Abuja, November 25, 2021. The 2021 Second Ordinary Session of the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS Parliament) will hold from November 30 to December 18, 2021 at the Seat of Parliament, Abuja, the capital of Nigeria.
As provided in the Supplementary Act enhancing the Powers of Parliament, this parliamentary session will focus on the examination and adoption of the 2022 Budget of the Community. The vote for this budget comes in a difficult economic and social environment, marked by the persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic and terrorist attacks in the region.
Also, on the agenda for consideration by this session, is the presentation of the report on the state of the Community by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean Claude Kassi Brou, one of the major highlights of the session.
President Kassi Brou performs this exercise by virtue of Article 32 of the Supplemeantary Act enhancing the powers of Parliament which states: “At each Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament, the President of the Commission presents a general report on the state of implementation of the Community work program ‘. This bi-annual report to Parliament remains a very important highlight of the Ordinary Sessions of the Community legislature.
As an inventory of the past year and projections for the year to come, this report by the President of the Commission provides an opportunity for stock taking of the economic and social situation of the Community, to reaffirm its objectives and to formulate some major orientations for the immediate future.
The presentation of this report offers the representatives of the people, members of the public, the private sector, and indeed all other stakeholders, the opportunity to follow the level of implementation of Community programs.
Several parliamentary workshops are also planned during this session. Public, private or civil society organizations are invited to present and explain to regional deputies their missions and achievements and the challenges they face. Through these workshops, Parliament will listen to the concerns of these organizations.
Pending the approval of direct elections into the Parliament by the authority of Heads of State and Government, Members are currently selected from the membership of National Assemblies of Member States to serve as representatives for the people of the region, with the mandate to consider regional issues that impact the lives of citizens.
The ECOWAS Parliament is composed of 115 seats. For the allocation of these seats, each member state is guaranteed a minimum of five seats. The remaining forty seats are distributed in proportion to the population of each country. Based on this distribution, Nigeria has 35 seats, Ghana 8, Ivory Coast 7, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Senegal have 6 seats each. The other countries namely Benin, Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Togo have 5 seats each.