KAMPALA – Ministry of ICT & National Guidance, Uganda in partnership with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung a German political foundation that engages in promotion of civic education and political dialogue has launched a Voter Information Platform dubbed ‘’Uchaguzi.’’
The project will be managed under the Government Citizen Interaction Centre a unit under the department of Information which facilitates online interaction between Ugandan citizens and the Government through various digital channels to promote open governance.
The mobile and web based application platform is intended to ensure that there is access to information on electoral and voter education, and provide civic education that will bridge the electoral knowledge gap ahead of the 2021 elections.
“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.”, said Bagire Vincent Waiswa, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of ICT and National Guidance.
It is anticipated that the platform will assist over 15 million citizens in making choices of leaders they wish to vote for. It can be accessed using this link: https://uchaguzi.go.ug.
Since WhatsApp is the most widely used messaging platform, the technical team has also developed the Uchaguzi Chatbot an automated messaging service that will allow Ugandans to get answers to the most common questions about the General Elections and also send urgent electoral updates to all those that will opt-in for the service 24 hours a day.
The platform is secured by an end to end encryption and it provides voters with information that best fits their queries in real time with instant responses.
“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.” said –Anna Reismann, Country Director – Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Uganda & South Sudan.
Fake news is an extremely popular tool for propaganda during elections, the platform will synergize facts from credible sources such as the Uganda Electoral Commission and put it in the public domain and fight fake news in the electoral cycle.