Electricity is Pivotal to ensuring Africa's Technological Future
11 May 2016, Johannesburg, South Africa – Debating the state of e-governance in Africa during the Pan-African Parliament’s second sitting, parliamentarians raised several issues related to the progress of information technology.
The Floor expressed their concerns that technological innovation such as on-line and distance learning, electronic administration, e-governance, e-commerce and social media, remains a pipe dream without access to electricity.
As far as e-governance is concerned, H.E Hon Daouda Touré said members of the PAP has to advocate for the ratification of the AU Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection. National parliaments should also develop real parliamentary communication policies as Africa is lagging behind in information technology.
The Permanent Committee on Transport, Industry, Communication, Energy, Science and Technology met in March 2015 to share e-governance case studies and experiences.
This conversation coincided with a presentation later during the day by Hon. Jacqueline Amongin, Chairperson of the Permanent Committee on Rural Economy, Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment.
Hon. Amongin reported on the 2nd Summit of African Parliamentarians on Climate Policy held in Kenya in November 2015.
The summit aimed to develop a common African agenda in the countdown to COP21 and cover the role that parliamentarians can play in climate change negotiations, while exploring long-term cross-border collaboration to mitigate its impacts.
Against this backdrop, a PAP delegation met with Mr. Jean-Louis Borloo, President of Energies for Africa, in November 2015 to sensitise the French Government on the need to electrify Africa. Led by President Nkodo Dang, the session enabled the French government to include the electrification of Africa amongst the objectives of COP21.
President Nkodo Dang said in plenary that the value of the COP21 outcome cannot be underemphasised and that members need to play an even larger role during COP22 in Morocco in 2016. He said that parliamentarians had to redouble their efforts to ensure that Africa finds a balance between electrification and green energy, while participating in international conversations on climate change.
H.E Hon Dr Bernadette Lahai, Fourth Vice President of the PAP said climate change is a crosscutting issue, as indicated during the presentation on e-governance, and therefore she urged that the PAP synergise its committees to maximise its resources.