The 16th edition of the Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers Conference (CSPOC), African Region, has resolved that member parliaments should create functional, interactive and user friendly websites as platforms for increased interaction with citizen’s for obtaining and collating public opinion
The conference with the theme “The presiding officer in a changing society” recorded some consensus as participants agreed that increased interaction between citizens was instrumental to good governance in Africa.
In a statement signed by the Director, Information and Publications of the National Assembly, Mr Dibal Ishaku Adamu, the conference enjoined African Parliaments to enact laws that will ensure cyber security and protect the Parliament and citizens against all forms of cyber crimes and cyber bullying.
As part of efforts to guard against making fake laws, the CSPOC advocated for live streaming, podcast and the broadcast of live parliamentary events through the radio and television in order to promote access to information and enhance transparency and e-governance.
For effective budget monitoring and tracking, the conference stressed that African parliaments should ensure the establishment of Independent Parliamentary Budget Offices, PBOs and have them adequately equipped with the competent manpower, while they should also initiate broader budgetary reforms that would strengthen budgetary processes.
It, however, advised that the involvement of non-governmental organisations in policy formulations should be done with caution to avoid signs of state capture.
During the 16th edition of the CSPOC, the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Cameron, Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka was adopted as the sole candidate for the position of Chairperson of the Executive committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association International which will be filled in Dhaka, Bangladesh at the 63rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference come November.
Elections have, however, been held in accordance with article 8 (1) of the CSPOC constitution and the following will serve from 2017 to 2019.
Rt Hon. Job Ndugai, Speaker of the National Assembly of Tanzania- Chairperson.
Rt Hon Donatile Mukabalaisa, Vice President.
Central Africa- Rt Hon Patrick Matibini, Speaker of National Assembly of Zambia.
East Africa- Rt Hon Rebecca Kadaga, speaker of the Parliament of Uganda
Southern Africa Rt Hon. Margarite Mensa-Williams, Chairperson of the National Council of Namibia.
West Africa. Rt Hon. Sheku Badala Dumbuya, Speaker of the Parliament of Sierra Leone.