Civil Society Organizations and Media Institutions Should Collaborate and Checkmate Legislative Openness, Ghanian Sammy Obeng Says

Several local civil society organizations, along with media institutions and the Parliamentary Network of Africa on Friday, September 17, 2021, convened a round table discussion at a local hotel in Monrovia aimed at understanding the openness of legislative functions across West Africa.

The civil society organizations that attended the meeting were: Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD), Naymote Partner for Democratic Development, Center for Media Study and Peace Building, Accountability Lab Liberia and Youth for Positive Change.

Speaking to journalists at the climax of the meeting, the Executive Director of Parliamentary Network of Africa, Sammy Obeng, said the network was established in Ghana a few months ago as a civil society organization, to educate the public about the actual functions of the national legislature in every country.

Mr. Obeng wants for the Civil Society organizations in West Africa and Media institutions to have perfect collaboration to checkmate the workings of their governments.

The Ghanaian Civic Society Actor indicated that transparency, openness and accountability are key to parliamentary effectiveness in every country, and as such, civil society organizations and media institutions should stand firm in information sharing to the public, to help minimize insincerity about governance processes in Pan African countries.

“The public will have to understand the importance of the National Legislature in every capacity, which is very cardinal,” Mr. Obeng said.

“The responsibilities of the National Legislature are representation, law making, and oversight, but our law makers are working in our interest. These are questions we need to ask ourselves on a daily basis, as to how we can engage them so they can always learn to work in our interest,” he noted.

“We will be conducting a similar workshop in Sierra Leone on Tuesday. This workshop will be conducted in the entire 16 countries in West Africa. Liberia and Sierra Leone are the first beneficiaries,” Mr. Obeng acknowledged.

Also speaking to journalists, the Executive Director of Institute for Research and Democratic Development, Mathias Yeaneh, acknowledged that the establishment of Parliamentary Network Africa will bring great help to Liberia and other African countries.

According to the IREDD Executive Director, they will properly apply the workshop tasks to checkmate the Liberian Legislature.

“If you carefully followed the Liberian Legislature in the past, you will understand that on many occasions there were no sessions over what they termed as a lack of colon to hold session, which we thought African Parliamentary Network would play a pivotal role to help checkmate our leaders in such cases,” Mathias Yeaneh admonished.

“These are things we have been doing in the past as a Civil Society Institution, but with perfect collaboration with the media, I think we can do more in educating our people about the governance system, especially the national legislature,” Mr. Yeaneh added.

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