Having recognised the need for technology to enhance its work, Parliament has introduced a host of news ICT systems – and now it's exploring further.
interventions – like the International Computer Driver's Licence (ICDL) – to empower both members and admin staff.
Jennifer van Niekerk, CEO of the ICDL in South Africa, says that if more people made use of the ICDL programme, their IT proficiency levels would be raised; they would have increased confidence in ICT use; improve their job opportunities as well as provide themselves with an internationally-recognised qualification.
The University of South Africa (Unisa) has already made the ICDL compulsory in all science degrees, as well as a number of other degrees and diplomas. The Western Cape Education Department recently enrolled almost 100 of their Education Management and Development Centre (EDMC) staff on the programme, while the Department of Communications recently completed the sponsorship of 2 000 unemployed candidates to participate in the programme through Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges.
"ICDL South Africa has partnered with well over 10 African countries to deliver ICDL certification to either civil servants or education authorities or both in these countries," Van Niekerk says.
"For example the Kenyan eGovernment initiative has committed to certify all civil servants in ICDL. This eGovernment initiative will use the local training providers in Kenya to roll out the training for all their civil servants in Kenya.
"In Tanzania, the ICDL has partnered with the Ministry of Education to implement the ICDL certificate into all teacher training colleges, while in Namibia we have partnered with the Ministry of Education to certify all teachers who in turn take this into the schools to ensure the learners are then certified in the ICDL qualification," she adds.
According to van Niekerk, Rwanda has one of the most progressive ICT policies in Africa. "A directive has been set up in the Rwandan Technology Authority to certify all civil servants," she says.
"In addition, we are very active in Ghana. We have the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence which is registered to run the Open ICDL Centre which is all Open Source – the Open Source environment is a product similar to Microsoft, only, these packages offer the Source Code for free."
The organisation also has active centres in Guinea, Cameroon, Senegal and Liberia.
The ICDL programme comprises seven modules – concepts of IT; using a computer and managing files; word processing; spreadsheets; database; presentations and information and communications.