Department of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) under the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology is currently holding a series of trainings on e-Parliament for Members of Parliament (MPs) at the department’s Video Conference Hall from Monday last week (15 June 2020).
The training comes after the Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Chief Thesele Maseribane’s presentation at the National Assembly earlier this month when requesting budget for 2020/2021 fiscal year earlier this month which he said will amongst the ministries priorities cover completion of e-Health, e-Parliament and e-Education, all under the Lesotho e-Government Infrastructure project.
Speaking about the training in an interview, ICT Director General, Mr. Lira Moeti said the training is intended to introduce MPs to virtual conferencing, saying this will improve parliamentary processes as in period like the COVID-19 pandemic where MPs could attend Parliament meetings remotely and seamlessly.
He added that as the training further exposes MPs to digitization of parliamentary business, they will be able to use Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to execute and transact all parliamentary businesses which used to be done on paper.
Mr. Moeti commented that Parliament will be moving from paper-based to paperless as order papers and hansards will be electronic.
In an interview, a member of Parliament for Qalo Constituency, Mr. Thabang Kholumo highlighted the importance of being part of the globe hence the training.
“The training will also give us necessary skills to be able to interact online with colleagues in the region,” he said.
He however said he is against the idea of government buying iPad’s for MPs especially during this difficult time when the country is facing COVID-19 pandemic, commenting that he is adamant that they can afford to buy their own tablets.
Meanwhile, in an attempt to ensure compliance with COVID-19 regulations such as observing social distancing, MPs come in separate sessions of ten (10).
The Lesotho e-Government Infrastructure project, which is funded by the African Development Bank (ADB) was established under the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology in 2014 with the aim to enhance good governance by the deployment of a modern and secure e-government broadband infrastructure. The project focuses on the utilization of ICT on governance frameworks that underpin the effectiveness of public sector institutions.