As part of the sub-regional integration process of bringing governance to the doorsteps of the people, Winneba, will in September 2023 host the Extra Ordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, in Ghana.
This would be the second time Ghana would host the ECOWAS Parliament which convenes twice a year.
The 2023 First Ordinary Session of Parliament, opened on Monday, May 8, 2023, in Abuja and ended on Friday, May 26, 2023.
The session was convened under Article 21.1 of the Supplementary Act relating to the enhancement of the powers of the ECOWAS Parliament, which provided that Parliament should meet twice a year in Ordinary Sessions to provide a platform to deliberate and strengthen Member States’ position on issues of regional and continental importance.
As provided for in Article 32 of the supplementary Act, the Session also provides the President of the ECOWAS Commission to present a general report on the implementation of the Community Work Programme to the Plenary.
This allows the House to be updated on developments in the Community and followed by debates, expressed opinions and recommendations.
Further, National Delegates also have the chance to present their country’s reports to inform the Body of unfolding developments in their respective Member States and the status of implementation of their community’s texts.
Mr Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin, the leader of the Ghanaian delegation announced in Monrovia – Liberia at the end of a joint delocalized meeting, when he interacted with the media.
He explained that the Conference being hosted out of the capital would bring governance to the doorsteps of the people and create an opportunity for the region by way of putting it on the visibility map for development.
“This will also allow Member States not only to connect to build consensus towards ECOWAS Development but also an opportunity to travel outside the capital city to familiarise themselves with neighbour countries,” he said.
Mr Afenyo-Markin, also the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament and a Member of the ECOWAS Parliament, further told Journalists that international programmes created opportunities for growth, development and tourism; and Winneba being the capital of one of the Municipalities in the Central Region was more than ready to welcome the ECOWAS delegation.
According to him, the Session would also market the region, the Effutu Constituency and the city which was a coastal city for greater opportunities.
He maintained that such Sessions projected facilities towards development and urged his colleagues to push for more opportunities and take advantage of such possibilities.
“We cannot always over-concentrate in the capital cities; we need to move out and spread opportunity to the people,” he said.
The Effutu NPP Member of Parliament (MP), told Journalists from Member that this will not be the first of its kind, particularly when Winneba 2021 successfully hosted a delocalised meeting and an Extra Ordinary Session, and therefore a precedent had been set.
… “We are optimistic that this will be better than before. The Ghanaian government will put in place the necessary protocols for all MPs, focal persons and staff, security arrangements will be in place. Winneba, which is the capital of my constituency, is just an hour’s drive from Accra on a good road,” he said.
Mr Afenyo-Markin noted that Members were already used to that route with facilities going to be there to host them, adding “As I did indicate, we hope to make it a pleasurable time, profitable time for all; we encourage all of you to come and take part in the programme,” he said.