Wednesday, April 18, 2012

LIMITED TECHNOLOGICAL KNOW HOW HINDERS GHANA’S BIOMETRIC EXERCISE


The first phase of the National Biometric Voters exercise which got under way a week ago has not only witnessed a high level of patronage from voters, but serious technological challenges slowing the whole exercise nationwide.
Despite assertion by the principal public relations of the Electoral Commission, Ms Sylvai Annor that officials of the EC has been given the adequate logistical training to operate the equipments, there has been loads of complaints across country of poor handling of equipments, limited technical knowhow and lack of service training by alleged trained officials of EC. Malfunctions of printers, automated thumb print machines, digital cameras and laptop computers have been in the news from over 6,000 registration centers.
A visit by BiztechAfrica to some of the registration centers at the Ablekuma Central Constituency revealed the frustration some trained officials of the EC have to go through with even the fixing and operating these digital machines at their disposal.
With the regular occurrence of these unfortunate developments, it is feared by majority of Ghanaian especially political groups in the country that the biometric registration exercise might end up been a fiasco.
A consultant on biometric applications, Dr. Ahmed Gedel told journalists reasons why the registration is marred by these technical irregularities. He attributes it to the current climatic in the country and the inadequate training of officials conducting the exercise. “Because the kit operators were not “well trained” there are some lapses in their work.

Dr. Gedel further observed that some kit operators keep piling pressure on the printers used for the registration exercise thus leading to their malfunctioning. “Some of them (kit operators) instead of issuing one command for printing, some of them go to issue two, three, four and eventually the printer gets locked up because of too much information sent”
But in spite of all these difficulties the program is under going through, the chairman of the Electoral Commission, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Djan believes strongly that the first phase of the exercise will end successfully.

Nana Appiah Acquaye
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