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ECOWAS Parliament celebrates 20th anniversary at Lome

Speaker of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), Parliament Rt. Honorable Sidie Mohamed Tunis on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 together with lawmakers and staff cut a cake in Lome, Togo to mark the 20th Anniversary of the parliament. 

According to him it is an important milestone and due to the importance of Togo to the integration process, the occasion is happening, by coincidence not by design in Lome, as initially the plan was to mark it with a big event next month in Abuja.
Unfortunately, Session of the Parliament would not hold until January 2021 but there are plans of series of other events spanning into the whole of next year. 
Speaker Tunis congratulated members of the Community Parliament from 2000 to date, including unfortunately the deceased and his predecessors in office, of the first legislature Ali Nouhoum Diallo, the second legislature Mahamane Ousmane, the third legislature Ike Ekweremadu and the immediate past Mustapha Cisse Lo.  
“These famous sons of West Africa, supported by other members contributed immensely towards making the ECOWAS Parliament what it is today. Certainly, posterity will reward your efforts and the sacrifices you made”.

He further congratulated the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State, Council of Ministers and successive presidents of the ECOWAS Commission for their collaboration and support.

He also recalled that the idea of the establishment of the sub-regional body was conceived in Lome by late president Gnassingbe Eyadema and supported by the Nigerian Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon and other leaders. 

It is, therefore, correct to say that the beautiful city of Lome was the “womb” where ECOWAS was conceived, and Togo remains the “Mother that delivered” the Organization. To us, Togo is ECOWAS and ECOWAS is Togo.

Let me also recall that when the ECOWAS Parliament was established in 2000, the 1st Legislature was confronted with the major challenge of how best to make the Institution known across the sub-region. As the representatives of the people, meant to give them a voice in the integration process, they needed to create an avenue for constructive engagement with contending stakeholders.

Consequently, in 2003, the then leadership of the Parliament introduced the idea of holding Committee meetings outside the headquarters of Parliament in Abuja. This, they believed, would be a strategy to publicize the Parliament, at the same time, gain access to the people.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/

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