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ECOWAS Parliament Speaker tasks MPs on using tech to fight insecurity

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Sidie Mohammed Tunis

‘How sub-region can address challenge of mobile roaming’
Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Dr. Sidie Mohammed Tunis, has called on members of the ECOWAS Parliament to consider the merits of technological advancements, innovations and intelligence as tools to curb insecurity, even as the region is currently affected by violent extremism, terrorism, humanitarian crises and the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The Speaker gave the challenge in his remarks, yesterday, during the opening session of the de-localised 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 in Winneba, Ghana, from July 27 to 30, 2021.

He argued that evidence, after all, shows that societies mired in violent conflict are often characterised by lack of development and shortage of economic opportunities. “So, we must strive for the return of peace in our region as it remains the key component to sustainable development,” he said.

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He noted: “As the world continues to witness innovations and changes in the ICT architecture, the judicial system and its policy makers now have the opportunity to bring justice, law and order closer to the people.”

Through the rapid development of telecommunications and information technology, he argued, administration of justice can be improved and made effective for the smooth running of the society.

He said the digitisation of legal systems is a development that has come to stay and he has no doubt that if improved upon, life will be made easier for the people. This, he said, is because it stands to reason that peace can only prevail in a society that has justice and equity.

The Speaker of Ghana Parliament, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, meanwhile, stressed the need for the ECOWAS Parliament to address concerns on mobile roaming services in the sub-region to achieve regional development through the use of information and communication telecommunication tools.

He said the sub-region could only achieve regional development by ensuring that the Regulation on Roaming on Public Mobile Communications Networks in the ECOWAS Space, which was adopted by the Council of Ministers on December 16, 2017, is implemented.

He also observed that most of the ECOWAS nationals who travel to other countries in the sub-region have to pay higher premiums on mobile usage, while others have to change their SIM cards to have access to the network available in their new destination.

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