Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi (right) with the Deputy Minister of information and communication technology, Hon. Emma Theofelus at today’s meeting
|Story by George Sanzila
Windhoek - Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi has reiterated the need for close collaboration between Parliament and the Ministry of information and Communication Technology. Hon. Katjavivi made the appeal in a follow up meeting with the Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Hon. Emma Theofelus today (27/01/21).
The two initially met each other towards the end of last year and devised ways in which the two institutions could work together. With the COVID 19 pandemic having disrupted the activities of the legislature such as outreach programmes, a consensus was reached then for parliament to rope in the services of the ministry’s regional offices that are replete with ICT equipment. They further agreed that multi-purpose community centres, that are also equipped with ICT equipment and found in remote areas, could be used as a transmission belt for information sharing. In today’s meeting, the Speaker stressed the need for government owned media to work closely with parliament to disseminate its programmes and activities.
“We would like to beef up our information sharing relating to the work of parliament and committees work in particular, and also other activities such as the opening of parliament. A weekly space in government owned publications and a TV channel would be ideal for us”, appealed Katjavivi.
The Speaker noted that parliament has continued to pursue its mission of transforming the legislative body into a paperless institution, colloquially referred to as e-parliament. He said the Chinese government has already assisted in revamping the conference hall that only requires to be linked to other committee rooms virtually. He further revealed that the World Bank has agreed in principle to embark on the latter project of virtually connecting committee rooms, that would see the legislature become fully ICT compliant.
The Deputy Minister, who commended parliament for its efforts towards fulfilling the e-parliament concept, noted that a television communication centre, that was initially created to engage the public on key issues related to Covid 19, has been transformed into a fully-fledged government information centre available for usage by any institution. “The centre is available for parliament should there be a need to inform the public or clarify certain bills or motions or any other information pertaining to the work of parliament”, said Hon. Theofelus.
She further repeated that the 16 ICT multipurpose centres in all the regions could be used to connect young people to the activities of parliament.