Ségou, Mali – The National Assembly of Mali and AWEPA kicked off the new Parlement chez vous (parliament at your doorstep) initiative in the Regional Parliament of the town of Ségou in Mali on 25-27 October 2016. The initiative is part of the Strategic Partnership programme financed by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2016-2020).
This project, which forms part of AWEPA’s goal to strengthen democracy and ensure good governance in Mali, aims to increase the visibility of parliamentary work; create a platform for dialogue and exchange between Parliament and the public; raise awareness among citizens about the role, functioning and prerogatives of the National Assembly; and create direct and effective link between the national representatives and their electorate.
During the three-day activity, MPs from the National Assembly were able to engage with the local communities from three different districts of the region of Ségou. Participants included representatives of the local administrative and political authorities, civil society organisations, elders, young people and women.
Discussions centred around recent amendments to the legal code on private and state-owned land; flagship laws recently passed by the Assembly (including the Electoral Law, the Law on Interim Authorities and the Law for the promotion of gender regarding access to nominated and elective roles); and the theme of “youth and migration”. All proceedings were recorded and broadcast on the parliament’s radio station in Bamako, Mali’s capital.
In order to better understand the role of MPs, the participants also attended a presentation on the organisation and functioning of the National Assembly. In addition, a photo exhibition on the history of the Malian Parliament, before and after independence, was open to the public throughout the event.
AWEPA and the National Assembly aim to organise similar activities as part of the Parlement chez vous intiative in every region of Mali in the coming years. The next session will be held in Koulikoro in December 2016.