The Ministry of ICT and National Guidance launches ‘’Uchaguzi’’ Voter Information Platform
Written by Rev Noni on January 1, 2021
The Ministry of ICT and National Guidance has launched a Voter Information Platform ‘’ Uchaguzi’. This civic technology project is supported by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and the electoral information was provided by Uganda’s Electoral Commission. The overall vision of the Uchaguzi Voter Information Platform is to ensure there is access to information on electoral and voter education and provide a civic education platform that will bridge the electoral knowledge gap.
What is Uchaguzi Voter Information Platform
- Uchaguzi is a mobile and web based application that is designed to ease access to information on Uganda’s forthcoming general elections 2021 and assist citizens in making choices of leaders they wish to vote for . It is chiefly designed to educate voters and sensitize citizens on the electoral process. It can be accessed using this link Uchaguzi.go.ug
- The Uchaguzi WhatsApp Elections Chatbot is an automated messaging service that will allow Ugandans to get answers to the most common questions about the General Elections 24 hours a day. All the information on the Chatbot will be syndicated across to the citizen’s app as well social media to maintain consistency in the messaging.
- The Chatbot will also be purposeful in sending urgent electoral messages to all Ugandans who will opt-in for the service. Since WhatsApp is the most widely used messaging platform in the world, the impact this will have on the Ugandan election will be enormous and can potentially cover as many as 15 million voters.
Anna Reismann, Country Director – Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Uganda & South Sudan remarked; “With the 2021 General Elections due on January 14th, KAS is delighted to have partnered with the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance to bring to you the Uchaguzi digital platform that provides the electorate with all the basic information regarding presidential and parliamentary elections. The Uchaguzi website, the Uchaguzi App and the Uchaguzi Chat-bot outline the key policy positions as presented by the different political parties and independent candidates. They are also a central user-friendly source of accurate, trustworthy, and up-to-date information about the forthcoming general elections amidst a pandemic. The digital tools have been created to bridge the citizen’s electoral knowledge gap, facilitate voter education and provide a platform to engage with key constituents of the electoral process.”
Mulekwah Leonard, Acting Secretary – Electoral Commission in a communication to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of ICT & National Guidance remarked; “The Electoral Commission appreciates the efforts of the Government Citizen’s Interaction Centre (GCIC) at the Ministry of ICT & National Guidance, in reinforcing the EC efforts of educating and sensitizing voters ahead of the forthcoming General Elections”
Bagire Vincent Waiswa, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of ICT and National Guidance remarked; On January 14th, citizens will exercise their constitutional right to vote for the leaders of their choice. The Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, in applying its mandate, wants to ensure that as they exercise their right to vote, citizens get access to information, to help them to make informed decisions.”
- Uchaguzi will also be deployed to fight fake news in the electoral cycle. It’s a platform that will synergize facts from credible sources such as the Uganda Electoral Commission and put it in the public domain through the official website, App and WhatsApp chat-bot.
- The platform comes with the following data protection safeguards; the message queries sent by the citizens through the API are secured by an end to end encryption. Uchaguzi Digital platform is designed to interact with voters and provide information that best fits their queries in real-time with instant responses.