Ghanaian tech helps Boakai secure Liberia’s presidency
Joseph Boakai, Liberia’s former vice president, has been announced as the winner of the country’s presidential run-off election, beating incumbent George Weah by a thin margin of 50.3% to 49.7%.
Boakai’s success was largely supported by the use of an Intelligent Election Results Management System (IERMS) developed by two Ghanaians, Summson Essien Jr of ESSIENS, and former Vibe Fm boss Mike Cooke of Airtech Technology.
The IERMS is a state-of-the-art technology that enables the fast and reliable transmission, compilation and verification of election results, as well as the detection and avoidance of fraud and irregularities. The system was deployed for Boakai’s Unity Party to oversee and protect the vote of its supporters across the country.
According Cooke, the IERMS was designed to boost the transparency and credibility of the electoral process, and to ensure that the voice of the people is respected. He said that the system was able to expose and alert any attempts to modify or fabricate the results, and to provide real-time updates and warnings to the party’s agents and observers.
Essien, who was the chief developer and trainer of the IERMS, faced a frightening ordeal when he was arrested by President Weah’s joint security forces on his way to train polling agents and data clerks. He was accused of interfering with the country’s elections and held for four days without charge. He was later released and deported back to Ghana after a court order was obtained by his lawyer.
Essien said that he was outraged and traumatized by his arrest, but he was glad that his work was not futile. He said that he was proud to have contributed to the democratic transition in Liberia, and to have showcased the potential of Ghanaian innovation and technology.
Boakai, who served as vice president under former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf from 2006 to 2018, thanked the Ghanaian tech firms for their support and praised their professionalism and expertise. He said that he was thankful and honored by the trust and confidence of the Liberian people, and promised to work for the peace and development of the country. He also extended a hand of friendship to Weah and his supporters and called for unity and reconciliation.