July 15, 2020
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament would hold its second Extraordinary Session virtually from July 20 to 25, 2020 after early postponement due to technical challenges.

In an interview with the Speaker of the Community Parliament, Rt. Honorable Sidie Mohamed Tunis he pointed out that he has directed for the conveying of the Session to get the participation of the entire membership to discuss important referrals received from the ECOWAS Commission.

Also the meeting would enable the Community Parliament to input into the implementation of the Community levy, with certain documents which are going to be tabled by the Commission at the Head of State meeting.

Speaker Tunis revealed that this would be done through the Bureau of the Community Parliament, which consists of him and his four deputies who have the power to review and approve the document on behalf of parliament in line with the Supplementary Act 2016, but says he feels the right to get the input and thorough scrutiny from the Community lawmakers.

Meanwhile, the first inaugural session of the Parliament was held in Niamey, Niger, early this year by the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of States and President of Niger, His Excellency Mahamadou Issoufou.

The second extraordinary session of the Parliament in 2020 which is going to take place virtually from 20th to 25th July, 2020 will have the composite activities lined up as follows:
1.    Meeting of the Bureau: 20th July 2020
2.    Meeting of the Conference of Bureau: 20th July 2020
3.    Extraordinary Session: 21st to 25th July 2020

Furthermore, the meeting of the Conference of Bureau on the 20th July 2020 shall consist of the Bureau, the Chairmen and the first Rapporteur of each of the Standing Committees. They work with the Bureau of the Parliament to prepare the draft annual work-plan taking into account the priority of Community programmes.

The ECOWAS Parliament is composed of one hundred and fifteen (115) seats from each of the fifteen (15) member states.

This particular 2nd extraordinary session would be held via videoconference apparently because of the dreadful impact of Coronavirus in the West Africa sub-region.

The Coronavirus Pandemic has caused all ECOWAS Members to shutdown entry points, and because of social distancing, conveying individuals for the extraordinary session is impossible. However, the Parliament based on the directive of the Speaker, Rt. Honorable Sidie Mohamed Tunis has resolved to hold a videoconference session.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com