Niger and the ECA in partnership to promote the use of ICTs in West Africa
The Economic Commission for Africa’s Sub-Regional Office for West Africa and the National Assembly of Niger have established a partnership framework to organize a Forum on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region.
The Inter-Parliamentary Forum on ICTs for Development targets tobuild awareness about the vast potential of ICT for development in the ECOWAS region and the importance for parliamentarians to grasp the fundamentals of these new technologies.
Lawmakers will learn more about how to development national ICT agendas, the application of ICTs in specific sectors, and the role of government and members of parliament in the process of implementing ICT laws in their respective countries.
The partnership, which falls within one of the ECA’s ambit of supporting regional integration and promoting international cooperation for the development of Africa, aims to promote the use of ICTs in the ECOWAS region.
Two ECA experts will be on hand to share their expertise in ICT with participants and representatives from 14 ECOWAS Member Countries, who will attend the forum.
The Director of the ECA Sub-Regional Office for West Africa, Dimitri Sanga said ICTs should play a key role in the process of the structural transformation of African economies and the socio-economic integration of the continent.
“ICTs contribute, among other things, to facilitating business, creating jobs and extending the scope of investment opportunities,” he said.
“However, to permit them to play this role of catalyst for development, they must be accompanied by tangible policies and strategies based on an adequate political and regulatory environment along with quality infrastructures and human resources. All these issues end up requiring the approval of the elected representatives of the people. It is thus fully justifiable for the parliamentarians of our sub-region to meet to discuss these issues.”
The forum will bring together lawmakers from ECOWAS Member States as well as representatives of the private sector, civil society, international agencies and ICT-related institutions.