- Veröffentlicht: 10. September 2019
Zanzibar President Dr Ali Mohamed Shein yesterday called on members of the Commonwealth to invest heavily in promoting the use and teaching of ICT in local communities in order to reap optimal benefits of introducing e-Parliament.
Dr Shein made the remarks when opening of the 50th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Africa Region conference taking place in the Isles.
The CPA involves MPs and Speakers from Commonwealth member states, where those attending include Justin Muturi, chairman of CPA Africa Region and Speaker of the Kenya National Assembly along with Job Ndugai, Speaker of the National Assembly. Others are Alitwala Kadaga, President of CPA International and Uganda Parliament Speaker plus the host Speaker Zubeir Ali Maulid of the Zanzibar House of Representatives.
Also in attendance was Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, chairperson of the CPA International Executive Committee and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Cameroon.
The theme for this year’s meeting is “e-Parliament: Seamless Platform for Facilitating Democracy,” billed as important and relevant to current technological development and global efforts to promote good governance and democracy.
“Promoting the use and application of ICTs by developing e-Parliament in our countries is a vital step towards enhancing the three core functions of parliaments namely, legislation, representation as well as the power to monitor and oversee various government organs, which legislators simply call “oversight,” he said.
Dr Shein said that the implementation of e-Parliament programmes is important in facilitating easy access to a wide range of information and knowledge resources, which are instrumental in making informed decisions, both in parliaments and constituencies.
Through databases, intranets, digital libraries and the internet in general, MPs can have access to resources relating to legislative documents, such as bills and proceedings from almost anywhere, he said.
In addition, he said that through e-Parliament, members of Parliament can easily be connected to their constituencies and the people they represent.
At the same time, Dr Shein said that the people through e-Parliament can express their viewpoints and concerns in a more effective and efficient way by reducing the cost and paperwork.
“Furthermore, we can considerably reduce unnecessary travels, if e-Parliament programmes are properly carried out, thus compensating for implementation of various cost-cutting initiatives introduced by our governments.
“It is encouraging to note that there are many MPs in different countries who work closely with schools in their respective constituencies to promote the teaching of ICT,” he said.
Citing examples, Dr Shein said in Zanzibar, many schools have been provided with desktop and laptop computers by members of the House of Representatives and MPs.
“It is actually a commendable action which should be emulated by other MPs and Representatives who have not yet taken such initiatives. This provision of ICT appliances signals the MPs’ and Representatives’ positive attitude towards the use of ICT in present day communication, and they instill it on the youths, some of whom may in future become legislative members.”
He further said that the Zanzibar government has embarked on e-Government Project and th president officially inaugurated its first phase in January 2013.
After the successful installation of the relevant ICT infrastructure, the project took off and Isles’ government has directed use ICT in all its institutions to keep pace with technological advancements and other changes associated with globalization, he elaborated.
“We have already put in place various e systems regarding government institutions payroll, human resource management, public leaders’ ethics, records management, e-tax, e-health, early warning and matters relating to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) which are now fully operational,” he specified.
In the case of e health, Dr Shein said that in the Mnazi Mmoja Referral Hospital, some medical records are currently being kept electronically. Tele-medicine activities like video conferencing on surgical operations are also taking place at the Neurosurgical Department.
“Likewise, the installation of a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine, digital X-ray and CT scan machines marks a paradigm shift to the engagement of e-health practices. About 170 hotels are connected to e-booking system as a pilot scheme. Blog monitoring and e-tourism are underway,” he remarked.
“The implementation of this important project is part of the government’s efforts to promote the practice of good governance and democracy by improving efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability in service delivery as stipulated in the Zanzibar Public Service Act No. 2 of 2011. Likewise, particular emphasis on the development of ICT has been laid by the government in the implementation of development plans, including the Zanzibar Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (ZSGRP II), Zanzibar Development Vision 2020 and the CCM General Election Manifesto of 2015 - 2020.
“We are now implementing the second phase of the e-Government Project, whereby the relevant infrastructure has been built in both Unguja and Pemba. About 419 km of the fiber optic network cables have been laid and 102 public institutions, including the building of the House of Representatives are already connected to the data centre through the fibre optic cable.”
E-government initiatives have considerably increased the use and application of ICT in the Zanzibar House of Representatives in its daily operations. The Zanzibar House of Representatives intends to enhance the use of e- government for the public to access information from the House at ease. This will help to cement relations between House members and the people they represent, the Isles leader added.
Quelle/Source: IPPmedia, 03.09.2019