Agoué, Benin – The National Assembly of Benin, with the support of AWEPA and the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD), organised on 2-3 November 2015 an induction seminar for the Members of the 7th Parliament.
The key objectives of this seminar were to provide the recently elected Members of the Beninese Parliament with the knowledge required to settle into and function optimally in the legislature, understand its processes and business, carry out their representative function and perform work in Committees efficiently and effectively. Additionally, the MPs were introduced to the internal rules and regulations of the National Assembly as well as the parliamentary administration.
In his opening speech, the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, Hon. Eric Houndété, highlighted the importance of such a seminar and praised AWEPA and NIMD for supporting the National Assembly in organising it. As the Parliament has just opened its budget session, he emphasised the fact that MPs should be more involved in preparation and oversight of the national budget.
The audience, composed of 50 MPs and 20 staff members of the National Assembly, benefited from the experience of Mr. Henk Jan Ormel, Vice President of AWEPA and former Member of the Dutch Parliament as well as Mr. Bernard Lesterlin, Member of the French National Assembly.
Several themes were discussed intensively, including decentralisation in Benin and the role of MPs with regards to implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The last part of the seminar focused on the challenges and priorities of the Parliament, but also the need for internal reforms.
Following the seminar, Mr. Henk Jan Ormel was invited to Porto Novo to meet with the Speaker of the Beninese Parliament, Hon. Adrien Houngbédji, to discuss the future of the collaboration between the National Assembly and AWEPA/NIMD in the framework of the Strategic Partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2016-2020).