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Consultation on East African Cyber Laws & e-Justice PDF Print E-mail
Preliminary report on the East African Community (EAC) Regional Stakeholders Consultative Workshops on Cyber Laws and e-Justice, and Information Security

The East African Community convened two Stakeholder's Consultative workshops on Cyber laws and e-Justice and on Information Security from 25-28 April 2006 at Grand Imperial Hotel.
The workshops are a follow up on the recommendation of the second e-Government stakeholders meeting held in June 2005 in Nairobi, where cyber laws and e-Justice were identified as key cross-cutting issues that need to be in place for the successful implementation of e-Government applications in East Africa.

The two-in-one workshop aims at creating awareness, sensitization and advocacy on the significance of cyber laws and e-Justice, and the impact of their continuing absence in the East African region; and also to promote development of an appropriate legal and policy framework for e-government promotion in the region. The second workshop will specifically look at issues of Information Security for e-Government and particularly the development of a Public Key Infrastructure policy framework for the region. The basis of convening the two workshops is founded on the proposed Regional e-Government Framework which had identified the creation of an enabling legal and regulatory environment as a critical enabling factor for effective implementation of e-government strategies at national and regional levels.

The framework further emphasises that operational efficiency of any e-government strategy will need a strong backup support of necessary legislation on data security, network security, cyber crime, information systems and electronic transactions.

The workshop is organised by the East African Community and supported by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Canadian Government through the Canadian e-Policy Resource Centre. Local coordination in Uganda was by the National Planning Authority (NPA).

The first workshop on Cyber laws and e-Justice which has concluded today, April 26, was opened by Hon. Henry Okello Oryem, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs/International Affairs and was closed by Hon. Tom Butime, Minister of State for Communications. The workshop had over eighty participants from the three EAC countries including representatives from government, civil society, private sector/IT experts, media, legal officers/experts and civil society. WOUGNET, I-Network and the East African Youth Society were among the civil society participants. Dwight Bigala, an IT legal expert, made the presentation on the status of cyber laws and e-Justice in Uganda.

Regional and International perspectives were also shared, including, the ECA regional perspective on e-Security and the Canadian experiences with their legal framework for eGovernment as well as the Law Enforcement Mandate and Technology Crime Program of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

At the conclusion of the first workshop, three general recommendations were made:
- The EAC should ensure necessary coordination intended to harmonize regional and national legal frameworks in order to create an enabling environment for the successful implementation of the e-Government and e-Commerce programs

- Uganda and Tanzania should be urged to establish an Agency/Department to spearhead the e-Government and e-Commerce initiatives in line with measures taken by Kenya to provide the necessary setting for policy and program implementation, resource mobilisation and capacity development. The Agency should preferably be in the President's Office.

- The EAC in collaboration with Partner States should strengthen the institutional collaboration with multi-lateral and bi-lateral agencies including the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the Canadian e-Policy Resource Centre to support the national and regional e-Government and e-Commerce initiatives.

A report will be made available of the workshop proceedings.
For more info please contact:
Dorothy Okello
Coordinator, WOUGNET
Plot 53 Kira Road
Tel: +256-41-532035
Fax: +256-41-530474
Web: http://www.wougnet.org
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