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The President of the ECOWAS Parliament deplores Africa’s weak ICT know-how



The President of the ECOWAS Parliament deplores Africa’s weak ICT know-how

By Lizzy Okoji

The President of the ECOWAS Parliament, Mr. Sidie Tunis, lamented on Tuesday that Africa, in particular the ECOWAS sub-region, lags behind in terms of know-how in information technology and communication. communication (ICT).

Tunis was speaking at the opening of the delocalized meeting of the ECOWAS Parliament on Telecommunications as a Development Factor in West Africa, held in Winneba, Ghana.

A diplomatic correspondent for the Nigeria News Agency (NAN), who attended the virtual meeting, quotes Tunis as saying that African countries could never make technological progress without adopting ICTs.

Tunis noted, however, that the ECOWAS Parliament is bringing the issue to the fore, to allow member states to reflect on how to use ICTs to advance development and policies in their countries.

“Organizations use ICTs to organize transnational networks in response to international competitions. ICTs transform societies and fuel the growth of the global economy.

“Let me say that a large part of the challenges that plague our sub-region already have their solutions in ICT.

“Therefore, the deliberations of the members of the joint committee over the next few days should result in sound recommendations for our community, as the region is currently affected by waves of violent extremism, terrorism, humanitarian crisis and global pandemics. .

The speaker said ECOWAS member countries should consider the merits of the latest technological advances, innovations and intelligence as viable tools to tackle insecurity in their countries.

“After all, the evidence shows that societies mired in violent conflict are often characterized by a lack of development and shortages of economic opportunities.

“Thus, we must fight for the return of peace in our sub-region because it remains the key component of sustainable development. “

Tunis congratulated Ghana on having become a major ICT hub in West Africa with the decision of technology companies to set up their mainland headquarters in Ghana.

In his remarks, the Speaker of the Ghanaian Parliament, Hon. Alban Babgin, said the theme of the meeting was appropriate and reflected the growing recognition of the importance of ICTs in addressing the myriad of issues faced in the sub-region.

Babgin said that in recent times, ICT services have become an indispensable tool for the development of all facets of society, whether in health, education, agriculture or commerce or industry.

“Indeed, telecommunications play an increasingly vital role in enabling the participation and development of people in geographically disadvantaged communities and nations, whether in rural areas of developing countries or in society and the global economy.

“As you may know, the sub-region is facing various challenges such as drug trafficking, child trafficking, proliferation and trafficking of small arms, organized crime, money laundering and terrorism.

“Cybercrime and insecurity in the maritime space of the Gulf of Guinea are issues that require immediate attention.

“For this reason, the countries of the sub-region, through the collection and sharing of data, are strengthening their collaboration and existing cooperation with international agencies.

“ICTs offer us new opportunities to better manage conflict and build peace, especially at the local level of our societies,” Babgin said.

The theme of the meeting is: “The role of telecommunications and information technology in achieving regional development, peace and security and human rights”.

The meeting that started on July 27 is scheduled to end on July 31. (NOPE)

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