In an address at the opening of the 15th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Associations (CPA) Africa Region, in Accra on Monday, the Speaker urged his colleagues to bridge the political divide, and stand up to wrongdoing and misconduct.
Ghana’s parliament, under the auspices of the Speaker Edward Doe Adjaho, is hosting the Conference, which is running from Monday, 2nd November to Friday, 6th November, 2015.
Held every two years, the conference is bringing together, representatives from eighteen (18) Commonwealth countries in the Africa region with Gambia as an observing country.
This year’s conference, being held on the theme “Raising the confidence of the citizenry in the Legislature: the role of the Speaker,” attracted President John Dramani Mahama, a former parliamentarian, who delivered the keynote speech.
The Speaker reminded the gathering that it was necessary they did their work with modesty and honesty, as excesses would generate cynicism and erode the confidence in the Speaker.
He expressed confidence in the legislatures in the participating countries, and announced that Ghana’s parliament was in the process of preparing a Code of Conduct to guide members to effectively carry out their mandate.
Mr Adjaho further stressed the need for speakers to create the ambience to keep political dialogue open.
Mr Ike Ekweremadu, the Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, underlined that speakers must do their work more diligently; without undue external interference in the internal affairs of the parliaments.
The ECOWAS Speaker of Parliament advised for more capacity building by taking advantage of training institutions in the region.
“Let’s leave here with the charge to defend the integrity of our parliaments,” Mr Ekweremadu said.
During the conference Ghana would move a paper on; “Effective inter-governmental relation: The role of Speakers and Presiding Officers in enhancing Legislature, Judiciary and Executive relations.” The last Speakers’ and Presiding Members’ Conference of the CPA Africa Region Conference was hosted by Seychelles in 2013.
Ghana was chosen due to its high credentials in the rule of law, peace and stability in the country.
CPA is an organization of National Parliaments and Provincial / State / Territorial legislature of member countries of the Commonwealth on the continent of Africa who, irrespective of gender, race, and religion are committed to the respect for Human Rights and Freedom and the pursuit of the ideals of democracy and good governance, building understanding and unity between countries of the Region and the Continent and promoting the interest / perspective of Africa into the Commonwealth and beyond.
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Africa Region is part of the CPA International organization composed of African countries that were formerly under British rule with limited exceptions.
Some of these countries are also members of other regional bodies such as Pan-African Parliament (PAP), Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Southern Africa Development Community-Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF), East African Legislative Assembly and Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS).
Other activities lined up for the delegates include a cultural night scheduled at the Great Hall of the University of Ghana, a tour in Accra and Cape Coast to showcase our rich cultural heritage. There will be a grand a durbar of Chiefs and people in the Central region, with the various Asafo companies in the region to climax the event.