President Abdel Fattah El Sisi asserted that constitutions should always be reviewed and updated to meet the current challenges.
This came during the president’s speech at the preparatory meeting of heads of African constitutional courts, which kicked off in Cairo virtually Saturday.
The president described meeting participants as the “best” legal minds in the African continent. “Your meeting today comes under exceptional circumstances around the world,” President Sisi said. “Like other continents, Africa faces the challenge of responding to the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The president said these repercussions made it necessary for African constitutional and legal minds to think collectively of constitutional and legal solutions for dealing with the pandemic.
He also underlined the importance of co-operation among African legal and constitutional minds in the fight against terrorism.
The president said terrorism hampers development and stability in the continent. “The eradication of this threat requires your contributions through legal and constitutional mechanisms,” President Sisi said.
He added that these mechanisms acquired greater importance as Africans strived to make their continent great and unified.
President Sisi noted that meeting the digital demand was one of the most outstanding challenges facing the African continent under Covid-19 pandemic.
He said African states also faced the challenge of improving healthcare they offer their citizens, as well as making the required transformation to the green economy.
“Responding to these challenges required deep thought so that we can provide the necessary modern constitutional infrastructure,” the president said.
He added that such infrastructure would ensure that African countries would be able to respond to the challenges caused by the pandemic, including the need to organise dealings among citizens and digital interaction between individuals and institutions.
President Sisi referred to information security and the legal governance of social media content, which deeply affects African countries.
The president underscored the importance of the presence of legal frameworks for electronic platforms, major databases and the private information of citizens.
President Sisi sad that the status quo forces African countries to deal with the repercussions of the pandemic, adding that the digital transformation requires regulating the legal framework to manage cybersecurity and social media platforms.
“The status quo requires us to think collectively in dealing with challenges caused by the pandemic from a legal and constitutional perspective, led by co-operation for combating terrorism as an obstacle for development and stability,” he said.
Egypt, he said, has already taken a series of steps over the past years to create the infrastructure necessary for digital transformation of government services.
He added that the availability of this infrastructure reflected positively on the quality of services in all fields as well as on the speed of delivering these services to citizens.
“This came within a comprehensive vision for the digital transformation of all work systems in our country,” the president said, adding that the Egyptian authorities also encouraged the private sector to meet the digital demand.
Such measures, he said, acquired greater importance with the Covid-19 pandemic.
President Sisi also referred to ethical and legal challenges on the road of the reform of healthcare.
These challenges, he said, include the right to health services, such as medicines and the necessary vaccines.
“The pricing of health services and their distribution are major challenges, too,” President Sisi said.