Rt. Hon Alban Bagbin has underpinned the importance of the representative role undertaken by parliamentarians across Africa.
The role, according to him strengthens the future and longevity of Africa’s democratic dispensation, hence the need to strengthen collaborative action against emerging political and socio-economic challenges.
The Speaker of Parliament made these remarks during his acceptance speech as President, of the Conference of Speakers and Heads of African Parliaments (CoSAP) which took place in Abuja, Nigeria. Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament takes over from Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives.
The CoSAP was officially launched on the 12th of October 2020 after three key meetings between founding Speakers which took place on 17th August 2020, 17th September 2020, and 12th October 2020.
The Speaker described the new appointment as an opportunity to work with neighbouring Parliaments to pursue and advance the agenda of collaborative representation at every level of governance.
Addressing the respective speakers’ Rt. Hon Bagbin further outlined some measures which he considered will set the path for a progressive and representative democratic government within the member organizations.
These include the need for African Parliaments to take decisive action to end the unconstitutional overthrow of governments in Africa and to further ensure more effective parliamentary oversight to curb Africa’s rising debt, and the mitigation of our vulnerability to external shocks.
He however called for the need to safeguard and strengthen the role and powers of legislatures across the continent as well as the need for Africa to build capacity to feed itself by tackling food insecurity as a priority.
He called on respective Parliaments across the sub-region to focus on inclusive budgeting and policy planning that address the needs of women, youth, and people living with disabilities, and ensure that they are provided with the same opportunities as all other citizens.
He stressed the urgent need for creating and sustaining enabling legislative environment for public-private partnerships, and enhancing the capacity and effectiveness of African inter-parliamentary institutions.
He also assured the member countries of his intention to ensure that the CoSAP continues to provide a platform for discussion, dialogue and action by Speakers and Heads of African Parliaments to advocate for more effective approaches in Africa’s public financial and economic management, developing collaborative strategies for tackling issues of common concern, and devise legislative interventions and solutions to address issues on a wider continental scale during his tenure of office.
The Conference of Speakers and Heads of African Parliaments (CoSAP) is a platform initiated to facilitate increased deliberation, collaboration and cooperation between Speakers, Heads of Parliaments and National Assemblies across Africa to address common challenges, devise joint solutions and mobilize collective action to advance Africans development.