News / Africa

    Social Media Offers Young Voices a Platform During Uganda Election

    Social Media Offers Young Voices a Platform During Uganda Election Campaignsi
    X
    February 17, 2016 8:00 PM
    Social media has become an important platform for Ugandans to talk about politics and the state of the nation. Political parties have embraced the use of new media platforms to spread their message. Others use it to spread a message of peace. Serginho Roosblad has more from Kampala.

    Related Articles

    Campaigns Finished, Ugandans Prepare for Thursday Elections

    PM Rugunda has assured Ugandans that Thursday’s presidential and parliamentary elections will be peaceful; urged all registered Ugandans to turn out in droves
    Serginho Roosblad

    This presidential and parliamentary campaign cycle has already been dubbed Uganda's first social media election.

    Many people, young and old, have taken to Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp to give their opinions on the campaigns and the candidates running for office. Various hashtags have been trending, but the most significant are #Ugandadecides and #UGDebate16.

    Daniel Mumbere, an avid social media user and presenter of the TV show Hashtag, has been very happy with the way Ugandans are engaging with politicians on social media.

    "I would have loved to see where we actually preempt [the politicians],” Mumbere said. “We'd say: 'Let's talk about hospitals today' and then they respond. But it's been the other way around. But I think, ultimately, it's been a good start."

    So good, in fact, that one candidate — Amama Mbabzi — even announced his presidential bid on Youtube.

    ‘Pace, space’

    And it’s no wonder, according to media trend watcher Angelo Izama, who said traditional media doesn’t offer enough for young people interested in the elections.

    "Traditional media doesn't have the pace or the space to accommodate all the arguments,” Izama said. “Most of the voters are born in the era of the mobile age. So there's this generational conversation, which is also done through new technology because the mobile phone is the default [device] of the new generation."

    Smartphones and social media could also be used to monitor polling stations. However, the Electoral Commission has already banned their use.

    “It’s putting us in a position where we have to act extremely carefully, but also recognizing that with a phone, you can do just as much harm as good," Izama said.

    #IchoosepeaceUG

    A group of university students in Kampala started its own on- and offline campaign, dubbed #IchoosepeaceUG, to promote a calm election Thursday.

    "I reach out to people, take a photo and then upload on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram, WhatsApp and then a message is spread all over," said Davidson Ndyabahika of the I Choose Peace campaign.

    The group hopes to avert the violence which has been seen in previous elections in Uganda.

    "I'm looking at a Uganda where, after voting on Thursday, I go back to class on Friday. I don't want to find myself as a refugee in another country," said campaign member Ian Musimenta.

    Social media in Uganda. It's trending.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: ONESMUS
    February 19, 2016 8:52 AM
    Elections are not free and fair

    by: Annette
    February 18, 2016 4:48 AM
    Except now it's not. Twitter Facebook What's App blocked on election day

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora