News / Africa

ECOWAS Seeks to Strengthen Its Parliament’s Mandate

Peter Clottey
A five-day conference focused on strengthening the legislative mandate of the Economic Community of West States (ECOWAS) parliament ends Friday in the Ghanaian capital, Accra.

ECOWAS' Communications Director Sonny Ugoh says the meeting considered proposals that would ensure the regional parliament’s role is enhanced to a level in which its decisions would be binding on member states. Currently, the parliament acts in an advisory capacity.

ECOWAS Communications Director Sonny Ugoh (Courtesy: ECOWAS)ECOWAS Communications Director Sonny Ugoh (Courtesy: ECOWAS)
x
ECOWAS Communications Director Sonny Ugoh (Courtesy: ECOWAS)
ECOWAS Communications Director Sonny Ugoh (Courtesy: ECOWAS)
​“The whole idea of the meeting is to make proposals to see how we can move parliament from an advisory position, which it is now, to ultimately have core legislative functions,” continued Ugoh. “Now we are moving beyond a non-binding parliament to a parliament whose decisions would be binding on the community… within the context of the ECOWAS regional integration.”

Ugoh outlined some of the proposals being considered at the conference.

“The idea is to see how we can strengthen them in the area of approving [ECOWAS] community budget, in the area of participating in the process of appointing statutory appointees, [and] in the process of involvement in our integration project,” said Ugoh.

“This is valuable because as part of our objectives the vision of making sure that by 2020 our activities are citizen driven [and] citizen focused,” he said. “There is no greater way to ensure this than to involve the parliament in this process.”

The 115-member ECOWAS parliament is mainly made up of recommended legislators from current parliamentary representatives from member nations.

Ugoh, however, says the new proposals under consideration would change how the regional parliament is formed.

“The proposal is [that] we should have an electoral college that would elect members of parliament from the parliament of member states as it is now. Members would be elected by electoral college of their peers from member states,” said Ugoh. 

In 2006, regional leaders called on the ECOWAS Commission to come up with a mechanism to strengthen the role of the parliament. But the process stalled following political and security challenges in member nations.

Ugoh says ECOWAS is committed to going ahead with the project despite the political and security challenges.

“I must admit that it could have happened earlier, but considering the circumstances of West African, I think we have made some reasonable progress,” Ugoh said. “We believe that now that we have gotten to this point, we’ll progressively increase the tempo of activities in marching towards a parliament that heads of state and the people of West Africa desire.”
Clottey interview with Sonny Ugoh, ECOWAS communications director
Clottey interview with Sonny Ugoh, ECOWAS communications directori
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More