The ECOWAS Parliament, also known as the Community Parliament, is one of the Institutions of ECOWAS. It is the Assembly of Peoples of the Community serving as a forum for dialogue, consultation and consensus for Representatives of the people of West Africa with the aim of promoting integration. It was established under Articles 6 and 13 of the ECOWAS Revised Treaty of 1993. The initial Protocol establishing the Parliament was signed in Abuja on August 6, 1994. It provided for the Structure, Composition, Competence and other matters relating to the Parliament. The Parliament is composed of one hundred and fifteen (115) seats. Each Member State which have a guaranteed minimum of five (5) seats. The remaining forty (40) seats is shared on the basis of population.
Ecowas seeks the need for a Community mechanism to forge greater ties with the citizens of the West African Community served as impetus towards the creation of the Community Parliament to strengthen representative democracy in the Community, contribute to the promotion of peace, security, and stability on the West African Region, inform and sensitize the population on issues of integration, promote and defend principles of human rights, democracy, the rule of law, transparency, accountability and good governance, promote the practices of accountability and contribute to the efficient and effective implementation of objectives and policies of the Community among other objectives.
The founding fathers considered that this would sustain inspiration and legitimacy for actions the ECOWAS Community was taking on behalf of Community citizens. We believed this would be best achieved by allowing the Parliament to play the traditional role of a Parliament within the ECOWAS regional governance architecture. This sentiment is also in consonance with the ECOWAS Vision 2020 of transiting from an ECOWAS of states to an ECOWAS of People.
On Wednesday, 13th October 2021, H.E Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo (President of Ghana) who is the current Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government addressed the ECOWAS High-Level Regional Parliamentary Seminar, on the theme “Two Decades of Democratic Elections in ECOWAS Member States: Achievements, Challenges and the Way Forward”, which was held in Winneba in the Central Region. He applauded the ECOWAS Parliament for the theme of this seminar, the relevance of which is evident in the light of recent happenings in the ECOWAS Community, especially in Guinea and Mali.
By choosing to address this topic at this time, ECOWAS’s Parliament has demonstrated vision, courage, and the spirit to search for solutions aimed at consolidating the democratic growth of the Region, and help realize the dreams and aspirations of the peoples of the Community for a democratic future.