Ghana to host Extraordinary Session of ECOWAS Parliament

BY: Nana Konadu Agyeman
Ghana to host Extraordinary Session of ECOWAS Parliament
Alexander Afenyo-Markin

Ghana will host the next Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in the coastal city of Winneba from October 12 to 22, 2021.

The meeting will bring together 110 delegates from the 15 member states of the ECOWAS to discuss matters that pose threat to efforts to fortify democracy and political stability in the sub-region.

The delegates will also consider and adopt the draft 2020 budget of the ECOWAS Parliament as well as discuss pertinent matters including the desire of some heads of state to amend their countries’ constitution to stay on for a third term.

The event, which will be held on the theme: “Evaluating two decades of democratic elections in the ECOWAS region: Achievements, challenges and the way forward”, will take place at the Jophus Anamuah-Mensah auditorium of the University of Education, Winneba.

It will attract the Chairman of the Authority of Heads and Government of ECOWAS, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who will deliver the keynote address, as well as the Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, and his two deputies.

The event follows the successful hosting of the maiden delocalised meeting of the ECOWAS Parliament in Winneba between July 27 and 31, 2021.

Review

Briefing the press on the meeting in Parliament yesterday, the Chairman of Ghana’s eight-member delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament, Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin, said the delegates would also review what member states had done as a sub-region for the past 20 years and come up with a new roadmap aimed at ensuring peace and political stability.

He said a communiqué would be issued at the end of the meeting to declare the position of the bloc on matters affecting democracy and political stability in the region, which would be a major part of the discourse for heads of authority.

“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.

Preparations

Mr Afenyo-Markin, who is also the Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, gave an assurance that Winneba was ready to host the event as sufficient preparations had been made in terms of infrastructure and logistics.

He said the Government of Ghana had provided the needed support while some corporate institutions in Ghana had given firm assurance of their support for the upcoming event.

He added that sufficient arrangements had been made for accommodation, with 10 hotels ready for the delegates.

“The ECOWAS reconnaissance team was in Winneba last week and the members were satisfied with the facilities of these hotels,” he said.

Security

In terms of security, he said the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) had given an assurance that enough policemen would be deployed to Winneba to beef up security during the ceremony.

“So we are rest assured. Street lights to enhance visibility are also being provided and in terms of road network, the government has put in place some emergency arrangements towards the event.

“The necessary protocol arrangements to ferry the delegation from the Kotoka International Airport to Winneba have also been put in place and I have no doubt that we will have a profitable and pleasurable event,” he said.

He added that “as the leader of Ghana’s delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament, my team and I will be on standby to provide every necessary support to make this meeting memorable, and we want to assure our colleagues that they will have a memorable stay.”