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The Community Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States has decried the multiple economic and socio-political challenges bedeviling the sub-region.
Speaker of Ghanaian Parliament, Rt Hon Alban Bagbin expressed this misgiving at the official opening of the delocalized meeting of ECOWAS Joint Committee on Political Affairs, Peace, Security and Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), Legal Affairs and Human Rights, and Telecommunications and Information Technology.
He said: “As you may all be aware, the Sub-region is confronted with various challenges such as drug trafficking, child trafficking, proliferation of and trafficking in small arms, organised crime, money laundering and terrorism. Cybercrime and the insecurity in the maritime space in the Gulf of Guinea, are issues that require immediate attention. For this reason, countries in the sub-region through data collection and data sharing are strengthening their collaboration and existing co-operation with International Agencies such as (INTERPOL) and the West Africa Police Chiefs Committee (WAPCCO), in order to combat cross border crimes and terrorism”.
He noted that the theme for the meeting, which is the role of “Telecommunications and Information Technology (TIT) in Achieving Regional Development, Peace and Security and Human Rights’’ reflects the growing recognition of the importance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in dealing with the myriad of problems we face in our Sub-region.
“In recent times, ICT services have become an indispensable tool in the development of every facet of our society, whether in the Health, Education, Agriculture, or Trade and Industry sectors. Indeed, telecommunication plays an increasingly vital role in enabling the participation and development of people in communities and nations disadvantaged by geography, whether in rural areas of developing nations or in the global society and economy,” the Speaker said.
He added that ICT does offer new opportunities to better manage conflicts and build peace especially at the local levels of our societies.
The Speaker said that to achieve regional development through the use of ICT tools, there is the need to address concerns regarding mobile roaming services in the sub-region.


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