Committed to providing independent and reliable information through an impartial coverage of major elections activities across Africa using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), the African Elections Project (AEP) www.africanelections.org will mount its credible lenses on activities in Burundi which goes to the polls on 2nd and 26th June for their legislative/Parliamentary and Presidential elections respectively.
Preparations for the elections in the East African country has been characterised by major disagreements, especially that bordering on incumbent President and candidate for the ruling CNDD-FDD party, Pierre Nkurunziza’s eligibility to run for a 3rd term; a bid widely frowned upon by the country’s constitution yet controversially endorsed by its Constitutional court, sparking days of fierce clashes with police in the capital, Bujumbura, and a failed coup attempt. This has resulted in the postponement of the elections which was originally slated for May 26th, 2015 on the recommendation of the electoral commission and following requests from the opposition and the International community.
According to Projects Director at Penplusbytes, Jerry Sam, “the role of the African media in projecting the continent’s successes to the rest of the world begins by a show of commitment to shunning sensationalism and devoting to accurate, impartial reportage during elections as a way to shaping Africa’s democracy.” Describing the Burundi elections as yet another test case for Africa, he said it represents a crucial crossroad on Africa’s path to building working democratic societies and one of the latest tests of the continent’s resolve to chart a course of free and fair elections as a show of commitment to sustainable development.
The AEP, flagship project of Penplusbytes (www.penplusbytes.org) was established in 2008, crafting a fine repertoire of empowering journalists and other stakeholders to effectively cover elections using ICTs across the continent. This has resulted in training senior journalists and covering elections in countries such as Namibia, Ghana, Mauritania, Mozambique, Malawi and Togo. The rest are Guinea, Liberia, Botswana Cote d'Ivoire and Niger; contributing to the free, transparent and general credibility of polls.
The AEP’s website www.africanelections.org/, AEP blog and social media platforms via Twitter and Facebook are dedicated to keeping followers informed on happenings on the elections front across Africa.
Penplusbytes is a leading organization in Africa, established in 2001 and working in 3 areas: the use of technology to drive governance and accountability, new media and innovations as well as oil, gas and mining.
African Elections Project (AEP) is coordinated by International Institute for ICT Journalism covering elections across the continent and serving as an Elections Information and Knowledge online portal.