About 200 delegates from the 15 member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) would gather in the coastal city of Winneba from October 12 to 22, 2021 for its High Level ECOWAS Parliament Interactive Summit and the 2021 Second Extraordinary Session of the sub-regional body.
The event, which would be held on the theme: “Evaluating Two Decades Of Democratic Elections In The ECOWAS Region: Achievements, Challenges And The Way Forward” is expected to see President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo deliver the keynote address as well as the Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, His Excellency, Sidie Mohamed Tunis, among others.
Speaking on Peace FM Kokrokoo, Chairman of Ghana’s eight-member delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament, Mr. Alexander Afenyo-Markin said, “In the history of ECOWAS Parliament, this is the first time such a meeting is held outside the capital city at Winneba. We take a look about Western Africa, our stability is questionable and democracy too there is a bit of problem. Insecurities all over, if you take a look from Saharan region to Niger, Mali to Burkina is a bit hectic. The whole program is to review our democracy, political, economic situation for the past 20years and to make serious recommendation as a Parliament for the authority of heads of State. The democracy strength can help Africa.”
He added, “We need to allow our citizens know that democracy would help us grow efficiently. If democracy would help the nation and then institutional pillars must be seen to be functioning independently. Therefore, these are the main issues we would be discussing in Winneba and experts, resource persons of high repute which I cannot mention their names but we have the former president, former diplomats in the sub-region coming and the program is of high-powered personnel.”
Mr Afenyo-Markin, gave an assurance that Winneba was ready to host the event as sufficient preparations had been made in terms of infrastructure and logistics adding that, it is in line with his core values of selling the Effutu Dream to relevant stakeholders in ways to bring down the poverty disaster seen in the area.
“The whole thing is that we are selling the Effutu Gomoa enclave. The poverty in Central region is a bit harsh. For some time, Eastern region and Volta region they’ve opened up their economy. Now I have been in Parliament for the past 9 years, 95% of all workshops, conferences if not Volta then is Eastern. We are going to Central region this time. I have a responsibility and is my duty to sell Effutu to the world. This is because when you come to the enclave, Effutu has nice beaches among other things.
“We are developing that enclave whether you are a native of Gomoa, Effutu, Ekumfi, we are all one people. Tourism potential needs to be explored and we can only do that if we are united. ECOWAS coming to Central region which would be hosted in Winneba, should be seen as Central region receiving in order to open up the region for visitors to see that after Greater Accra, we have Central region. There are coastal belt which their cities are nice. We are taking advantage of this to say Winneba is going to be the gateway to Central region and once you enter, you are in for beauty, pleasure and profits. We would complete 22nd October and there would be businesses for taxi drivers, markets women, restaurants, ushers among others. Because of COVID, hotel businesses were down but through this – all the hotels in Winneba are booked. The sons and daughters of your Effutu, Gomoa Central region would be proud because they are hosting it.”