Accra_ghana — A road map that will ultimately result in the adoption of a Supplementary Act to enhance the powers of the ECOWAS Parliament has been adopted at a multidisciplinary meeting of experts which ended in Accra on Friday, 26th April 2013.
The week-long experts meeting, attended by representatives of ECOWAS national units in Member States, officials from the ministries of justice and ministries in charge of parliamentary relations in Member States as well as officials of the ECOWAS Commission, the Parliament and consultants, examined a draft supplementary act proposed by the parliament.
The road map delineates various activities to be undertaken between April 2013 and the last quarter of this year when the draft supplementary act is expected to be submitted to Heads of State and Government for their approval.
In the intervening period, various internal meetings of Community Institutions will be held amongst financial, human resources and legal experts to further fine tune the draft Act with regard to the distribution of functions and powers. This will be followed by meetings of Statutory Technical Committees, the legal and judicial affairs committee and the Administration and Finance Committee both constituted of experts from Member States.
The ECOWAS Council of Ministers will then consider the document before submission to Heads of State and Government for approval. During the meeting, the draft Supplementary Act was presented and discussed after which the experts discussed its various ramifications. The 115-member Parliament was inaugurated in 2001 as a consultative forum and to proffer advice in specific areas as part of the process of citizen involvement in the regional integration process.
In 2006, Heads of State and Government decided to strengthen the role of the institution in the process and directed that the process be initiated to realize this objective. While closing the meeting, the Director Child Legal Protection in Cote d'Ivoire's Ministry of Justice and Public Liberties, Madame Marguerite Goun- Koffi, praised the experts for their demonstrated commitment to the Community and for the dispassionate consideration of the document.
Vice President Dr. Toga Gayewea McIntosh who chairs the ECOWAS Commission internal committee for the project led the team from the Commission while the speaker of the parliament, Senator Ike Ekweremadu participated in the opening ceremony on 22nd April 2013.