Airtel supports WSR during elections

Airtel Business, the enterprise sub brand of Airtel Ghana, is supporting the Women Situation Room (WSR) to ensure a peaceful election during Ghana’s 2016 presidential and Parliamentary elections. The WSR is a peace building project that empowers women and the youth to be the leading force for democracy and peace before, during and after presidential elections across the African continent.

Airtel Business has brought on board its expertise in delivering unmatched network solutions in this project, by equipping the project with a call center with dedicated high speed internet and voice solutions.

The WSR consists of a Secretariat, election observers, a Call Center, a team of eminent women leaders and a pool of experts who receive situation reports of real or potential trouble on the ground.  The eminent persons use their status and influence with the Electoral body, political leaders, traditional leaders and civil society to reduce brewing tensions or acts of violence from getting out of control.

The Physical Situation Room is at the heart of WSR’s project where incidents at polling stations and collation centers across the country will be reported and immediately addressed. Various security services, the Electoral Commission and members of other civil society bodies are well represented in the Physical Situation Room.

The services provided by Airtel Business will ensure that incidents from all corners of the country reach the WSR in time. The robust connectivity provided will also ensure that the WSR is constantly in touch with its members across Ghana’s 28,000 polling stations.

The Women Situation Room, a novelty for the 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in Ghana, is a real-time and progressive process that focuses on advocacy, mediating and intervening in violent and tense situations that occur at  polling stations and Constituency Collation Centers before, during and after the elections.

The concept was initiated by Cllr Yvette Chesson-Wuren, the Coordinator for the Liberia-based Angie Brooks International Centre, a Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) focused on Women empowerment. This initiative was successfully deployed during the 2011 presidential elections in Liberia. It has since been deployed in Kenya, Senegal, Nigeria and Sierra Leone with remarkable success.

The dedicated Call Center provides a platform for Ghanaians to report incidents, violence, voting anomalies or violence against women at their polling stations in real time. The toll free number to call is 0800 100 100 across all networks.

The initiative was launched at the Holiday Inn Hotel, where the team will be based during the elections and the days after. The launch attracted representatives from the Diplomatic Corps, the Electoral Commission, Civil Society Groups, the Security Services and the media. Yvette Chesson –Wureh, the Initiator of the WSR shared insights into the successes the initiative has chalked in other countries which will be replicated in Ghana. A solidarity message was shared by Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia.

Meanwhile a statement from Airtel Ghana is assuring its cherished customers of network stability over the electioneering and festive period. It reads “At Airtel Ghana, delighting our customers with the best network coverage for all their communication, connectivity and collaborative needs is our hallmark. In line with our processes, we have instituted a network freeze to ensure stability over the period and beyond. Customers are guaranteed exceptional experiences on our network for voice and data services all year round”.

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