UNDP hands over ICT equipment to Malawi Parliament

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Malawi officially handed over Information Communication Technology (ICT) to enable Parliament of Malawi to meet virtually as a preventative measure against the Covid-19 pandemic. The equipment from UNDP includes desktop computers, laptops, cameras, tricaster, television screens and internet facilities among others

Speaker of the Malawi National Assembly, Right Honourable Catherine Gotani Hara has said the support from UNDP is timely and important as it ensures continuity of parliamentary work even when Malawi is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic. “This support is historic as it is changing the way Parliament operates and strategically positioning itself to remain relevant and responsible to the needs of Malawians,” she said.

Speaker Gotani Hara receiving equipment from UNDP

The Speaker has further appealed for equipment support from stakeholders to help Parliament of Malawi embrace a paperless Parliament. “One of the key strategic objectives of Parliament is to embrace a paperless Parliament by digitising its core business. Under this objective, our target is to significantly reduce the amount of physical documents distributed in the Chamber and Committee, upgrading the Hansard Transaction from monologue to digital system, upgrading the Chamber Audiovisual System to include digital voting which will allow Parliament to reduce the amount of time it takes to transact,” said the Speaker.

On his part, UNDP Country Representative, Mr. Shigeki Komatsubara described the donation as a milestone on COVID-19 prevention and that it has laid the foundation for utilization of digital transformative solutions to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of governance institutions in Malawi. “This handover could not have come at a better time for us. Under the leadership of the UNDP Administrator, UNDP is working to transform and enhance support for innovative digital technologies to help solve development challenges and empower those we serve and work with; as aspired by the vision and ambition of the 2030 development agenda,” Komatsubara said.

During the just ended Meeting of Parliament, Members of Parliament could not meet in one chamber due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Failure to meet in one place brought challenges to Parliament on how to undertake its legislative, oversight and representative functions. Parliament resorted to decongest the chamber by allowing a few Members to attend deliberations physically while the rest attended virtually. Some of the equipment has assisted Parliament of Malawi to accelerate the establishment of the Parliament TV on Channel 117 on Kiliye Kiliye decoders.


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