President Adama Barrow of The Gambia has stressed the need for ECOWAS member states to be more committed to the implementation of ECOWAS Protocols in order to achieve greater sub-regional integration.
A statement by the Media Unit of the ECOWAS Parliament, quoted Barrow as saying this on Thursday while declaring open the Parliamentary Seminar for the Outgoing Fourth Legislature of the regional parliament holding in Banjul.
The Gambian leader pointed out that institutional capacity remained a major driver of sub-regional integration and should, therefore, be prioritised.
While bemoaning the high rate of youth migration to Europe, Barrow charged political leaders in the West African sub-region to seek to entrench the respect for the fundamental principles of good governance and dialogue as a means of conflict resolution in order to provide the needed environment for young people to thrive.
“We are saddened by the dangerous journeys our youths undertake to Europe through the desert and the Mediterranean Sea.
“Part of the solution to this issue lies in education, job creation, and training for technical and entrepreneurial skill acquisition and application,” he was quoted as saying.
He said that to alleviate the economic challenges hampering progress in the sub-region, ECOWAS members should take a strong position in the global economy through technology and innovation.
The Gambian president praised the parliament for organising the seminar that would provide the platform for the review of the activities of the Fourth Legislature of the sub-regional parliament.
He said that the move would justify the resource inputs made into the parliament in the past four years.
Earlier, Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Hon. Moustapha Cissé-Lo who bemoaned the limited powers of the parliament, called for a review of the power structure of ECOWAS to correspond with the important role and functions played by the parliament.
“Although I have previously commended the Conference of Heads of States for granting new powers to parliament, there is still much to be done to ensure that parliament is commensurate with its important function as the representative of the peoples of the community,” he was quoted as saying.
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