It is elections time again and Rwanda voted last Friday for its next president. Kenya is voting today and Angola will vote on August 23, followed by Liberia on October 10.
We have seen some African countries restrict internet access during their elections last year, but, this wasn’t the case in Rwanda on Friday.
Internet connection was intact and there were no reports of rigging or other illegal activities that will warrant the blocking of the internet.
Kenya’s internet is currently active and we believe it will remain so after assurances from the country’s communications authority that they have no intention of blocking it.
This assurance was after an appeal by the electoral commission that warned against the action because it will need the internet to transmit election results.
We cannot forget Uganda, Congo, Chad, Gabon, Niger, and Gambia where internet connection was blocked during their elections last year.
The irony was that, their electoral process was mostly paper-based and the collation of results took longer.
However, Zambians were vibrant before and after their elections in August last year with both opposition and ruling parties communicating to the public on social media.
Their electoral commission also released results via the same medium.
Ghana also voted in December last year with election results and events displayed online.
It is worth noting, however, that internet freedom comes with its challenges including the flooding of social media with fake news.
Kenya has had a fair share of fake news spreading ahead of the elections last week.
You have to be vigilant and crosscheck any information you see online before you share it. You are also liable if you share any false information that can mislead or incite people.
Watch this edition of Hi-Tech on The Morning Call with Ismail Akwei for more.