ECOWAS parliament elects first female Speaker

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The Economic Community of West African States Parliament has elected Hajiya Maimounatou Ibrahima as the first female Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament.

Ibrahima was elected on Thursday at the 2024 Second Extraordinary Session of the Sixth Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament in Kano.

 

The speaker, who was unanimously elected by the over 112-member parliament during plenary, will be piloting the affairs of the parliament for the next four years until 2028.

 

The plenary, presided over by the First Deputy Speaker of the Legislature and Nigeria Deputy Senate President, Senator Barau Jibrin, witnessed celebrations by fellow female parliamentarians who broke into solidarity songs after the emergence of their Speaker.

In her acceptance speech, the new Speaker, who is from Togo, promised to initiate far-reaching reforms that would enhance the work of the ECOWAS parliament in order to achieve its mandate.

 

The Togolese Speaker observed that the ECOWAS sub-region had been tormented by numerous political and security challenges, as well as high unemployment, climate change, and the resurgence of terrorism in Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso.

She, however, confirmed the parliament’s resolve to raise a mediation committee to interface with the aggrieved nations of Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso.

She said the move “demonstrated brotherhood and openness in addressing the issues that caused the exit of the three countries from ECOWAS.”

 

According to her, the parliament would initiate other reforms, including developing the skills of women and youths, as a step to tackle radicalisation.

 

“We would also develop a policy on communication and partner with members of the media community in the community in order to encourage interaction between our people and the parliament.

 

“I thank President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Senator Barau Jibrin, and the Governor of Kano State, Abba Kabir Yusuf, for the warm reception accorded to the parliament in Nigeria and Kano in particular,” she added.

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