ECOWAS Long-term Observers and Core Team members on Tuesday, October 12 visited the Praia NOSI Data Centre, Nucleo Operacional da Sociedade de Informacao in Portuguese – a centralised data system that provides digital solutions to Cabo Verde’s government institutions, including on election data management.
Set up in 2012, the Centre is largely responsible for the country’s advancement in electronic government with improved outcomes in sectors such as health, education, municipal governance, financial management and electronic transmission of election results.
Officials of the Centre took turns to brief the delegation led by Mr Francis Oke, Head of the ECOWAS Electoral Assistance Division, on the operations of the facility.
Ana Marta, a Senior Manager, made a presentation on the generation of NOSI Data, while Lumumba Barbosa, Executive Administrator, and Luis Correia, Director of the Data Centre, explained that NOSI, as a Network Operation Centre (NOC), has seven levels of security and a 24/7 monitoring system. The facility is also insulated against natural or man-made disasters such as fire, tsunami, earthquake, plane crash and similar threats.
While some of its hard wares, such as Tablets and refrigerating systems are sourced from abroad, including Italy, the officials explained that NOSI has domestic engineers for its uninterrupted operations, and had not experienced any negative incidents since its inception.
Describing NOSI’s original idea and concept as home-grown, the officials underscored the efficiency and effectiveness of the Centre, which is driven by centralized, integrated and synchronised systems of data generation, storage and processing.
During another meeting at the General Directorate for Support to the Electoral Process, DGAPE, the Director General Arlinda Chantre, briefed the ECOWAS delegation on various aspects, including voter registration, the 2019 gender parity law, and the exemplary collaboration among electoral institutions, including the National Electoral Commission, CNE, in the delivery of credible and successful elections in the Archipelago.
She said the electoral management bodies were already preparing for a possible presidential second round or run-off vote on 31st October as provided for in the electoral Act. She showed the visitors electoral materials packaged for dispatch in case none of the seven presidential candidates met the constitutional requirement of 50% +1 vote in the October 17 first round balloting.
Ms Chantre explained that registered voters would continue to use their valid National ID Cards or International Passports for voting until the national database is updated for the production of registration cards.
She also confirmed that while candidates are not legally required to pay any fees or deposits to contest an elective office, candidates are instead, paid 750 Escudos (92 Escudos =$USD1) for each vote received in an election after the audit of campaign and political party finance.
On the low voter turn-out in the last presidential election in 2016, the DGAPE boss said that the incumbent president being on the ballot could have been a factor, expressing optimism that October 17 duel involving seven candidates would likely record a higher voter turn-out.
Tuesday’s meetings with NOSI and DGAPE officials were in continuation of stakeholder engagements by the ECOWAS Observation group ahead of the election E-Day in the former Portuguese colony, comprising 10 islands and five islets, with an estimated 550,000 people.