weak administrative and legal frameworks, political meddling in elections; lack of inclusivity and participation especially for women are some of the gaps that have tended to draw democratic progress in Africa backwards. A look into some past elections such as that of Gabon in 2016 where the presidential opposition says it was cheated of victory, after official results showed a turnout of 99.93% in President Ali Bongo’s home region, with 95% of votes in his favor. Elizabeth Blunt has witnessed many elections across Africa, as both a BBC journalist and election observer and looks at six signs of possible election rigging. Statistically looking at the outcome o this event while although voting is compulsory in Gabon, but it is not enforced as even in Australia where it is enforced, where you can vote by post or online and can be fined for not voting, turnout only reaches 90-95%. Therefore a certain set of mal-practice was definitely conducted during this election as it involved a paper-based system,

The idea of using blockchain for election purposes is worth more than just an experiment combined with a mobile voting system using a safe and tested interface is as well a beneficial tool for the election commission to maintain transparency in the electoral process, minimize the cost of conducting elections, streamline the process of counting votes and ensure that all votes are counted as all data of the election process can be recorded on a publicly verifiable ledger while maintaining the anonymity of voters, with results available instantly.

The advantage that follows adopting this technology is abounding in the sense that it could help not only Africa but various countries across the World who practice a democratic system of government cut-down unnecessary expenditure, limits fraud that comes with election and ensure transparency using an open-source blockchain distributed ledger technology.

Every election year comes with huge amount of budgeting the government of various nations make for the electoral process, recurrent expenditures which could easily been taken out by the blockchain keeps on been predominant on allocations made by governmental institutions to service elections. A look at the amount Nigeria (known as the giant of Africa) is budgeting for elections can rather be said to be outrageous or better still unnecessary as the government of the country budget to spend approximate $672 million on an election which will not cover it entire population of about 180million citizens.

The potential benefit of blockchain to power Africa political direction will go long in proper representation of the states as a real democratic society towards position the states as one with transparency and best interest of its people at heart which will therefore foster multilateral trade with various other nation bring about economic development.

11 February 2020

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