“Dark Days In Ghana”

BY OSEI BADU-NKANSAH

The words from Dr. Nkrumah’s book titled “Dark Days In Ghana” speak volumes today, as they did many years ago. Indeed, the bright days in Ghana have given way to darkness. In the annals of the history of Ghana’s adopted western political process, the world is quietly witnessing a dangerous stalemate which needs immediate intervention and resolution by those who care, and now. The question is why have these groups in Ghana become so silent? The National House of Chiefs; the Council of Elders; the Christian Council; and the trade unions.

If Ghana in particular, and Africa in general, want to adopt the western political process, please let us adhere to its core and central demand, that is fairness. The most painful thing to the electorate is to wake up at dawn, go and queue at the polling station, rain, or shine, to cast a vote—only to be overlooked. It is always difficult to tell such electorates to forget and move on.

The pain of disfranchise is always felt in the bone and not the flesh. We can all see the outcome of such episodes in countless number of countries—Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, and even in the western states. We do not need to elaborate on the pains we all witnessed in the listed countries—sustained through a simple voting process.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

Post-election violence in Kenya

If we can buy “Waakye—Ghana’s delicious rice and beans” using QR Code crafted around the latest Technological concept of the Internet of Things (IoT), we should be able to digitize our voting systems, right? The use of SMART Phones in Africa is huge. Why can’t we bring fairness and sanity into the electoral process using the same?

We call upon the powers that be—led by the African Union, A.U.—to come up with the necessary cash to get the “African Vote App” project under way, and do so now. To borrow the words from Sonny Okusun, in his proverbial song, “Fire in Soweto,” we are calling all our People to see the fire in our voting systems so that we can help quench it.

Our humble plea goes to our own entities. Please Help:

  • The Telecoms:
    • MTN, Vodacom, Airtel/Tigo, Vodafone, Safaricom, Orange, Maroc Telecom
  • Industries:
    • Dangote, Nestle, Unilever, Ash Gold, Naspers, Shoprite, First Rand
  • Banks:
    • ABSA Group, Ecobank, Standard Bank, GT Bank, Access Bank, Central Banks of Africa Countries.
  • The Airlines which operate in Africa:
    • Delta, British Airways, Air France, KLM, Ethiopia Airways, Kenya Airways, South Africa, Egypt Air, Emirates
  • The AU and the governments can also chip in:
    • South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Kenya.

THE APPROACH

This magazine will setup a team of Africans across the continent to manage all solicitations in an open, fair and clear forum. The Africa Vote App Fund will be setup under the full view of the U.S. Treasury to be used to support Only the stated Africa Vote App Project. We believe that a target of 80 to 100 million dollars will provide an end-to-end technological solution to end the saga of lack of fairness in the electoral process inclusive of a five-year support:

  • In country-specific languages—including Pidgin languages
  • Automatic updates to In-Country Electoral Database, linked to
    • Births and Deaths Registry
    • Automated Processes for all Country-Specific Voting ages
    • Secured Electronic Access by Registered Voters
  • Biometrically Controlled Access to Voting—Eye and Palm
  • Automated Open and Close dates and Times for Voting
  • Instant Release of Voting Results without any human touch

The management will setup a process for the call for support, “Please Open Your Heart for the Good of Africa.”

IF THE AFRICAN COMPANIES DO NOT HELP

In the unlikely event that the African companies will not help, let the youth of Africa rise to the Call for Help. This is because part of their future is dependent on a peaceful electoral process. The current African population stands at 1.3 billion, and the youth (18 to 30 years) commands about 48%. So, if every African youth in this cohort contributes just 20 cents, we will have more than what we need to fund this project. Just think about it. That is why we are calling on the youth to rise to the call to support this project. We will also solicit help from:

  • The IBMs, HPs, Dells for Hardware Support
  • Oracles for Database and CRM Support
  • Cisco for Network Gear support
  • Citrix for Virtualization Support
  • Juniper for Firewall Security Support
  • Dell for Storage Support
  • IBM for Tivoli Monitoring Support
  • Microsoft and AWS for CLOUD Anywhere Support

ANTICIPATED BENEFITS

We believe that there will be plenty of benefits:

  • Bring fairness in voting processes and voting results
  • Keep parties on their toes to keep their campaign promises
  • Save lives from all the post-election violence
  • Enrich the electoral process
  • Provide the ability to vote from anywhere in the world
  • Invite quality and thoughtful leadership
  • Eliminate the voting-related corruption

This release comes out of one of the great statements made by the Greatest African Son, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah:

It does not require a clever brain to destroy life, because any fool can do that. The clever brain is to support technologies designed to bring comfort to mankind. So, If science cannot be used for the betterment of mankind, then I am at a loss to understand the reason for it.”

Let us harness the technological breakthroughs today to help the youth of tomorrow. We are ready and willing. Who is ready to join us? Remember that we have only one continent: Africa. A-nd we need to make sure that it will be there to support the twinkle, twinkle little stars who are yet to come.

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About the Author

Osei Badu-Nkansah

Osei Badu-Nkansah is an experienced Information Technology (IT) architect with a deep understanding of the latest technological concepts. He is an alumnus of the University of Science & Technology, Kumasi, Ghana and the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, U.S.A. His consulting days took him to many countries worldwide, especially countries in Africa. Such travels brought him face-to-face with the realities of the African problems.

He is the author of: To close the “Shithole,” Africa must change; Audacity of Automation—Catalyst for Third World Development (published by Dorrance Publishing). He has led many technology deployment projects in Africa.

As the CIO for Surfline in Ghana, he provided solution cases to give Ghana the Maiden LTE 4G Wireless Broadband. As the Executive Delivery Head for Tech Mahindra, he provided leadership to support the Successful Go-Live of Ntel’s LTE 4G Wireless Broadband—the first in Nigeria. And as an Executive IT architect for IBM, he fully participated in the transformation of Zain to Airtel in seventeen countries in Africa.

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Disclaimer

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect The African‘s editorial policy.