KIGALI - Burundi’s lawmakers may soon have to rely more on ICT-facilitated operations than paper work. The visiting Burundian Senate President Gervais Rufyikiri said yesterday that he would push for his country’s legislature to start using ICT in their day-to-day work.
He said this after a visit to Rwanda’s Senate offices where officials there showed him how senators go about their daily work using internet-connected computers, which helps them to transfer documents easily.
“We have learnt a lot from our Rwandan counterparts, especially the use of ICT in transferring documents between lawmakers themselves and with other state organs.
I hope we will adopt the same practices in our country as well,” Rufyikiri explained.
Rwandan senators and deputies each have modern laptops connected with wireless internet, an achievement that significantly cut down the use of papers.
The country, which seeks to establish itself as an ICT hub in the region, has taken important steps in implementing what is known as e-government, which will see most state agencies getting hooked up to the digital world. Rufyikiri and his delegation toured Rwandan senate offices at Boulevard de l’Umuganda at Telecom House, Kacyiru.
Rufyikiri said that in his country they still rely on a lot of paper work in both chambers of parliament, which he said, is quite expensive and requires long procedures.
The Burundian delegation is in the country for a four-day official tour during which they will visit several state offices including ministries and Murambi Genocide Memorial Site. They are also due to sign a cooperation agreement with the Rwandan senate on Thursday.
“We have been impressed with the way the Rwandan Parliament works and the use of ICT which I think would be advantageous to the members of the two chambers (of parliament),” Senator Rénovar Baragengana, a member of Rufyikiri’s entourage, said. Like Rwanda, Burundi also has a bicameral parliament.
Apart from the progress in ICT application, the delegation said they were also impressed with the way the government of Rwanda has progressed tremendously in fostering the country’s economic development.