Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

28 November 2012

Cameroon: Francophonie Shares Electoral Experience with Elecam

A three-day workshop on the use of biometric technology started in Yaounde on Wednesday.

Computer engineers and experts in biometric technology of the International Organisation of la Francophonie are sharing experiences and updating the skills of Elections Cameroon (ELECAM) staff to ensure an optimal use of biometric technology in the ongoing recompilation of voters register in the country. This is within the framework of a three-day workshop organised in Yaounde on the use of biometric technology in the electoral process.

The Francophonie experts started off on November 27, 2012 with the visit of some registration centres in Yaounde where they had first-hand experience on the ongoing biometric recompilation of the electoral register and shared with the electoral kit operators and managers. This paved the way for the training of some 50 participants in the workshop that started at the Yaounde Hilton Hotel, yesterday, November 28.

"We thought that the biometric technology in the electoral process being a new experience, ELECAM should seek the assistance of institutions like the Francophonie and Commonwealth that have experts so that they can come and see what we are doing in order to indicate possible areas where we could go wrong," Dr Fonkam Azu'u Samuel, ELECAM Board Chairman said while opening the session. He said the Francophonie is best at bringing people together to share experiences and learn good practices. The computer engineers and experts in biometric technology that are drilling ELECAM officials, Dr Fonkam said, are expected to make proposals for improvements.

General Siaka Sangare, President of the Network on Francophone Electoral Skills (RECEF) and Delegate General of Elections in Mali, leader of the Francophonie team to the workshop, said the ongoing meeting was a follow-up to their session of August 2012. He said using biometric technology in drawing up electoral registers is an answer to preoccupations of political stakeholders. In Africa, the official said, the issue of electoral lists is always at the centre of protests in elections and biometric technology will guarantee transparency and viability of the electoral process. The International Organisation of La Francophonie, is using the workshop to share experiences with ELECAM staff in order to avoid mistakes of the past.

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