Dr Pelpuo elected FPA President
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Wa Central, Dr Abdul-Rashid Hassan Pelpuo, has been elected as the President of the Africa Parliamentarians Forum on Population and Development (FPA).
He was elected at a meeting in Ethiopia recently comprising chairmen of all the caucuses in African Parliaments.
The forum is a convocation of chairmen of population and development caucuses of African Parliaments.
It addresses the problem of human welfare, rapid population growth and its consequences for the well-being of humanity worldwide.
The forum entails the improvement in people's level of living — their incomes, health, education and general well-being.
Dr Pelpuo, who is also the Chairman of the Ghanaian version and once the leader of the West Africa Parliament on Population and Development, has also succeeded in bringing the headquarters of the forum to Ghana.
His proposal to bring the headquarters to Ghana was approved at its conference in Kigali, Rwanda, last week where he also pushed for a new way of doing things, including a new letterhead, logo and website.
A new bank account has also been created in Accra to solicit for support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to have a coordinator and supporting staff to man the office.
The Wa Central MP told the Daily Graphic in an exclusive interview in Parliament House in Accra on Thursday that a letter of his election had been duly communicated to the President , Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin.
The Rwanda Conference was intended to reflect on the progress achieved by different countries in relation to the commitments made in the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Plan of Action and the Addis Ababa Declaration on Population and Development.
Currently, the forum receives support from the Asian Population and Development Association (APDA), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).
But Dr Pelpuo called for a new order where member countries should begin payment of dues to be determined by the forum.
He said financial independence would make the forum more vibrant for it to take decisions without foreign influence.
Dr Pelpuo said the Rwanda gathering presented a unique occasion of African and Asian parliamentarians to dialogue as to how to mark the 30th anniversary celebration of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and the Addis Ababa Declaration on Population and Development.
"As we are heading towards reviewing the ICPD agenda, we need to generate a common voice on our perspectives as African Parliamentarians to beef up our African Population and Development agenda," he told the conference.
He called on the various members to help influence and shape the government's policies and push for pro-youth policies.
Already the MP has organised a programme for the youth in Cape Coast to give hope to them, and is now focusing on "out of school youth" most of who dropped out of school either due to teenage pregnancy or poverty.
Before his three-year term ends in 2026, he intends to host a major conference in Accra to "leave something concrete to serve as a takeoff point for the forum."