Google to launch election apps in Kenya

Google Kenya will tomorrow unveil seven apps built by Kenyan students ahead of the March 4 polls to help monitor the election process.


The applications expected to be showcased include “Tukumbuke”, “Wanainchi”, “Factfinder”, “Opinion Yetu” and “Jijulisharesource Mapping and Allocation”, among others.

The applications will touch on five thematic areas of civic education, party and politicians, lifestyle resource and monitoring, and the electoral process.

According to Google, the launch of the seven apps will help voters access polling stations and communicate any hitches and problems throughout the country.

“They are designed to reach as many Kenyans as possible, and will help them monitor the elections, closely, locate important resource centres such as polling stations, and report any emergent issues,” the company stated.

Other apps such as “Opinion Yetu”, an online opinion polling innovation, have been in the market for close to a month and will be expected to show progress over the same period.

The apps to be showcased were developed at the Elections DevFest themed “Software Solutions for Elections”, an event organised by Strathmore University and sponsored by Google in partnership with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and civil society organisations. 

This year, Google has been at the forefront in launching various election related innovations and has already created an election YouTube Channel and a Google News portal to help Kenyans monitor activities on the election front.

“We’re empowering voters so that they are not simply watching from afar, but participating in, engaging with and shaping the political process in a democratic way, through platforms like YouTube, Google Maps and Google+,” Google’s policy and government relations manager for Sub-Saharan Africa Ory Okolloh said.

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