Nairobi Conference - Feb. 2005
Parliaments Information Management In Africa
Theme:"Challenges and opportuities of ICTs to stregthen democracy and parliamentary governance"
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
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, and is available for download.
Below is a listing of all documents, presentations and speeches made at the Nairobi Conference.
- Hon. Francis K. X. Ole Kaparo, EGH, MP - Speaker of the Kenya National Assembly
- Hon Josep Borell Fontelles - President of the European Parliament
- Hon. Gustavo Selva - Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Italian Chamber of Deputies
- H.E. the Hon. Moody Awori, EGH, MP - Vice-President and Leader of Government Business, Kenya National Assembly
- Ambassador Gertrude I. Mongella, Mp - President of The Pan African Parliament
- Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, EGH, MP - Leader of the Official Opposition Party, Kenya National Assembly
|1||Karugor Gatamah - C.E.O. Centre For Corporate Governance|
|2||Enrico Seta - Chamber of Deputies Italy||(a)|
|3||Peter F Brown - Information Resources Management, European Parliament||(a)|
|4||Sean McGrath - Technical Lead, PAPI Framework Initiative|
|5||Ms. Caterina Lupo - Project Co-ordinator, "NormeInRete", CNIPA, Italy|
|6||Sean McGrath - Technical Lead, PAPI Framework Initiative|
|7||Ms. Evelynne Change, Coordinator for Corporate Governance, APRM Secretariat, NEPAD|
|8||Mr Dick TOORNSTRA - Director, Directorate General for Information, European Parliament|
|9||Mr. Alessandro Palanza, Deputy Secretary-General, Chamber of Deputies of Italy||(a)|
|10||Ahmed Kassam - Nepad special advisor, e-Africa commission|
|11||Eng. Carlo Simonelli - Head of Unit in the IT Department, Chamber of Deputies||(a)|
|12||Ms. Shirley-Ann Fiagome, ICT Director, Parliament of Ghana|
|13||Vusi Magagula - Chief Information Officer, State IT Agency, South Africa|
|14||Robert Rogers - Clerk of the Journals, House of Commons, UK|
|15||Prof. Carlo Batini, University of Milan "Bicocca"||(a)|
|16||Hon. Johnson Nkuuhe,Vice-Chair, Committee on Science and Technology, Parliament of Uganda|
|17||Mr. João Viegas d'Ábreu, Head of IT Department, Parliament of Portugal|
|18||Mr. Ramesh Gupta, Programme Manager, Strategic Information Management Program (SIMP)||(a)|
|19||Gonnie Naidoo - Manager, Information & Communication Technology, Parliament of South Africa|
|20||Mr. Gherardo Casini - Head of Rome Office, UNDESA|
|21||Prof. Severine Rugumamu - Institute of Development Studies, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania|
|22||Mr. Marc Cassidy, Legislative Analyst, SUNY Kenya|
||Mr. Kango Lare-Lantone, Governance Institutions Reforms Advisor, SURF-WCA, UNDP|