Governance: Exclusion Of Women Responsible for Africa’s Under-development — Speaker Tunis

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    The Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, Mohamed Tunis, has blamed the continuous underdevelopment of Africa to exclusion of women and youths in governance on the continent.

    The Public Relations Department of the ECOWAS Parliament made this known to journalists on Wednesday.

    Tunis spoke on the sidelines of the ongoing First Extraordinary Session in Sierra Leone tagged, “4th edition of the ECOFEPA Town Hall Meeting.”

    According to him, women are builders and the decision to focus on the young women is a welcome development.

    “I would like to reiterate that one of the major reasons, African countries are lagging behind developmentally, compared to other continents is because women and youths have not been given their rightful place in governance.

    “The statistics of women and youth political representation within the ECOWAS Sub region is appallingly low.

    “We have to turn this tide quickly with total commitment and dedication to this noble course,” Tunis said.

    According to him, the youths are the future, hence platforms for exchanges of ideas, experiences sharing and codifying best practices should be amplified.

    He said that he was sure that Africa was aware that a society that neglects its youth would have a difficult future.

    “Targeting the women and youths at this critical time in our political space is just the strategic thing to do.

    This resonates with the fact that when women are given a chance in any endeavor, they excel effortlessly.

    “The fifth Legislature has made a commitment to support and enhance the powers of ECOFEPA and put modalities in place toward halting the trend of low representation of women and youth in governance,” Tunis added.

    According to Tunis, the length and breadth of the sub-region is plagued with insecurity, terrorism, youth unemployment, and so many other social menaces which continue to clog the wheel of progress.

     

    He noted that it was worthy to place on record that women and youth inclusion in governance was an idea that had become imperative.

    According to him, it is a collective responsibility to ensure that women and youths are visible and seriously engaged in policy and decision-making processes.

    He also thanked the leadership and members of ECOFEPA for their steadfastness in spite the challenges and difficulties they encountered.

    “I have no doubt that at the end of this ECOFEPA Town hall Meeting, strategic steps will be taken by political stakeholders to ensure that women and youths are mainstreamed in politics.

    “On this final note, I urge the young stars to be focused and think positively,” Tunis said.

    In a keynote address, the First Lady of Sierra Leone, Fatima Bio advised women to see each other as sisters and not pull each other down in their journey to the corridor of power.

    She also advised young women in the continent to re-channel their energy into productive ventures.

    While welcoming participants, the President of ECOFEPA, Filomena Vieira, encouraged young women to seek higher education to build their leadership capacity.

    According to him, half of African populations are women and therefore, the continent cannot develop without being at the helm.

    On her part, the President of Sierra Leone Female Parliamentary Caucus,  Veronica Sesay expressed displeasure over the decline in participation of women in parliament in Sierra Leone and ECOWAS Parliament.

    According to her, women representation in Sierra Leone currently stands at 12 per cent.

    She maintained that timid women never made history while the future belonged to the bold.

    The theme of the meeting is “Stimulating a National Dynamics for the Identification of Potential Young Leaders”, NAN.

     

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