Jump to navigation

Published 9th September 2016

Vol 57 No 18


Technology against tricksters

A tally board shows updated results of the presidential elections at the electoral results centre in Lusaka, Zambia. 15 August 2016. Pic: Moses Mwape / AP/Press Association Images
A tally board shows updated results of the presidential elections at the electoral results centre in Lusaka, Zambia. 15 August 2016. Pic: Moses Mwape / AP/Press Association Images

Biometric polling cards, electronic data transmission and other high-tech methods are spreading in Africa, but it seems fraud is keeping pace

The momentum behind the introduction of election technology in Africa continues to build. In Kenya, the opposition has pushed for a change in the law that will make the use of election technology mandatory in general elections. As part of a raft of reforms designed to strengthen the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), formalised in the Election Laws Amendment Bill, Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) legislator James Orengo has demanded the use of technology at all levels of the electoral process, arguing that this would confer credibility on the polls and protect the interests of the opposition.

READ FOR FREE

Bongo's incredible win

The deep suspicion around the President's wafer-thin election victory could affect his standing as concern about instability grows

Fraud played a major part in President Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba's narrow victory in the presidential election of 27 August, independent observers widely believe. The controversy is so...


Ouattara shores up legacy

The President seeks to entrench his party after his departure and improve the country's stability

Keeping the gunmen at bay is one reason that President Alassane Dramane Ouattara has launched a constitutional review. The other is to secure the future of his governing Rassemblem...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

Reports that Nigeria's economy shrank by 2% in the second quarter of the year and is officially in recession – its worst performance for 25 years – has fuelled speculation about negotiations between the government and the International Monetary Fund. Until now, President Muhammadu Buhari's government has insisted that while it will listen to policy advice from the IMF, it does not need to accept loans reple...

Reports that Nigeria's economy shrank by 2% in the second quarter of the year and is officially in recession – its worst performance for 25 years – has fuelled speculation about negotiations between the government and the International Monetary Fund. Until now, President Muhammadu Buhari's government has insisted that while it will listen to policy advice from the IMF, it does not need to accept loans replete with a raft of macro-economic conditions.

In fact, by dropping fuel subsidies and floating the naira (which has depreciated to about N320=$1 on the foreign exchange market managed by the Central Bank), the government has met the two most onerous of the IMF's conditions. What would be the benefit of a loan? One is a massive and much needed cash injection. Egypt, whose economy is substantially smaller, has just secured a $12 billion loan from the Fund at well below commercial interest rates.

Nigeria seeks to raise almost a third of its 2016/17 budget – over $6 bn. – borrowing on the international and local money markets. It was planning to float a $1bn. eurobond in the coming weeks. Several banks are lining up to raise finance for what is still considered an under-borrowed economy. Discussions about pricing such a bond are well advanced. Almost certainly, Nigeria could get a better price and reduce its borrowing needs through an IMF deal. The big question is: is such a deal still politically unacceptable to the President and his top advisors?

Read more

Uhuru goes banker-bashing

The interest rate cap is a blatantly populist measure but banks were risking retaliation against notoriously high profit margins

President Uhuru Kenyatta opted to ditch the advice he received from senior economists at the Central Bank of Kenya and the Treasury and signed the Banking (Amendment) Bill on 24 Au...


Funeral fusillade hits Zuma

Senior ANC figures use a commemoration for a party veteran to launch their campaign to force the President to step down

The funerals of veteran African National Congress leaders have become informal hustings where ANC and South African Communist Party (SACP) leaders can vent their anger about Jacob ...


EU tiptoes into minefield

Brussels quarrels with African governments on migration while development aid is diverted into border protection

European governments are still struggling to contain the flow of unofficial migration from Africa, and to find effective and fair means to send home most of those who manage to cro...


Judges in the firing line

The opposition petition against the election failed but Lungu is still gunning for the judiciary

When the Constitutional Court threw out the United Party for National Development (UPND)'s petition to dismiss the presidential election result because of fraudulent votes, it trig...


The debt merry-go-round

The government's negotiations on debt and budgets with the IMF are politically contentious ahead of December's elections

The politically charged deadline for the government's latest agreement with the International Monetary Fund is to be delayed again, following the report of a mission to Accra from ...



Pointers

Kasambara incarcerated

The trial of a former Justice Minister and Attorney General came to a dramatic end on 24 August as the High Court in Lilongwe sentenced Ralph Kasambara to 13 years for conspiracy t...


Political football claims aide

The sacking of State House Permanent Secretary Emmanuel Chilubanama on 29 August surprised many in Lusaka. Together with fellow State House aide Kaizar Zulu, he had played a crucia...


Bad report card

The quality and availability of education in Africa is lagging far behind that of other developing regions, according to the latest Global Education Monitoring Report, published by...


CLOSE