The ECOWAS Female Parliamentarians Association Network (ECOFEPA) has applauded the ECOWAS Commission for its outstanding support in enhancing the activities of the association to achieve its goals for women’s integration and empowerment in politics.
Addressing the formal opening of its Women and Youth Leadership symposium, on the sidelines of the ECOWAS Parliament’s Extraordinary Session which formally closed on February 1 in Guinea Bissau, under the theme: Unleashing the potentials of Women and Youth in Politics and Entrepreneurship, the 2nd Vice President of ECOFEPA, Madam Gabriella Fernandes, revealed that resources mobilized by the ECOWAS Commission will allow the association to host its upcoming symposium this March in Togo.
Madam Fernandes further emphasized that the Guinea Bissau symposium will spark the beginning of efforts to launch their projects and synchronize activities in the areas of leadership and entrepreneurship, which have the propensity to boomerang and catapult women’s advancement into decision-making in the ECOWAS region.
The event provided an opportunity for members of ECOFEPA to interact with young political aspirants who are desirous of effecting change in their communities and larger societies within West Africa.
Also addressing the symposium in his keynote address, was the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament Dr. Sidie Mohammed Tunis, pledged his unflinching support to ECOFEPA in its attempts to increase participation for self-development in politics and entrepreneurship, asserting that the meeting epitomizes the action stage for women’s involvement in decision-making bodies.
Speaker Tunis commended ECOFEPA for always beaming their search light on issues that affect women and youth in the ECOWAS Sub-region and for firmly reinforcing the need to mentor the next generation of decision makers to bridge existing gaps and bestow sound political and decision-making legacies to them, reaffirming that until they as Members of Parliament replicate ourselves in the younger generation in multiple dimensions to deliver a democratic system that is anchored on good governance and societal growth and development, they cannot credit themselves for success.
He acknowledged that the event amplifies ECOFEPA’s deliberate resolve to consistently pursue the dreams of its founding Members and recommend for members of Parliament to track generational transfer of knowledge, skills and all it takes to tackle the challenges of the future ahead.
Earlier, the Youth Representative for the West Africa Youth Assembly Mamadu Djalo said everyone is aware of the social pressure and barriers that women and youth face daily, in trying to climb up to the political power, and employed men in Africa who control the political powers, to ensure that such power is balanced.
Mamade noted that Women and youth are very isolated for too long, and that there is need for the men to work together with both youth and Women to fill the sense of belonging, as the deliberation cannot be realistic without the participation of the youth and women.
Mamadu also called for the creation of a youth parliament in order to give them a voice.