Abuja, Nigeria: The Association of West African Legislative Correspondents (AWALCO) has awarded its inaugural merit awards to four lawmakers across the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). These parliamentarians were recognized for their exceptional service in promoting democracy, improving lives, and driving effective policy within the region.
Hon. Sidie Mohamed Tunis (Sierra Leone): ECOWAS Parliament Speaker, praised for his openness, accessibility, and advocacy for direct elections, good governance, and regional integration.
Hon. Awaji Abiante (Nigeria): ECOWAS Parliament member, recognized for his robust and insightful contributions to parliamentary discussions, intellectual engagement, and commitment to constructive debate.
Hon. Vilane Abdoulaye (Senegal): ECOWAS Parliament member, lauded for his unwavering dedication to reforming the legislative process and his passionate efforts to improve the lives of West African citizens.
Rt. Hon. Fatoumatta Njai (The Gambia): ECOWAS Parliament member, celebrated as a champion for women’s empowerment and child welfare, and for securing resources for initiatives supporting women and girls.
Media and Parliament Working Together:
AWALCO President Innocent Odoh emphasized the importance of collaboration between journalists and the legislature. He stressed how media scrutiny and public awareness can work hand-in-hand with parliamentarians to promote integration and hold them accountable.
Investing in Journalist Training:
Odoh called for training programs and workshops to equip AWALCO members with deeper understanding of parliamentary procedures, regional policy issues, and administrative intricacies of the ECOWAS Parliament. This, he believes, will lead to a more informed and effective media corps, better equipped to contribute to West Africa’s development and progress.
Symbol of Recognition and Inspiration:
The maiden AWALCO awards acknowledge the critical role parliamentarians play in shaping West Africa’s future. By celebrating their achievements and dedication, AWALCO hopes to inspire further commitment from lawmakers, ultimately leading to a more prosperous, democratic, and united West Africa.