Africa continues to underperform other continents. Democracy has a significant (albeit indirect) effect on development outcomes. The impact depends on high integrity elections that create the incentives for public officials to deliver public goods. Despite challenges with elections, 68 percent of Africans still prefer democracy over other forms of government. But the voting technologies continue to deliver low integrity elections. Although the compromise of any stage of the voting cycle could be detrimental to the entire process, for Africa, election day issues (with vote casting, vote counting, and result announcement) are the most significant challenges. Are there innovative technologies that can ensure high-integrity elections? The ubiquity of mobile phones in the continent, with about a 45 percent penetration rate, raises some possibilities. The study group will explore how to leverage blockchain technology to improve election integrity and minimize the impact of any central authorities on the results. The session will consider the elements that must be in place for such technologies to work.
Speakers and Presenters