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Nairobi Conference - Feb. 2005

Parliaments Information Management In Africa

Theme:"Challenges and opportuities of ICTs to stregthen democracy and parliamentary governance"

NAIROBI DECLARATION

The "International Conference Parliaments' Information Management in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities of ICTs to Strengthen Democracy and Parliamentary Governance" took place in Nairobi, Kenya on 10 and 11 February 2005 and gathered Speakers and high-level delegations from the Parliaments of Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sao Tomé and Principe, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as from the Pan African Parliament, East Africa Legislative Assembly, ECOWAS Parliament, SADC Parliamentary Forum and the Italian Chamber of Deputies. Parliamentary officials from the above countries as well as from South Africa, the European Parliament, some European Union countries and representatives from international organisations, development partners, the private sector and civil society organisations also attended the Conference.

The Conference created an opportunity for African Parliaments to appreciate the complex scenario of issues, constraints and diversified resources that African Parliaments need to acknowledge and address for the successful deployment of ICTs in their legislatures.

Among the issues discussed at the Conference were: Access to Information; ICTs Regulation; Enabling Frameworks; Pan-African Parliamentary Interoperability Framework; Parliamentary Information Systems; Knowledge-based Parliaments; Assistance Framework.

Participants made contributions and shared their experiences and know-how in a cooperative manner and recognized that information and communication technologies have the potential to reinforce the institutional capacity of Parliaments to deliver on their constitutional mandates.

Participants also acknowledged the strategic significance of ICTs in strengthening good governance and inter-parliamentary cooperation, as well as the need for Parliament to promote the adoption of the relevant legal frameworks to facilitate and regulate the diffusion of ICTs in order to narrow the digital divide and advance the information society.

Participants considered the Nairobi Conference within the general framework of cooperation among African Parliaments and in relation to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), NEPAD objectives, and the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) process.  

In the light of the foregoing, the Conference:

renews its commitment to and commends the results so far achieved by the regional initiative on "Strengthening Parliaments' Information Systems in Africa - UNDESA".

Further, the Conference recommends that:

  • Speakers of African Parliaments continue to lead the process of ICTs diffusion and modernisation of Parliaments to improve access to information, strengthen parliamentary democracy and foster inter-parliamentary cooperation
  • The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the Pan-African Parliament establish a coordinating mechanism to adopt, promote and maintain the Pan-African Parliamentary Interoperability (PAPI) proposal
  • African Parliaments acknowledge the strategic role of ICTs in a modern Parliament and the necessity to adequately reflect this new function in Parliaments' administrative structure, budget and human resources
  • African Parliaments' IT professionals meet regularly to exchange views and experiences for the harmonization of IT structures and concepts, and enjoins the leadership of the various Parliaments to commit to this goal
  • African Parliaments develop Parliamentary Information Systems based on open and interoperable standards, innovative technologies and full access to information as a strategic objective for strengthening democracy and modernization in Africa
  • African Parliaments, within their national context and through their legislative and representative mandate, act as change agents in taking advantage of the opportunity offered by ICTs to strengthen democracy, support sustainable development and promote cooperation among national institutions to generate an effective knowledge based policy

The Conference calls on technologically-advanced Parliaments, development partners, international organisations and the private sector to contribute towards the consolidation and expansion of the scope of the regional initiative to all other African Parliaments with the ultimate objective of transforming it into a self-sustaining initiative. At the same time, it urges development partners to shift from a fragmented approach to the development of ICT in Parliament in favour of a unified and coordinated partnership.

The Conference directs that the Nairobi Declaration be widely circulated in all concerned Parliaments and organisations.

Finally, the Conference expresses its deep gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Kenya, and in particular to the Kenya National Assembly, for their warm hospitality; to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs for the organizational and substantive support; and to the Government of the Republic of Italy for the funding of this Project and the Italian Chamber of Deputies for the technical assistance provided.

Nairobi, Kenya, this 11th day of February, 2005.


 

A pdf copy of the declaration in english, french and portuguese is available for download.


 

Below is a listing of all documents, presentations and speeches made at the Nairobi Conference.

Speeches

No. Presented By Title


 

Presentations

No. Presented By   Title
1 Karugor Gatamah - C.E.O. Centre For Corporate Governance   Governance and Access to Information
2 Enrico Seta - Chamber of Deputies Italy (a) ICT for Development Strategies and Regulations (Presentation)
    (b) ICT for Development Strategies and Regulations (Accompanying Notes)
    (c) ICT for Development Strategies and Regulations (Accompanying Notes - French)
3 Peter F Brown - Information Resources Management, European Parliament (a) Information Management: Enabling Requirements - Part 1
    (b) Information Management: Strategies and Tools - Part 2
4 Sean McGrath - Technical Lead, PAPI Framework Initiative   Interoperability Standards: Rationale for PAPI
5 Ms. Caterina Lupo - Project Co-ordinator, "NormeInRete", CNIPA, Italy   Normeinrete - A federative approach to on-line legislation access
6 Sean McGrath - Technical Lead, PAPI Framework Initiative   The PAPI Framework
7 Ms. Evelynne Change, Coordinator for Corporate Governance, APRM Secretariat, NEPAD   Broad Based Participation and Information Dissemination: The Role of Parliament in the Implementation of the APRM
8 Mr Dick TOORNSTRA - Director, Directorate General for Information, European Parliament   The Knowledge-Based Parliament: Learning Organizations
9 Mr. Alessandro Palanza, Deputy Secretary-General, Chamber of Deputies of Italy (a) ICTs diffusion: The role of Parliaments
    (b) ICTs diffusion: The role of Parliaments (French)
10 Ahmed Kassam - Nepad special advisor, e-Africa commission   Innovation and the Knowledge Economy
11 Eng. Carlo Simonelli - Head of Unit in the IT Department, Chamber of Deputies (a) e-Parliament: Pillars of a Parliamentary Knowledge System (Presentations)
    (b) e-Parliament: Pillars of a Parliamentary Knowledge System (Accompanying Notes)
    (c) e-Parliament: Pillars of a Parliamentary Knowledge System(Accompanying Notes - French)
12 Ms. Shirley-Ann Fiagome, ICT Director, Parliament of Ghana   Pan-African Parliaments - An analysis of Common grounds & Differences
13 Vusi Magagula - Chief Information Officer, State IT Agency, South Africa   "Best Approach Towards Systems Development" - Comparison: Homogeneous vs. Heterogeneous Solutions
14 Robert Rogers - Clerk of the Journals, House of Commons, UK   The UK Freedom of Information Act 2000 and its effect on the Westminster Parliament
15 Prof. Carlo Batini, University of Milan "Bicocca" (a) eGovernment policies and legislative frameworks: how to use ICTs to support and enhance Good Governance
    (b) eGovernment policies and legislative frameworks: how to use ICTs to support and enhance Good Governance (Accompanying Notes)
    (c) eGovernment policies and legislative frameworks: how to use ICTs to support and enhance Good Governance (Annex 1)
    (d) eGovernment policies and legislative frameworks: how to use ICTs to support and enhance Good Governance (Annex 2)
    (e) eGovernment policies and legislative frameworks: how to use ICTs to support and enhance Good Governance (Annex 3)
    (f) eGovernment policies and legislative frameworks: how to use ICTs to support and enhance Good Governance (Annex 4)
    (g) eGovernment policies and legislative frameworks: how to use ICTs to support and enhance Good Governance (Annex 5)
16 Hon. Johnson Nkuuhe,Vice-Chair, Committee on Science and Technology, Parliament of Uganda   Access to information and ICTs regulatory framework: The role of parliaments
17 Mr. João Viegas d'Ábreu, Head of IT Department, Parliament of Portugal   Information System of the Portuguese Parliament
18 Mr. Ramesh Gupta, Programme Manager, Strategic Information Management Program (SIMP) (a) Building ICT Capacity for Parliaments - Approach and Action Items
    (b) Strategic Outlook for the 38th Parliament - Canada House of Commons
19 Gonnie Naidoo - Manager, Information & Communication Technology, Parliament of South Africa   The Role of ICT in Facilitating Public Participation in the Legislative and Oversight Functions of Parliament
20 Mr. Gherardo Casini - Head of Rome Office, UNDESA   Assistance Framework
21 Prof. Severine Rugumamu - Institute of Development Studies, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania   Conceptualizing Capacity Building Networks For African Parliaments
22 Mr. Marc Cassidy, Legislative Analyst, SUNY Kenya   "Is a common comprehensive programme of assistance and institutional building advisable? Can ICTs support it?"
23
Mr. Kango Lare-Lantone, Governance Institutions Reforms Advisor, SURF-WCA, UNDP   Challenges and Opportunities of Parliamentary Reform in Africa