Leader of the Ghanaian delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament, Hon. Alexander Afenyo-Markin has advocated for the hosting of the activities of the regional body parliament outside the national capitals of members state.
Afenyo-Markin, while explaining the modalities behind the decision to hold the next Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Winneba, a municipal in Ghana, said hosting outside the national capitals would foster regional inclusion and ensure that ECOWAS agenda are taken to more citizens of West Africa.
Afenyo-Markin made this known while speaking to journalists at the closing of the delocalized meeting of the Parliament’s Joint Committees on Political Affairs, Peace, Security and the African Peer Review Mechanism, Judicial Affairs and Human rights, Social Affairs, Gender and Women Empowerment in Monrovia, Liberia.
He noted that hosting such international meeting outside the Ghanaian capital of Accra is in line with one of the founding visions of ECOWAS as a tool for regional inclusion through inclusive programmes.
Afenyo-Markin while stating that West African communities are blessed with a lot of resources, explained that hosting international events in such communities will market the region and open it to international markets.
Afenyo-Markin noted that when such an event is brought to the local communities of member states, citizens will get to know more about ECOWAS institutions, and also bring infrastructural development to the community.
He said: “This is not the first time, we hosted a delocalized meeting and Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Winneba in 2021. A precedent has been set except that we are optimistic that this will be better than before.
“The whole idea of integration is to take governance to the very doorstep of the people and we the Ghanaian delegation made a case that it is high time we move out of the capital city.
“Anytime we host international programmes, we concentrate on the capital city and members do not get the opportunity to travel out of the capital city.
“So one, to bring the governance right to the door step of the very people we govern, and two, to also create that opportunity for the region for putting it on the visibility map creates a positive uptake for development.
“There is no doubt on my mind that international programmes create opportunities for growth, development, and also tourism.
“We have sixteen regions in Ghana and Winneba is a municipality within the central region of Ghana.
“Taking the conference there, the session there with all the participants will market the region, the constituency, the city which is a coastal city for greater opportunities.
“When such initiatives comes, government gets compelled to upgrade facilities. And long after the conference is over, these facilities become the Bonafede of the people and for other use,” Afenyo-Markin said.
He urged other parliamentarians to follow suit, plan with their governments so that they can open the region to the world.