African parliamentarians, including Nigeria want the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) should continue to assist them in their legislative work on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
Parliamentarians from Nigeria, Namibia, Mauritius, Zambia, Kenya, Uganda and Seychelles made this call as one of the key outcomes of a regional workshop on ICT for parliamentarians held recently by CTO and CPA in Abuja, Nigeria.
The workshop was convened by the two Commonwealth organisations to discuss the role of parliaments in areas such as the governance of the Internet and cyberspace.
Also represented at the workshop were the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the National Information Technology Development Agency of Nigeria (NITDA) and Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (NIGF).
The event was officially opened by Yusuf Sulaimon Lasun, Deputy Speaker, Nigeria’s House of Representatives.
In a keynote address, Adebayo Shittu, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications says that, “the workshop helped me to navigate my way within the various institutions that fall within my portfolio.”
“I have attended many conferences but this conference was particularly interesting. We have to carry the energy and enthusiasm we have gained from this conference back to our countries” adds Barnabas Tinkasimire, Member of Parliament, Buyaga County and Member of the Committee on Information and Communication Technology from the Parliament of Uganda.
According to the CTO, the two Commonwealth agencies have collaborated in the delivery of similar activities since 2011.
“We are pleased to be working with the CPA in organising such events, as the two organisations complement each other well in the area of legislation and cyberspace,” Shola Taylor, Secretary-General of the CTO adds.
Akbar Khan, Secretary-General of the CPA says that “connecting legislators is fundamental to finding solutions to common problems and ICTs have massive potential to stimulate economic and social growth within the Africa region. This joint CPA/CTO programme for Parliamentarians is a crucial element in ensuring that legislators are at the forefront of these developments. ”