Technology takes a place in Uganda elections

President Musveni's rap song goes viral on YouTube

Technology has taken a central role in Uganda’s electoral process, with SMS campaigns, websites, so-called robocalls, and even a presidential rap on YouTube playing a part in political campaigns concluding this week ahead of elections today.

At the beginning of the election campaign, President Museveni did a rap song in one of the major local languages. An amateur video of Museveni performing the rap made its way to YouTube, with the aim of luring young people to vote for him, and has over 1.8 million views today. It was continuously linked to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The National Resistance Movement (NRM), Musveni's party, also used an automated "robocall" system delivering pre-recorded messages to ask people to vote for “the old man in a hat.” It’s an expensive method of getting out the vote that up until now has mostly been used in elections in the U.S.

Mass SMS broadcasts were also widely deployed as a tool for campaign messaging, public information campaigns and direct requests from candidates asking users to vote them into office.

Organizations that were calling for violence-free elections also used SMS messages to call on people to honor the voting rights of fellow citizens. One such organization, the Citizens Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU), used its website to spread its message of tolerance.

The major political parties have used websites and social networking sites to communicate with voters and offer interactive means of communication.

Party members, for example, were able to follow the activities of their candidates on the campaign trail across the country using Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. Visitors to the websites were also able to listen to podcasts, watch YouTube videos as well as view still images off the Flickr website.

Blogs, RSS feeds and e-mail lists were also used actively in the electoral process. The key role that technology has played in Uganda’s elections is expected to be reflected in elections across the continent as tele-density grows and broadband Internet access is increasingly becoming a reality. With elections set for Nigeria in April, these expectations will be put to the test.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentmobiletelecommunicatione-governmentGovernment use of IT

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Edris Kisambira

Computerworld
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?