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At a Glance

  • 4,365,202 registered voters
  • 18,698 polling stations across the country.
  • Over 90,000 collaborators
  • 2,160 GB of data transferred
  • 1,012 hours of video sessions

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Burkina Faso Utilize Polycom RealPresence Video Solutions to Enable Fast, Secure and Transparent Communication between Remote Regions During the 2012 National Elections.


Four companies worked together to provide satellite equipment, bandwidth, video conferencing, surveillance and satellite Internet access services for the parliamentary elections in Burkina Faso on December 2, 2012. 100% SES owned affiliate SES Broadband Services provided satellite broadband services to enable them to utilise Polycom video collaboration solutions; Newtec deployed the hardware and hub infrastructure to draw capacity from an SES satellite at 5 degrees East and Access Sat installed the VSAT terminals while the Polycom Video Solutions and LAN network
equipment were supplied by Unicom.


The December 2, 2012 national elections in Burkina Faso consisted of two ballots run concurrently to select candidates for 127 seats in the National Assembly and 18,698 local government posts. With no rural terrestrial connections, the landlocked African country of Burkina Faso needed a new digital communications network ready for its national parliamentary elections. While a comparatively small African country of 274,200 square kilometres, Burkina Faso is home to an estimated population of 17 million, the majority of whom live in remote, unconnected areas. With 45 electoral
district offices serving as the hubs for 14,698 polling stations across the country the challenge was to enable secure connectivity between each hub and the central election office in the capital, Ouagadougou.

Solutions and Implementation

The Commission Électorale Nationale Indépendante (CENI) decided to use the digital transfer of electoral data and biometric voter validation to improve the fluidity of data collection and enhance the transparency of the electoral process. SES affiliate SES Broadband Services provided the satellite broadband services and partnered with Belgian equipment supplier Newtec, and local partners: AccessSat-the Internet Service Provider and Unicom–the Polycom video conferencing specialist to established satellite broadband internet connectivity at all of the 45 Electoral District Offices and the CENI Central Office in Ouagadougou.

Satellite terminals comprising of a receive/transmit satellite dish to communicate with the satellite and a modem connected to a standard PC or local network were installed at each of the 44 electoral district offices. The challenge was to deliver a reliable video conferencing collaboration service that would remove any adoption barriers and allow election officials have meetings they required using secure and reliable technology.

By delivering lifelike voice and video quality and full motion content sharing securely and with built-in network-optimizing technology the Polycom HDX 7000 Room Telepresence Solutions enabled all locations to easily and securely connect and collaborate with the CENI Central Office in Ouagadougou in real-time without having to worry about the underlying technology—the networks, video environment, or devices that are being used and instead focus on the mission.
The implementation and design of the collaboration solutions enabled the fast and secure transfer of electoral data from remote regions across the country including video conferencing, surveillance, VoIP and biometric validation.


The electoral process was improved and enhanced due to the Commission Électorale Nationale Indépendante (CENI) investment in information and communication technologies (ICT). The use of video conferencing over satellite broadband increased the speed of delivery of the election results, enabling the election results to be declared and presented within a week of the vote. The use of video collaboration reduced the threat of contested results and civil unrest by improving communications during the election process, to enhance democracy and social development in Burkina Faso. The implemented infrastructure can be redeployed to provide Internet access to schools, public offices and remote villages.

The improvements in vote processing, fraud prevention, media access and contact between CENI and the outlying offices, increased the transparency and integrity of the elections and enhanced voter participation (an unprecedented 75.3% of the registered electorate voted), helping to achieve greater politicalstability and develop democracy in Burkina Faso.

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