Somaliland is first in the world to use iris biometric voting system

There was a social media unfriendly election yesterday in Somaliland. The self-declared republic joined the tall list of African countries that blocked social media during elections.

That was their way of dealing with fake news and rumours which they say may create instability in the country.

The election was however technologically friendly as they became the first country in Africa and the first in the world to use the iris recognition-based biometric voting system.

This is the scanning of the eye to verify the identity of registered voters before they are cleared to vote.

The machines have been under trial since 2015 ahead of the election held on November 13. It was successful and they made history.

Most countries including Ghana, Kenya and Angola use the fingerprint biometric voting system to identify registered voters.

It eliminated the problem of double voting. The disadvantage is mostly technical including the breakdown of machines and the running down of batteries which sometimes slows the process.

These problems did not affect the elections in anyway.

Somaliland has shown the way and I am sure the world will follow soon.

Watch this edition of Hi-Tech on The Morning Call with Ismail Akwei for more.

This article was first published by Ismail Akwei on

Published by Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei is an international journalist, digital media and communications professional, editor, writer, arts, culture and tourism advocate, human rights activist, pan-Africanist, tech enthusiast and history buff. He has worked with multinational media companies across Africa and has over a decade’s experience in journalism.

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