EALA to inspect state of ICTs

February 19, 2011

, TANZANIA, Feb 19 – The East African Legislative Assembly’s Committee on Communication, Trade and Investment (CTI) is expected to commence a five day “on the spot assessment” of the state of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the region starting February 20.

The Chairperson of the Committee, James Ndahiro will lead the delegation that comprises of 15 Members of the CTI, the EAC Deputy Secretary General (Planning and Infrastructure) and three EALA staff members.

The delegation shall be meeting various stakeholders in the ICT sector in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi to assess facilities and the requisite infrastructure in place.

The overall objective of the assessment tour is to assess ICT networks and appraise connectivity issues in East Africa.

“Specifically, the assessment tour aims to: –  Appraise EALA Members of the opportunities and challenges the EAC has with respect to ICTs;  Assess the rate of development of new and efficient ICT facilities and infrastructure such as the Fibre Optic Cable,” a statement from EALA said.

“The tour also aims to establish the impact of the information and communication networks’ development in the region; To devise ways and means of how environment and human population can be protected from the negative effects of the ICT gadgets used in connectivity.”

The CTI plans a series of meetings with regulators, operators and users of the ICT services during the five day period.

The findings of the tour shall acquaint the EALA Members with pertinent facts on the status of ICT development in the EAC region, existing opportunities and challenges associated with the sector and the possible remedies for areas of improvement. Apart from that, EALA shall be exercising its oversight mandate as stipulated by the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community.

The Committee is expected to take stock of the observations and recommendations and to report back to EALA. Similar tours are planned for the rest of the Partner States in due course.

The CTI is one of the seven Standing Committees of EALA.  Others are the House Business Committee, the Committee on Accounts, the Committee on General Purpose, the Committee on Legal, Rules and Privileges, the Committee on Agriculture, Tourism and Natural Resources and the Committee on Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution.

The East African Legislative Assembly is the legislative organ of the East African Community. Its Membership consists of a total of 52, of whom 45 are elected Members (9 from each Partner State) and seven ex-officio members (the Ministers responsible for EAC Affairs from the Partner States, the Secretary General of the Community and the Counsel to the Community).

The East African Legislative Assembly has legislative functions as well as oversight of all East African Community matters.  The enactment of legislation of the Community is effected by means of Bills passed by the Assembly and assented to by the Heads of State, and every Bill that has been duly passed and assented to become an Act of the Community and takes precedent over similar legislations in the Partner States.

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