The Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Right Honourable Dr. Sidie Mohammed Tunis noted that the waves of violent extremism and terrorism, humanitarian crises and global pandemics, ravaging the subregion can be tackled through technological advancements, innovations and intelligence.
Dr. Tunis made this remark during the opening session of the delocalised meeting of the Joint Committee on Political Affairs, Peace, Security and African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), Legal Affairs and Human Rights and Telecommunications and Information Technology of the ECOWAS Parliament, holding at Winneba, Ghana, from 27 – 30 July, 2021.
While urging Members of the Parliament and participants to consider the merits of technology in their deliberations which aims to find the best ways to tap into digital innovations and bring about all-round growth and development within the subregion, he eulogized the advancement of ICT architecture which has allowed the judicial system and its policy makers, have the opportunity to bring justice, law and order closer to the people. He further argued that, the rapid development of Telecommunications and Information Technology, can bring about improved administration of justice, effective smooth running of the society. “The digitization of legal systems is a development that has come to stay, and I have no doubt that if improved upon, life will be made easier for the people. This is because it stands to reason that peace can only prevail in a society that has justice and equity”, he said.
In the light of the aforementioned, Dr. Tunis maintained that the Community is yet to attain the stature of most advanced democracies, where citizens express their rights through free and fair elections, thereby making their voices heard and their choices respected. However, he admonished that, “the successes we have garnered in recent years must be consolidated through effective counting and monitoring systems, which have been provided for by technology. To this end, beyond reforms, there must also be a system of accountability and redress that is void of violence and criminality”.
Concluding his speech, he observed the advancement in digital transformation also portrays multi-dimensional risks which can ground not only organizations but nations as well. To this end, he called for national and regional resolutions which must equip IT professionals and stakeholders with necessary policies to improve the functioning and efficiency of administrations, public policies and economies, as well as the well-being of the population of the Community.