Barrow seeks implementation of ECOWAS protocols for regional integration
• Bemoans high rate of youths’ migration
President of The Gambia, Adama Barrow, has stressed the need for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member-states to put sharper focus on the implementation of ECOWAS protocols to achieve greater regional integration.
Barrow, who spoke while declaring open the parliamentary seminar for the out-going Fourth Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament in Banjul, The Gambia, pointed out that institutional capacity remains a major driver of regional integration and must therefore be prioritised.
The Gambian President, while also bemoaning the high rate of youths’ migration into Europe, charged political leaders in the sub-region to entrench the respect for the fundamental principles of good governance and dialogue as a means of conflict resolution to provide the needed environment for young people to thrive.
“We are saddened by the dangerous journeys our youths undertake to Europe through the desert and Mediterranean Sea. Part of the solution to this issue lies in education, job creation and training for technical and entrepreneurial skills acquisition and application,” he said.
Barrow, who noted that to alleviate the economic challenges that hamper progress in the sub-region, ECOWAS member-countries must take strong position in the global economy through technology and innovation, commended the Parliament for putting up the seminar to review the activities of the Fourth Legislature, saying that the move will justify the resource inputs made into the parliament over the last four years.
Earlier, the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Moustapha Cissé-Lo, bemoaned the limited powers of the Parliament, calling for a review of the power structure of ECOWAS to correspond to the important role and functions played by Parliament.
“Although I have previously commended the Conference of Heads of State for granting new powers to Parliament, there is still much to be done to ensure that Parliament is commensurate with its important function as representative of the peoples of the community”.
Meanwhile, leader of the Gambian delegation for the upcoming January 27, 2020 extraordinary session of the ECOWAS Parliament, Mr. Kebba K. Barrow, said that the extraordinary meeting would look at some of the things the ECOWAS is planning to do in the Fifth Legislature.
He said that the seminar would evaluate the report on the activities of the Fourth legislature to improve on its work in the Fifth Legislature.