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Pan-African Parliament holds successful election and elects Fortune Charumbira

 The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) on Wednesday, June 29, 2022 held a successful election which saw the Zimbabwean Member of Parliament (MP), Fortune Charumbira, winning the one-horse race to become the President of the continent’s legislative assembly.

Ghana’s Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, who represented the Western African bloc, led the five-member ad hoc Election Committee of the PAP to supervise the election.

Other members of the Election Committee are Janeyt Kabile (Mme) (DRC) – Central Africa, Thembekile Ritchard Majola (RSA) – Southern Africa, Stewart Madzayo (Kenya) Eastern Africa, and Fateh Boutbig (Algeria) Northern Africa.

Voting at the PAP to elect President was disrupted last year after the session was descended into farce with some members fighting and threatening to kill each other.

The 235-member parliament was electing the next President when the ugly incident happened, with southern African delegates insisting that their candidate should be chosen to end the dominance of other regions.

The legislative arm of the African Union sat for an ordinary session at its headquarters in Midrand since the start of the week and Wednesday’s proceeding saw more than 200 delegates voting for the parliament’s bureau, including the president and two vice presidents.

The Annoh-Dompreh’s ad hoc committee, which was assisted in its deliberations by the Secretariat of the PAP, the AUC Officials and the Office of the Legal Counsel, was praised for the successful conduct of the election which produced Mr. Charumbira after 161 votes out of 203 ballots went into his favour.

Announcing the results of the election, Mr. Annoh-Dompreh indicated among other things that by Rule16 (3) of the Rules of Procedure, the Committee agreed to assist the Legal Counsel in organising and presiding over the election of the President of the Pan African Parliament.

Charumbira’s bid for the presidency at the Pan African Parliament appeared to have been seamless after getting the backing of the southern and northern regions, and he is the first delegate from the southern bloc to take up the top seat.

He was elected unopposed as Malawian candidate Yeremiah Chihana’s nomination was cancelled because it was not following the AU’s protocol.


“Ghanaians are going through excruciating poverty under Dr. Bawumia”—John Jinapor

A member of the Finance Committee of Ghana’s Parliament John Abdulai Jinapor has taken a swipe at the vice president Dr. Mahmud Bawumi as head of the country’s economic management team following the current economic difficulties citizens have to cope with. And Ghanaians are going through excruciating poverty. According to him the economic management team under his leadership is pushing the PURC to increase electricity tariffs to astronomical levels, amidst fuel prices already skyrocketing having been increased by more than 100 percent in less than six months.

Vice President of Ghana

“This is unprecedented; inflation has gone through the roof over thirty percent with food inflation leading the chart; the Ghanaian cedi is at a free fall. Today the cedi sells at 8.2 cedis to the dollar like a coconut high up the tree that has fallen. If you talk to the ordinary Ghanaian today, how to meet a three-square meal is a major challenge, there are reports of food shortages in our various markets and fuel rationing at the various pumps. This is not the time to increase the burden of the ordinary Ghanaian”.
At a press conference on Wednesday, June 29, 2022, he noted that the Minority is calling on civil society and TUC, as well as all well-meaning Ghanaians to send a clear signal to the government of Ghana that, “we have had enough of this abysmal performance; enough of the suffering and incompetence. In a situation like this, one would have expected that government would stand up to the plea and think outside the box, and own up and accept responsibility and do the needful.

He further recounted that, two months ago the head of the economic management team Dr. Bawumia held a press conference and instead of accepting responsibility and giving solutions to the problems, he rather chose to blame the NDC administration for the current woes. “He said falsely that the NPP administration has made some excess capacity payment worth seven billon cedis (GHc 7b ); we have discounted that claim and pointed it out as complete falsehood and challenged the office of the vice president to provide evidence. The office of the vice president promise to make available the excess payment. My question is two months since that promise was made where is the evidence?”

Mr. John Abdulai Jinapor further pointed out that, having engaged the energy sector players and Finance Ministry, they can conclude that the statement by the vice president that GHc 7bn was paid in excess capacity cannot stand the test of time. And since it is false, they would continue to pursue the vice president and insist that he provides that evidence. “The office is a high office, we would not allow him to move around with that falsehood as we go forward”, he emphasized.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

$35miliion transport of Ameri plant to Kumasi outrageous-Minority

The Minority in Ghana’s parliament has raised alarm over attempts by government to transfer the Ameri plant to Kumasi at a cost of thirty-five million dollars ($35m).
At a press conference addressed by John Abdulai Jinapor on Wednesday, June 29, 2022, he noted that they find it strange and incongruous, and unfortunate. Not only are they alarmed at the astronomical price government intends spending, they have also noted with concern attempt to re-introduce Mytilineous International Trading Company into the whole scenario.
He recounted that somewhere in 2018 Mytilineous Company was at the center of the Ameri scandal which led to the dismissal of then Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko; and added that they have been informed when “we had a Committee meeting that VRA has been requested by government to enter into an agreement with the said company for pre-financing of the re-location of the Ameri plant to Kumasi.
Again, you recall that this plant was brought into this Country by former President Mahama and the NDC government under a Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) agreement and that agreement has since expired and the plant has been transferred to the government of Ghana.
“Contrary to the originally envisage agreement to transfer the plant to VRA, the Akufo-Addo and Dr Bawumi led government, is using clandestine means to appropriate the plant to their cronies and friends”, he stated.
“We in the Minority, we are oppose to this whole idea signing on with Mytilineous and spending a whopping $35million which translates to over GHc280million.
We call on government as a matter of urgency to transfer that plant to VRA as was originally envisaged as they have the capacity to handle and manage the plant”.
This, they advised should be done without any delay as they would use every parliamentary process to ensure that this illegitimate way of trying to appropriate the Ameri plant to friends would not be tolerated, and they would do everything to live up to expectation.
Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Annoh-Dompreh endorses vice president’s crusade for environmental responsibility

Vice President

Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annoh-Dompreh has called on religious leaders to supplement government’s effort to protect the environment.
According to him, there is a need for churches and mosques to ensure rivers, water bodies and their surroundings are always kept clean and useful.
“The call by the Vice President for an active collaboration by our traditional leaders with government on environmental responsibility is awesome. Our religious leaders must be part of the tripod. We must ‘preach’ environmental responsibility in our churches and mosques,” he tweeted on Tuesday, June 28.
Speaking at this year’s edition of the Ohum Festival at Kyebi in the Eastern Region on Saturday, June 25, the Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said it is the duty of the present generation to uphold and defend the ancient tradition of keeping the environment clean and healthy for posterity.
He bemoaned the present state of river bodies in the country, which he said leave so much to be desired.
“Today in Ghana, our river bodies are polluted with an alarming carelessness. It is either we have farmed or built so close to the river banks, callously polluted the rivers with activities of galamsey, or encroached the river path for human settlement.
“To overcome this canker of environmental degradation and pollution requires the commitment of everyone, including the government. In times past, communal labour and volunteerism were effective avenues used by nananom and local authorities to deal with the issues of filth in our neighborhoods.
“This noble initiative and activity, however, seems to be lost on us these days. I implore Nananom to work collaboratively with the local administrative authorities to rekindle that communal spirit to help deal with filth in our societies,” he urged.
He added that government “will continue to pursue efforts such as Operation Vanguard to affirm our commitment to protect the environment and water bodies.”
“We will continuously need the support of nananom and the people of Ghana in this pursuit in order to rid our environments of filth.”

Gov’t blames external factors for high cement prices—Minister

Minister for Trade and Industries, Alan Kojo Kyeremateng has attributed the high cost of cement in the country to external factors.
The Minister told Parliament that clinker which is a raw material mainly imported into the country has witnessed significant upward adjustment in recent times.
According to him in the recent past, freight globally has also seen very significant increase which has resulted in the disruption of the global supply chain initially caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequently by the Russia Ukraine conflict.
He made this know on the floor of the House on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 when he came to the House to answer question posed by Member of Parliament for Bole Bamboi Yusif Sulemana.
“Furthermore, the depreciation of our local currency against the US Dollar and the increases in petroleum product as well as the cost of electricity has also contributed to the high cost of production of cement”.
In addition to that the supply of bags for cement has also been disrupted as a result of the conflict that have accounted for the increase in cement in the local market.
As to measures government and his Ministry is putting in place to address the problem, he told the House the economic management team and cabinet are currently considering series of measures that would address some of the internal factors.
On the issue of sub-regional cement price on the low side but Ghana has its price higher, the Minister pointed out that per records the Ministry has, the records do not support the MPs claim.
Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

Bagbin leads Parliamentary delegation to cyber security conference in Israel

Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, is attending the International Cyber Security Week in the Israeli capital, Tel Aviv.

Accompanying the Speaker are the Clerk to Parliament, Cyril Nsiah, MP for Ho West and a Member on the ICT Steering Committee of Parliament, Emmanuel Bedzrah, the Director of ICT, Mrs Shirley-Ann Fiagome and her deputy, Leslie Addico and officers from the reforms team of the office of the clerk.

The four-day conference which opened on Monday has participants drawn from academia and industry from over 40 countries across the globe and the Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, attending.

It is aimed at readying Parliament and other government institutions to respond to cyber security attacks which are said to be on the increase.

Some of the topics to be discussed at the conference include ‘Bridging International Approaches to Cyber Risk Management’, ‘The Future Landscape of the Cyber Security World – 2030 and Beyond’, Cyber Crisis Management and Readiness, ‘Security in the Quantum Age’, ‘Maritime Cyber Security,’ ‘Data Protection’, ‘Digital Sovereignty and Cyber Security’ amongst others.

Speaking on the topic Cyber Security World – 2030 and Beyond’ on Monday, Brigadier General (Rtd) Rami Efrati, one of the coordinators of the conference said cyber security poses a great danger to the existence to small scale businesses, multinationals and even states.

“Cyber is a big business, it is going to be big business forever because as long as new technologies are coming and as as far as hackers are concerned, there is business to do” Brigadier-General Efrati said.

According to him, cyber security criminals are adopting new trends to enhance their nefarious activities which require that institutions of state and businesses upped their games to combat such attacks which are expected to increase in the near future.

Some of these attacks, Brigadier General (Rtd)  Efrati said are not to make money but to generate fake news and misinformation to change minds negatively to undertake a course.

Using a health facility in Israel which he said has been attacked recently as an example, the retired soldier said the world must come together to nib cyber security in the bud as areas such as oil and gas, maritime, governance, telecommunication, banking amongst others remain susceptible to cyber criminals.

In an interview on  the relevance of the conference to the operations of Parliament, Mrs Fiagome said it would help enhance Parliament’s preparedness to the increasing cases of attacks on the legislature’s systems..

“We do have cyber security attacks mostly on our emails. Very often, our subscribers receive email from [attackers] pretending to be coming from parliament and ask them to sign in.

“Once they do that, the attackers have access to our system, change the password and attack the system and results in denial of service because our servers are blocked from sending emails until the issue is resolved,” she revealed.

Stating that these incidents have impact on the operations of Parliament, Mrs Fiagome said, measures, including preventing an email from sending a certain number of mails per day, have been taken to end the attacks.

With the attackers getting sophisticated by the day, Mrs Fiagome urged other institutions to adopt continual user-awareness trainings to their staff  to be current on the trends of cyber-attacks and how to detect them.


“In-coming Commission President has a huge task ahead”—Billay G. Tunkara

Leader of the Gambian delegation to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Billay G. Tunkara has acknowledged that the in-coming President of the Commission Dr. Omar Alieu Touray has a huge task ahead. According to him the president is coming at a time that commissioners to assist him have been reduced from fifteen (15) to Seven (7), a situation that calls for hard work if there would be any transformation.

And added in an interview that to him who much is given much is expected and needs to focus and learn from the mistakes of the out-going president and should work hard to leave a good legacy, by “making Gambia proud”. On the political situation in the West Africa sub-region, he noted that it’s unfortunate that in the 21st century there are still military take overs, and more worrying is the juntas quest to extend their stay in power by thirty-six months without recourse to the Authority of Heads of States and Government.

Dr Omar Alieu Touray

“Dr. Omar Alieu Touray’s presidency should learn from this rampant military take overs and act on the security intelligence reports on member states. Once you see the early warning signs, you should address it before it gets out of hand”. And gave an example of a fact finding mission of the ECOWAS Parliament to the Mali where the then Malian Parliament’s Speaker swore heaven and earth that the country did not have any difficulties but the following day, there was a coup.

“He should be realistic by acting on intelligence reports; the stay in power by the juntas is too much, ECOWAS should set a good example so that others who have coup mentality do not emulate it. If you keep silence it would open the flood gate for others to also attempt”. In addition, ECOWAS should stand resolute to ensure there is a deterrent and that would stop potential coup plotters.

Hon Fatoumatta Njai,

Mr. Billay G. Tunkara, underscored the need for the new administration to have constant engagement with the Community lawmakers as it came out during joint Committee meetings at the 2022 First Ordinary meeting that there were a lot of activities from the Commission were not known to the MPs. “We are the direct representatives of the people, therefore decisions that would affect them we should be involved with it and we should also play a lead role in that advocacy. We from the Gambia would also engage the in-coming Commissioner to let him know what the MPs expect of him”.

On issues to do with elections within the sub-region, he pointed out that, MPs should be brought into the picture and it should not be at the last hour, then the Commission would turn to them to give favorable opinion on documents they bring before them.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com/Abuja-Nigeria

2022 First Ordinary Session ends

The 2022 First Ordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, ended on Monday, June 27, 2022 with the adoption of reports of standing committees, joint and Ad Hoc Committees. Adoption of the draft texts was made by the Council of Ministers of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of States and Governments.
First Deputy Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament Ahmed Idris Wase who closed the session on behalf of the Rt. Hon. Sidie Mohamed Tunis was pleased with work done by lawmakers especially in the technical discussions leading to the conclusion of Parliament’s Advisory Opinion on the referrals made by the ECOWAS Commission, covering a variety of subjects.

As Members of Parliament, their major responsibility is to represent the people and work towards the transformation of the Community into a self-sufficient, sustainable, prosperous, and peaceful sub-region. He underscored the need, to take back control of lives and the future of the sub-region. Consequently, Community Institutions, as vehicles of the integration process, must be made to function efficiently towards fulfilling their respective mandates to the people.

“The first step towards attaining full parliamentary status is the direct election of members to the ECOWAS Parliament. This also means that we must step up the task at hand. We must work relentlessly to ensure that our efforts yield the needed dividend”.

“Permit me to send hearty congratulations to all Honorable Members who won their respective seats at the just concluded parliamentary elections in some of our Member States. I employ you to never betray the trust. Serve well, lead well, and represent adequately”, he advised.


“Country reports in ECOWAS Parliament don’t reflect reality on the ground”—Fatoumata

The Independent lawmaker in the Gambia National Assembly and a member of the delegation to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Fatoumata Njai said country reports presented at the Parliament do not reflect the reality on the ground in various member states.

According to her this came to light at a joint Committee meeting of Political Affairs, Peace, Security and APRM, Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Social Affairs, Gender and Women Empowerment, Administration, Finance and Budget and Public Account at the ongoing 2022 First Ordinary Session in Abuja-Nigeria, where it was pointed out that leaders within the West African sub-region are praised until they are no more.

“I think it is the norm in the sub-region and Africa at large; we are not genuine to ourselves, we just say what people want to hear instead of telling them what should be said. I do not have friends because I do not miss my words; I do not beat around the bush, I say it as it is, I believe it’s the reason why I was given a second term”, she said in an interview.

She further pointed out that, during their engagement with the Commission’s technical team, the former President of Guinea Alpha Conde when the early warnings were identified, reports were written, recommendations were made, he would script them off and say “I do not want to hear this and they would say what he want to hear. For me I do not believe in that. It is just the same in my country –Gambia; example the World Bank would come and praise Yahya Jammeh when he was a dictator, until now when the report started coming, they all said they knew it, and did not say so”. As to what her point was, she pointed that it is the same thing with reading reports. “We praise repots; for me to be honest, most of the reports that we read do not reflect the true and real aspect of the countries”.

“I have said and always say but then we adopted the Senegal report and not address the real issues. Three people have died already. Last year 11 people died, it’s never mentioned, we are not being genuine and honest to our citizens by coming here”, he lamented.

She added that, she would not blame the government for what is happening in Senegal neither would she blame the opposition but then again, if an opposition leader who has been in Parliament for that long witnesses the passing of the parity law.

Like she said during the joint Committee meeting, is it deliberate to make a mistake on the list or was it a genuine error? No one can tell. You cannot have your cake and eat it. As a law maker you know the parity laws, respect them and have your list approved. If you do not respect it, face the law.

She called for respect for the law in our respective countries, so it does not give the government the right to impose sanction on us or to send the military or security person on citizens.

On whether if technical experts are allowed to present the country reports would change the dynamics, she responded saying; “it is Members of Parliament who would adopt the reports; and if the experts give their honest opinions, MPs would be the ones to defend their countries.

“Most of us are not here to represent our people, they are rather here to defend the government; as fortunately for me, I am in opposition, that is why i can speak my honest opinion and I am also independent. It means I do not have a party, it’s my people that are my party, citizens of the Community should be awaken to this fact and try to control the powers that the government would have by making sure that Parliament always has opposition and independent majority”.

That way, the government’s power can be controlled, otherwise even if experts present, nothing would happen. You see as it is in Guinea, they had observers report but still the majority of representation there were part of the government, and they would stand and defend and deny any wrong doing.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com/Abuja-Nigeria

“Direct election is wishful thinking, I always laugh when we talk about it”—Njai

Speaker ECOWAS Parliament

A member of the Gambian delegation to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Fatoumata Njai has said the crusade to directly elect lawmakers to the Parliament directly is wishful thinking, “my view”.

According to her she always laugh when the issue of directly electing MPs comes up when questioned by Ecowasnews.com, when asked if MPs are elected the dynamics would change, “we are elected from our various countries, we come here as elected members by extension I do not believe it would be easy to directly elect MPs to come and represent us at the ECOWAS Parliament”.

Again, she pointed out that as a sub-region, we have different forms of elections and gave an example the way MPs are elected in Senegal is different from the Gambia her country. In her country, you present yourself, “in Senegal you present a list, so how are we going to have a uniform form of election to be able to represent us in the Parliament?”

“We look at the EU Parliament, is different because they have structures and strong electoral laws, but in our part of the world it’s your pocket which determines whether you get elected; the one with the heaviest pocket. I do not see it coming, in fact I would not even support. We were elected through our national Assemblies”.

She further vehemently kicked against monetization of politics within the West Africa sub-region.

On the issue of divided attention and allegiance, as some of the problems confronting the current parliament; she noted that it has to do with the individuals. For example, their sessions are quarterly in the Gambia and in some Parliaments they seat daily so if they should come they would have decided attention, “yet that does not call for us to be directly elected because what we decide here should be taken back to our home Assemblies to be acted on”.

She is of a firm believe and still against MPs being elected directly by the people because, they are already the ones who  elect us in our Parliaments’, it would be more expensive for any one because you have to be based in Abuja, you would lose touch in your home country”.

Also, you would not be a local politician, you would be a regional politician, you would be based here in Abuja-Nigeria, you would still have divided attention going and coming to your country. “We are connected in our communities”.

“I do not see it coming, we are already half way into this Legislature, I would not blame it on COVID-19 because even that era business was going on; we have resumed a year ago, I believe that with every leadership comes a theme; I believe a theme should be genuine from the heart and realistic and measurable, when we do something it should be smart”.

Madam Njai noted that instead of directly electing ECOWAS MP, the focus should rather be on strengthening democracy and making sure that enacted laws by the parliament are adopted in the sub-region.

“We look at the East Africa Legislature, African Parliament, they make laws and when those laws are made in their regional Parliament, they are implemented in their home countries; that should have been more realistic. Let us work on term limit within our region. That would have been more realistic than saying we are going to be elected directly, who is going to organise those elections, its wishful thinking”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com /Abuja-Nigeria