Commonwealth Parliamentarians discuss how new technologies can facilitate democracy at 50th CPA Africa Regional Conference in Zanzibar 

Commonwealth Parliamentarians from across Africa have discussed the impact that new technologies and e-platforms can have on democracy and help to increase the better functioning of Parliaments at the 50th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Africa Region Conference held in Zanzibar, Tanzania from 30 August to 5 September 2019. The CPA Africa Regional Conference was hosted by Hon. Zubeir Ali Maulid, Speaker of the Zanzibar House of Representatives and CPA Zanzibar Branch President, who welcomed Speakers, Deputy Speakers and Members of Parliament from 18 CPA Branches across the Africa continent. 

The CPA Africa Regional Conference was officially opened by the President of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council, His Excellency Dr Ali Mohammed Shien who said: “Promoting the use and application of ICT by developing e-Parliaments in our countries is a vital step towards enhancing the three core functions of Parliaments, namely, legislation, representation as well as the power to monitor and oversee various government organs, which legislators simply call ‘oversight’.” The President went on to call for members of the Commonwealth to invest in the promotion and use of ICT in local communities, with initiatives like the e-Parliament, to assist in promoting democracy.

Speeches at the opening ceremony were delivered by the Chairperson of the CPA Africa Region, Rt Hon. Justin B. Muturi, MP, Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Kenya; the Chairperson of the CPA International Executive Committee, Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, MP (Cameroon); the Speaker of the National Assembly of Tanzania, Rt Hon. Job Yustino Ndugai, MP; and the Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly, Rt Hon. Martin K. Ngoga.

The CPA International President Designate, Rt Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, MP, Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda also attended the CPA Africa Regional Conference and highlighted the Uganda Parliament’s hosting of the forthcoming 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in September 2019.

The CPA Zanzibar Branch Chairperson Simai Mohamed Said noted that the CPA Africa Regional Conference would be held under the theme of ‘E-Parliament: A Seamless Platform for Facilitating Democracy’. A number of workshops were held for delegates on topics including the use of ICT in strengthening public involvement in the legislative process; the use of social media in enhancing Parliamentarians’ constituency engagement; the empowerment of women in Parliament; strategies to enable women’s participation in decision-making; the implementation of youth policies as a tool to combat migration; and enhancing ICT use in providing life-changing solutions in rural communities.

The CPA Africa Regional Conference included a number of events and meetings including: Meetings of the CPA Africa Regional Executive Committee; Meetings of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Steering Committee; and Society-of-the-Clerks-at-the-Table (SoCATT) Africa Regional Steering Committee meetings. During the regional conference, Hon. Zainab Gimba, MP (Nigeria Federal) was elected as the new Chairperson for the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Africa Region). 

The 50th CPA Africa Regional Conference was held at the Dr Idris Abdulwakil Conference Hall and at the Zanzibar House of Representatives and was organised by the CPA Africa Regional Secretariat and CPA Zanzibar and Tanzania Branches.

For images of the CPA Africa Regional Conference in Zanzibar please visit


Updated 4 September 2019.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association connects, develops, promotes and supports Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and the implementation of the enduring values of the Commonwealth. The CPA is an international community of around 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance. 
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