A delegation of AWEPA visited the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS) in Abuja, Nigeria, between January 15 and 17. The visit aimed at preparing the ground for a strong and long-term partnership between these entities.
On the one hand, AWEPA and the ECOWAS Parliament discussed modalities for cooperation in view of strengthening parliamentary capacity in the West-African sub-region to help attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The involvement of Parliaments in the post-2015 framework was also discussed at length. The ECOWAS Parliament is part of AWEPA’s Partnership Council.
On the other hand, AWEPA and NILS will explore the possibility of working with the Nigerian National Assembly and the State Assemblies. For that matter, the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nigeria, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, called for closer contacts to be established between Nigerian and European parliamentarians in order to support Nigerian lawmakers in the areas of budget tracking, to train members of the national and state assemblies, and to deepen the democratic ethos. AWEPA invited the Nigerian Assembly to communicate any important message they may have to European policy makers through the numerous sections of the association in Europe.
The AWEPA delegation was led by Hon. Tadeusz Iwiński, member of the Polish National Assembly and Head of the Polish section of the Association. Other members of the delegation were Dr. Jeff Balch, Director Research and Evaluation, and Clement Boutillier, Programme Manager.