UNECA mandate
Monday, 03 October 2011 13:08
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Gamos has been able to be a key part of the CODIST process. The Committee on Development Information, Science and Technology (CODIST) is one of the seven subsidiary bodies of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) composed of senior officials and experts from member States who meet on a biennial basis. The role of CODIST is to review challenges and issues pertaining to the information and communications technology (ICT), geoinformation, science and technology sectors; formulate policies and strategies to address Africa's development challenges; and determine priorities to be reflected in the work programme of the ICT, Science and Technology Division of ECA.

The overall theme of CODIST-1 was "Scientific development, innovation and the knowledge economy", with the sub-themes on Innovation and Economic Growth and the Enabling Environment for Innovation Systems which were mainly addressed by the CODIST sub-committees. The keynote speaker, Prof Lidia M. R. A. Brito delivered a paper entitled "Scientific Development, Innovation and the Knowledge Economy: Premise for Development in Africa?". This was responded to by Geoinformation and ICT perspective respondents, Dr Wilbur Ottichilo (MP Kenya) and Ms Jennifer Kargbo, Director SRO-SA (UNECA). The meeting was attended by more than 600 policy- and decision-makers, scientists, lawyers and journalists. These delegates and observers represented African countries, national, international, regional and subregional organizations and development partners.

Gamos was able to be a part of the process, and ensure that e-commerce and in particular M-Payments was on the agenda. After its presentation, the conference adopted the following recomendations:-

Recommends Member States to:

  • Create a legal framework for e-commerce including m-commerce, m-banking and m-payments. This includes consumer protection in m-banking through bringing regulators and financial institutions together to create a regulatory framework;
  • Develop frameworks of 'proportional risk' in regulating m-banking in order to ensure that innovation is not curtailed;
  • Discuss in national and regional workshops their response to m-banking (bringing together stakeholders in the telecom sector with counterparts in financial sector); and
  • Ensure the harmonious integration of physical infrastructure and the promotion and facilitation of the movement of persons, goods and services that member States should evolve common communication policies, laws and regulations in area of ICT.