Political consultants to discuss polling at fifth summit in Senegal Nov 17
Political consultants in Africa are putting all hands on deck to ensure a hitch-free fifth summit that will discuss polling and surveying of elections on the continent.
The summit holds in Dakar, Senegal on November 17 and 18, this year.
President of the Association of Political Consultants-Africa (APCA), Kehinde Bamigbetan, in a statement, yesterday, said the association decided to focus on polling, in view of its increasing influence on public perception of the prospects of candidates and the importance of gathering data on the electoral behaviour of voters.
Noting that APCA was set up to deepen democratic process in Africa by applying social sciences and technological innovation to make campaigns more predictable and rational, Bamigbetan said the rising role of polls and surveys and controversies are positive indicators that African voters are moving from the era of myth and superstition to intentional politics.
He said: “The interest in polls and surveys reflect a healthy appetite for information and data, with the ultimate consequence of influencing how voters may vote during elections. This demystifies the assumption that non-rational methods and values play more roles in how people make up their mind on who to vote. We think, with the role of pollsters in the Senegalese, Kenyan and other recent elections, the time has come to beam the light on this critical element of the political process, understand the trends and build the capacity to nurture and promote the skill set, as professionals and entrepreneurs practicing political communications.”
Bamigbetan said APCA was inaugurated in Cape Town, South Africa in January 2016 and has held the Africa Political Summit yearly, in Lagos, Nigeria (2017), Nairobi, Kenya (2018) and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2019, with a focus on different themes.
Senegal is the first Francophone country to host the summit.
Expected to hold at the Axil Hotel, Dakar, the event includes sessions on the elections in Nigeria, Senegal and Kenya and briefings by technology companies on how to use their application for campaigns.
The programme of the summit also includes tours to the island of Goree and interactions with senior Senegalese officials on the political system and state of democracy in the country.