February 11, 2021

Ghana’s Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister designate, Shirley Ayorkor Botwe has said she is a firm believer in ensuring and seeing to it that lawmakers of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament are elected under the universal adult surfer rage.

According to her as a former Community lawmaker it was something that she was pushing for, as at the time she was there they were pushing for an enhancement of their powers.

 “It is not right that member states are funding the Parliament, yet the Parliament only exists as an advisory body and yet budget for the Commission of ECOWAS institutions are not touched by the MPs”.

She further pointed out that, in every democratic dispensation funds given to institutions should be scrutinized.

The former Community lawmaker made this known on Thursday, February 11, 2021 when she appeared before the Appointment Committee of Ghana’s Parliament.

Mr. Mahama Ayariga who is a member of the Committee and also a member of the ECOWAS Parliament, wanted to know the role she would play as Ghana’s President is the chair of the Authority of Heads of States and Government with the Minister designate being chair of Council of Foreign Ministers.

Madam Ayorkor Botwe further assured the Committee that if given the nod she would engage her colleague Council of Ministers on the issues of direct election of MPs to the
Community Parliament.

Again, “I would like to work with the Parliament, and I am very open to discussion and engagement on the subject matter”, he assured the Committee.

Meanwhile on a sub-regional related question, the Bawku Central lawmaker wanted to know from the nominee if there can be measures put in place for COVID-19 testing to ensure that the land borders are opened as its being done at the airports that allow COVID-19 testing on arrival. This, he noted would help since his constituency shares border with neighboring Burkina Faso.

The Minister designate noted that Ghana is not the only country that has closed its borders, if there is the need to open the land borders there should be an effort by all the ECOWAS countries because, “we have porous borders and we cannot control the land borders properly”..

And further added that it would be difficult to control all the long stretches of borders that are not marked, therefore, it should be left for the authorities that are in charge to come up with the appropriate way to do it.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com