By Bakary Ceesay
In opening the Parliamentary Seminar on the Evaluation of the Fourth Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament in Banjul on Thursday, 23rd January, 2020, His Excellency, President Adama Barrow has called for sharper focus on implementing ECOWAS Protocols.
The sub-regional parliamentarians are meeting in Banjul with special focus on the Implementation of the Strategic Plan and the Supplementary Act on the Enhancement of Powers of the ECOWAS Parliament.
President Barrow told the parliamentarians that the meeting was an important one, as it was organised to evaluate the Fourth Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament.
“All processes relating to the improvement of the governance systems of the ECOWAS institutions should be oriented towards efficient management of regional cooperation and integration programmes,” he told them, noting that institutional capacity is another major driver of regional integration.
The Gambian leader said the meeting was relevant and timely, as representatives of the citizens of the sub-region gather to review and evaluate their performance. They are also reviewing the implementation status of the ideals and goals of integrating the economies and peoples of the region as envisioned by the founding fathers of the Organisation.
Such is particularly critical, especially as the vision and emphasis of the Community is shifting from an ‘ECOWAS of States’ to an ‘ECOWAS of Peoples.’
“With this in view, all the programmes and activities of the Community should be people-centred. For this reason, it is most fitting for you to evaluate the progress towards ensuring that the People of the Community enjoy and appreciate the benefits of sub-regional integration,” he added.
The outgoing Speaker of the ECOWAS parliament, Hon. Moustapha Cisse-Lo said the event is an opportunity for the body to congratulate The Gambia on its commitment to democracy, peace and good governance since President Barrow’s ascension to presidency.
They commend the efforts that President Barrow made to ensure and accelerate the harmonious development of The Gambia, in peace and restoration of effective democracy.