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ECOWAS Parliament hosts meeting to soften Anglophone & Francophone domination ---Speaker

Speaker of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Rt. Honourable Sidie Mohamed Tunis has confirmed that one of the key factors they considered in deciding that Guinea Bissau hosts the joint Committee meeting with the ECOWAS Commission to assess the status of COVID-19 pandemic, agricultural production and food insecurity is to soften the dominance of Anglophone and Francophone countries in the Parliament.

Speaker Tunis made this statement during a brief press conference after a closed-door courtesy call on the President of Guinea Bissau, His Excellency Umaro Sissoco Embalo on Monday, November 9, 2020 at the Presidential Palace in Bissau.

Justifying his statement, the Speaker recalled remarks made by the Guinea Bissau President during the last ECOWAS Council of Head of States and Government meeting in which the president appealed to his colleague heads of states to consider hosting their next meeting in Bissau.

As Speaker Tunis took over in March this year, under his leadership, this is the first time the Community Parliament is holding a meeting in a Portuguese speaking country.

He said, he has held meetings in French and English-speaking countries, but this time around sees the need to give priority to a Portuguese speaking country so as to soften the presumed monopoly of Anglophone and Francophone countries in the regional parliament.

And added that, Guinea Bissau is very peaceful like any other West African states, hence the reason he brought  representatives from ECOWAS Parliament, ECOWAS Commission and West Africa Health Organisation (WAHO) to have presentations on salient topic revolving food security and agriculture in the region during the period of COVID-19.

He expressed optimism that the people of Guinea Bissau will benefit greatly in the upcoming deliberations; and thanked them for their hospitality and warmest reception to all delegates who are now in Bissau to witness the committee meeting.

Meanwhile, it is worthy to note that the regional Parliament  under the distinguished leadership of its Speaker, Tunis is conveying a meeting of joint committees on Agriculture, Environment, Water Resources and Sustainable Development/ Industry and Private Sector/ Health/ Energy and Mines/ Social Affairs, Gender and Women Empowerment between Tuesday 10th to Saturday 14th November 2020 to discuss the most vital theme of “ECOWAS food security and agriculture production program and the fight against COVID 19.”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/        

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