The Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament Alban S. K. Bagbin has underscored the need for parliaments across Africa to adopt and integrate Information and Communications Technology (ICT) tools in the day-to-day running of parliamentary business.
He said the impact of ICT on governance had been remarkable in Ghana as the new technology had assisted the country’s democracy to respond to higher standards of probity, accountability, transparency and participatory governance and, therefore, urged other parliaments in Africa to also adopt it.
“ICT has made positive impacts on various aspects of the Ghanaian society in general and on parliamentary business in particular and there is, therefore, the need for the deployment of e-Parliament across the various democracies on the continent,” he stated.
Mr Bagbin made this call during the 16th Conference of Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers held in Abuja, Nigeria where he represented the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye.
The conference, among other things, sought to create a platform for participants to deliberate on key issues on democracy and development on the continent, which saw Mr Bagbin moving a motion on the topic: “The Presiding Officer and the challenges of managing e-Parliament – the experience of Ghana.”
Sharing the experiences of Ghana with his colleague parliamentarians, the second deputy speaker presented a contextual setting within which the Ghanaian Parliament operates.
He gave a picture of the natural setting of the environment under which Parliament functions, underscored the primacy and authority of the Speaker/Presiding Officer and emphasised the urgent need for African Parliaments to adopt, adapt and implement e-Parliament as a quantum leap towards paperless parliaments on the continent.
Also arguing for the authority of the Speaker/Presiding Officer, Mr Bagbin stated that, “The institution of Parliament is conceived as the natural setting for confronting ideas and the conflictual expression of parties.”
Source: Graphic online