Winneba to host extraordinary session of ECOWAS Parliament

West Africa lawmakers from 15 of the 16 member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will converge at Winneba in the Central Region, for the extraordinary session of the Community’s Parliament.

The upcoming meeting between October 12 – 22, 2021 follows the Central regional town’s successful hosting of the delocalised meeting of the House earlier in July.

It is expected that the session would discuss matters that pose threat to efforts to fortify democracy and political stability in West Africa and consider and adopt the draft 2020 budget of the ECOWAS Parliament.

The extraordinary session will also discuss pertinent matters, including the desire of some heads of state to amend their country’s constitution to stay on for third-term.

On the theme, “Evaluating two decades of democratic elections in the ECWAS region: Achievements, challenges and the way forward”, delegates from Guinea will not be attending following the suspension of the country from the community as a result of the September 5 coup.

Chairman of the Authority of Heads and Government of ECOWAS, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is expected to deliver the keynote address.

The Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, and his two deputies would also be in attendance.

In total, 110 lawmakers, rapporteurs, and staff of the ECOWAS Commission are expected to converge on the coastal town.

It would be the first extra ordinary session to be held outside of a national capital in the history of the ECOWAS Parliament.

Briefing the media in Accra on Tuesday ahead of the meeting, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, MP, Effutu and leader of the Ghana delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament said “Winneba is ready to host the sub-region. Sufficient preparation in the areas of infrastructure, logistics have been put in place for a successful meeting.”

According to Afenyo-Markin, the meeting would be used to review what member states have done over the last 20 years and come up with a new roadmap to ensure peace and political stability.

A communique, he said, would be issued at the end of the meeting to declare the bloc’s position on matters affecting democracy and political stability in the region.

“The situation in West Africa is nothing to be proud of, and we all know from what is happening in the sub-region that no country will be spared if urgent action is not taken.

“The interlocking interests are such that we need to review generally what has been happening and look at best practices to get the way forward for economic growth and political stability,” he said.

On the impact of the meeting on the local economy, he said all sectors of the Winneba economy, especially the hospitality industry would be at the receiving end of the value chain.


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