Electoral cycle via satellite

CHALLENGE

With no rural terrestrial connections, Burkina Faso needed a new digital communications network ready for impending national elections.

IMPLEMENTATION

We used our satellite broadband to link electoral offices across the country for video, phone, and secure data transfer, in just six weeks.

RESULT

Our satellite broadband network improved the election process and integrity, enhancing democracy and social development in Burkina Faso.

Our broadband service operated independently from terrestrial connectivity and provided secure and fast digital communications. The service was quickly installed and immediately operational – uniquely designed to connect remote provinces of Burkina Faso to the electoral administration centre.

In partnership with Belgian equipment supplier Newtec, and local partners: AccessSat – the Internet Service Provider – and Unicom – the Polycom video conferencing specialist, we established satellite broadband internet connectivity at all of the 45 Electoral District Offices and the CENI Central Office in Ouagadougou.

Thanks to the efficiency and support of the CENI administration, despite initial problems with local power outages, dust, and high temperatures at the local offices, our satellite internet technology was deployed across Burkina Faso in just six weeks, and successfully supported the elections with secure collation and verification of votes from the 18,698 polling stations. CENI was connected via video conference with district offices, allowing easy biometric recognition of voters. We also provided communication from the CENI Central Office to electoral volunteers and to the press.

Thanks to our broadband network, the election results could be declared and presented within a week of the vote, reducing the threat of contested results and civil unrest. Moreover, the network of broadband terminals remains in Burkina Faso, ready for use in other applications for the Burkinabe population. Moreover, the establishment of our internet service in Burkina Faso has left a lasting benefit outside of the electoral process. The project introduced broadband communications to many remote areas for the first time, bridging the digital divide. After the elections, the broadband infrastructure can be redeployed into schools, hospitals, public offices or remote communities for initiatives in eLearning and eGovernance, leaving a political and socio-economic legacy we can be proud of.

“SatCom Internet technology ensured rapid and highly reliable data transfer in the electoral process, and had the advantage of quick deployment, ensuring fast transmission of electoral data from remote locations.”

Mr Barthelemy Kéré, President of CENI

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