The Speaker of the House of Representatives Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, has presented the agenda of the Conference of Speakers and Heads of African Parliaments (CoSAP) at the 65th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC), which just ended in Canada.
Gbajabiamila, who met with African Speakers during the CPC, outlined the focus of the legislative platform which is geared towards tackling the myriad challenges faced by the African continent.
He described CoSAP as “an exclusive platform where specifically we Speakers and Heads of Parliaments can meet once a year to interact, discuss, engage with one another to shape common ideas, priorities and approaches for tackling the myriad challenges we face as a continent, while also providing peer to-peer support and solidarity.”
The Speaker, who led the Nigerian delegation to the 65th CPC holding in Halifax, also said that the experience learnt by the Nigerian team at the meeting would add value to Nigeria’s democracy.
He said it was a moment that afforded them the opportunity to dialogue and compare notes with other parliamentarians.
He noted that, “Lessons learnt will add value to democratic practices and principles in Nigeria.”
The speaker said the conference “looked at things like gender, equity, youth development, good governance, particularly the role of parliamentarians in politics, in international development, in governance, which cannot be overstated.”
He said different parts of Nigeria were represented at the conference as the delegation comprised lawmakers from the 36 states, saying, “So, we have a handful from the National Assembly, but the rest of it are from different states throughout the federation. That makes up the number that represents Nigeria.”
The theme of the 65th CPC is “Inclusive, Accessible, Accountable and Strong Parliaments: The Cornerstone of Democracy and Essentials for Development.”
The conference was attended by Speakers, Presiding Officers and Members of Parliament from across the membership of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).
The CPA is the only parliamentary association to bring together national, state, provincial and territorial legislatures. It has membership in 180 Parliaments and Legislatures across the Commonwealth.
The conference was hosted by the CPA President (2019-2022), the Hon. Anthony Rota, MP, Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, whose tenure had ended.
Hon. Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament of Ghana, was elected as the new President of the CPA