Satellite Aided Elections for Burkina Faso
On 2nd December 2012, the citizens of Burkina Faso took to the polls for its parliamentary elections.
There were 45 remote electoral district offices which served as hubs for 14,698 polling stations across the West African country and the central election office in Ouagadougou.
How Satellite Equipment Was the Key
Newtec's VSAT system and IP satellite modem technology were used to facilitate an 'always on' connectivity between the electoral offices and polling stations which enabled flexible satellite connectivity during the elections to gather votes from the remotest parts of Western Africa, safely and efficiently.
The system provided was used for video conferencing and surveillance, internet acces and fast and secure communications of ballots throughout the election. Technology provided included the hub, required for the service in Burkina Faso, and SES Broadband Services delivered the full service via its 5 degrees East orbital position. The Newtec hub is situated at SBBS' teleport site in Luxemburg.
Advantage of Satellite Communication in Rural Areas
Satellite technology was greatly beneficial during the elections as it provided affordable communication for seamless coverage across the country. No new physical infrastructure needed to be developed. The quick deployment and immediate coverage of satellite and modem technology to enable internet access would further benefit future government-led activities and public access through schools and public offices across the country, after the elections.
Rapid, secure data collection, aggregation and stable and sustainable communication are the benefits of utilising satellite technology as well as its cost effective deployment in rural areas, like West Africa.
About the Elections
- Parliamentary elections for 127 seats in the National Assembly are elected through a closed-list proportional representational system to serve a five-year term
- First time municipal elections had taken place since anti-government protests in 2011
- More than 3,000 candidates competed for the seats
- Burkina Faso's ruling party Compaore's Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) secured 70 of 127 seats
- President Blaise Compaore has won four elections since he came to power in 1987