ECOWAS Parliament Speaker Vows to Promote Regional Integration

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By: Kebba AF Touray

The Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, Rt. Hon. Maimounatou Ibrahima has promised to prioritize regional integration and gender mainstreaming, in her activities to move the community to the next level.

Hon. Ibrahima, also called on the Parliament and other ECOWAS institutions to initiate policies that promote and enhance the status of women in the region.

Ibrahima, who was elected the Speaker of the sixth ECOWAS Parliament, last month, at the Second Extraordinary Session of the Parliament in Kano, is the first female to occupy the exulted office, since the birth of the sub-regional legislature.

The Togolese born Speaker, who officially assumed duty yesterday in Abuja, also embarked on an immediate familiarization tour of the Parliament where she held an interactive session with the principal officers led by Secretary General of the ECOWAS Parliament, Mr. Bertin Some, who briefed her on developments in the Parliament.

The Speaker, also visited the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Omar AlieuTouray, in his office in Abuja, where she reiterated her decision to build the capacity of women in West Africa.

She said: “This is the first time a woman will be the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament. This is going to be an inspiration for other women to aspire to achieve higher goals. We have ECOFEPA which is an association of ECOWAS Female Parliamentarians, which is used to help women. We are also going to strengthen the area of capacity building for women so that they can also move higher and higher”.

The Speaker also applauded the Togolese President, Mr. Faure Gnassingbe, who facilitated her appointment as ECOWAS Speaker.

She called on world leaders to direct policies towards making more women occupy sensitive positions to contribute their quota to the economic and political development of the globe.

Hon. Ibrahima also pledged to collaborate with other ECOWAS institutions to address the challenges of insecurity, and political and economic crises ravaging the region as well as work arduously to promote regional integration, and economic development among others.