For the first time, Parliamentary Network Africa (PNAfrica) partnered the BussolaTech, a global organization that works in the promotion of institutional modernization and digital transformation in the legislative ecosystem, to organize the LegisTech Forum for Commonwealth Parliaments.
The “LegisTech: Commonwealth” conference was held virtually, between January 23rd and 24th, and was divided between Case presentations and Thematic Panel discussions.
Benjamin Opoku Aryeh, a Senior Programs Officer at PNAfrica, who participated in a panel discussion shared thoughts and insights on how parliaments in Africa can enhance their modernization agenda to ensure legislative transparency, accountability and inclusivity.
Among the issues that were discussed during the conference are mapping out high-level demands for digital transformation; learning from and localizing external experience from other parliaments.
in designing modernization solutions; exploring strategies and working closely with the private and civil society sectors to support the modernization agenda for parliaments in the region.
The conference had representatives from various national and subnational legislatures, their civil servants, parliamentary staff and MPs. From West Africa the parliaments of Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Ghana represented the sub-region, sharing some of the most innovative strategies and initiatives targeting legislative modernization and parliamentary openness.
Other topics discussed were the priorities for phasing-out paper processes; user interface in legislative solutions; drafting a digital transformation strategy; and integration of legislative systems.
Such inter-parliamentary cooperation and learning sessions remain one of the best ways to bring together the legislative community to debate current issues that affect the work of parliaments and propose practical solutions to advance parliamentary openness in Africa.