Ghana's reputation as one of Afrika's most stable democracies received a boost, with the 2016 elections having just concluded in a peaceful manner.
The incumbent president, John Dramani Mahama, conceded defeat to Nana Akufo-Addo immediately after the final results were confirmed, which is the exact opposite of how it went down in The Gambia, where Yahya Jammeh conceded, only to later request a rerun of the December 1 elections.
Mahama even went to The Gambia to mediate in an attempt to sort out the mess that followed Jammeh's about-turn.
In Banjul, with other colleague Heads of State from the subregion, to help mediate post election issues in The Gambia. pic.twitter.com/5mYQ7Cvbdh— John Dramani Mahama (@JDMahama) December 13, 2016
Another huge difference is in the way the elections were conducted. The Gambia shut down internet and phone access during the polling period, while Ghana embraced technology to facilitate the dissemination of information and updates as the results from the various polling stations trickled in.
In a statement issued by Ghana's Electoral Commission following its meeting with presidential candidates on Thursday, 1 December, the election management body said that “In addition to broadcasting the results collation process live on television, and publishing the results on the Commission’s website, the EC has developed a mobile application which will give the public real-time access to the officially certified results.”
The web and mobile versions of the ThumbsApp election app were soon made available for those looking to keep track of results online.
Electronic transmission of results, Ghana's Electoral Commission noted, would add a layer of integrity to the process.
This Electronic Results Transmission System was encrypted, making it impossible, according to the Commission, for anyone to interfere with or manipulate the results.
Although Ghana is not the first country in Afrika to develop an app for election results, with South Africa's Independent Electoral Commission having done this for several elections, it is a welcome move as it encourages transparency and integrity of an important process within a democracy.