Dr. Sidie Mohamed Tunis, Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, expressed optimism that the Community Parliament would achieve a lot in its work and mandate in 2022.
Dr. Tunis stated this at the end of the ECOWAS Parliament’s Second Ordinary Session in Abuja, Nigeria, in 2021.
“I have no doubt that it would be a fruitful year,” the Speaker said, referring to the fact that 2021 will mark the halfway point of his presidency and the level of enthusiasm shown in that year.
Dr. Tunis was elected in Niamey, Niger Republic, in March 2020. Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament’s 5th Legislature, a position with a four-year term.
Budget for 2022
The ECOWAS Parliament’s budget for 2022 has been approved by the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, according to the Speaker.
According to Dr. Tunis, the budget will have long-term effects, particularly in the areas of youth and gender development.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to the AFC and the ECOWAS Commission Management for approving funding for the Parliament’s Gender program.”
Dr.Tunis stated, “I wish to pledge that we will use the funds appropriately to meet the objectives of promoting gender-based issues within the general framework of our current Strategic Plan.”
In addition to the Community budget, the ECOWAS Parliament Speaker stated that the Session set aside time to review several referrals from the ECOWAS Commission.
“One of them was the Vision 2050 draft. Once again, I must express my pride in the seriousness with which we approach the task. We were able to review the document and make recommendations in the shortest amount of time. Let me remind everyone that the Vision 2050 document is critical to our region’s future,” the Speaker stated.
The first activity will take place in 2022.
Dr. Tunis revealed that the ECOWAS Parliament’s first activities in 2022 will be a Parliamentary Seminar from the 26th to the 28th of January, followed by its First Extraordinary Session from the 31st of January to the 4th of February, both in Lome, Republic of Togo.
He urged all ECOWAS citizens to get vaccinated and follow all protocols in order to prevent the deadly virus from spreading.
“The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be a challenge for the world,” he said, “and the new variant known as OMICRON will be another test for the coming year.”
“I implore everyone to remain committed to the fight against Covid-19 by remaining strong, steadfast, and loyal. We must get vaccinated and follow all protocols in order to prevent the deadly virus from spreading. We’ve been through similar phases in the past and will keep pushing forward.
Dr. Tunis stated that direct universal suffrage election of Members is still the primary goal of the current Legislature.
“We believe that achieving that goal will result in a more formidable and powerful Parliament.” We would continue to work toward its realization, particularly given the overwhelming support we appear to be receiving from key stakeholders. This encouragement and support give us a great deal of hope.”
Dr. Tunis reaffirmed the Community parliament’s commitment to uphold its obligations to West African citizens in ensuring regional peace and harmony.