The Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has continued to reassure Member States of its commitment to foster regional integration and promote ICT-based distance education and training.
This was disclosed at the Joint Delocalized Meeting during the 20th milestone anniversary of the Parliament held under the theme “ECOWAS in the era of COVID-19 and beyond: focusing on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to promote distance education and training in ECOWAS Member States”.
Speaking during the technical session, Hon. Sidie Mohamed Tunis, Speaker of the regional Parliament, charged members to develop a digital Master Plan that will drive the switch to ICT-based distance learning to stave off future disruptions to education experienced in the scourge of the pandemic.
According to the Speaker, “The move by the Parliament is to forestall a situation where another inequality in education will arise in the region due to lack of infrastructure to drive e-learning for all, in the region.”
In his congratulatory message, acknowledging the objective of the ECOWAS Parliament, and the sentiments behind the ECOWAS Vision 2020, the Speaker assured citizens of his commitment to ensuring that the Parliament is brought closer to them and pledged to further consolidate the gains of regional integration, achieved in the past two decades.
“The raison d’être for the establishment of the Parliament was to provide adequate representation for the people in community affairs. Consequently, it is expected to provide a voice for the people in the integration process and ensure that they understand and take advantage of Community programs and policies towards improving their general wellbeing”, he said.
Further remarking on the institution’s achievements and progress in its twenty years of existence, Hon Tunis stated that, “From the inauguration of the First Legislature to this day, marking its 20th anniversary, the ECOWAS Parliament has metamorphosed into an Institution that can be reckoned with regionally, continentally and even globally”.
Hon. Tunis who presided over the 5th legislature of the Parliament paid glowing tributes to his predecessors whom he referred to as “famous sons of West Africa”, extolling their contributions towards making the ECOWAS Parliament what it is today.
He also had kind words for the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State, the successive Presidents of the ECOWAS Commission and the host country, Republic of Togo, describing the coincidence of the anniversary celebration with its first Joint Delocalized Meeting in Lome, as one worthy of mention, considering the role the Government of Togo plays towards strengthening regional integration and cooperation.