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Ghana to use biometric voting by 2016

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Ghana has announced that it has targeted 2016 to implement biometric voting system.

“Government is ready to ensure that e-voting becomes a reality in 2016 but if things go well we may even start with it in 2012,” Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Communications said during a meeting of ICT and e-governance experts in Accra last week.

He was addressing a General Meeting of the Africa E-Governance Academy (AEA).

The academy, jointly established by the Open Society Institute of West Africa (OSIWA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), was designed to develop and transfer knowledge and expertise concerning e-governance in West African countries as well as in Mauritania and Chad.

It would be hosted by the Kofi Annan Centre for Excellence and dedicated to research and development in the areas of improving public sector service delivery, encouraging citizens’ participation in decision-making and making government more accountable, transparent and effective.

Mr. Iddrisu urged the academy to carry e-voting on board their programmes, saying that the success of e-governance began with an effective e-voting system that would ensure that electoral fraud and malpractices were reduced to the barest minimum.

Mr. Akoh spoke about concerns concerning security of classified information in the face of an e-governance system and said measures would be put in place to ensure an effective balance between access and security of information with particular regard to specific institutions like the military and other security agencies.

Ms Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, Director of Democratic Governance Group (DGG) of the UNDP, said e-governance would facilitate the success of pro-poor policies and programmes in Africa.

She therefore urged the academy to ensure that e-governance systems were fashioned in a manner that would reach the masses and grant them access to the necessary information to participate in decision-making.

“Language and geography should not be barriers in the way of the masses from benefiting from the e-governance,” she said.

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