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Speaker urges groups to project image of Ghana

By
Christopher Arko, GNA

Accra, June 28, GNA –
Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, the Speaker of Parliament, has asked members of
the Parliamentary Friendship Associations (PFA) to work effectively to project
the positive image of Ghana.

He urged the
Associations to ensure that their actions led to the development of synergies
to complement the effort of government and boost bilateral relations with
partner states.

Prof Oquaye’s advice
was read on his behalf by Mr Joseph Osei Owusu, First Deputy Speaker, at the
inauguration of the Management Committee of the PFA in Parliament House.

The PFA seeks to
provide the requisite framework to guide the activities of the Friendship
Associations.

The nine-member
Management Committee include Ms Sarah Adwoa Safo, Mr Klutse Aveji, Mr Matthew
Nyindam, Mr Ahmed Ibrahim and Mr Patrick Boamah.

The rest are Mr Osei
Bonsu Amoah, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Mr Joseph Yieleh Chereh and Nana Akua
Owusu Afriyie.

Prof Oquaye said the
objective for establishing the Management Committee was to re-align and
regularise the performance of the association and expand the frontiers of the
engagement of association in-line with the national agenda of Ghana.      

He said the PFA
offered useful flexible mechanism for deepening inter-parliamentary relations
and co-operation for positive outcomes.

He said the
Association also offered the platform for sharing of important information and
best practices that made Parliament more proactive to the people.

Prof Oquaye also
explained that the PFA exists in many of the parliamentary jurisdictions across
the world.

He said the PFA would
primarily engage in the exchange of information with other parliaments.

He said some of the
prescribed functions and roles of the PFA were being performed at informal
levels by some members with special interest.

Prof Oquaye charged
the PFA to follow the path of some of the best practices.

He said it was
expected that PFA would serve as the vital point of contact and exchanges
between law makers across parliamentary jurisdiction.

He said members of the
Associations share their experiences through informal dialogue, business and
sector specific conferences, influence the legislative and policy deliberations
on the floor of Parliament.

Prof Oquaye also
stated that some of the challenges PFA had faced was funding which he said
often threatened their sustainability.

He therefore pledged
with the support of the Parliamentary Service Board to ensure that adequate
budgetary allocation was made available for the activities of the Committee.

He said though the
Parliamentary Service Board would prevent members from sourcing for funds
however they must adhere to the financial regulation of the House.

Mr Osei Kyei Mensah
Bonsu, the Majority Leader commended some past and present MPs for their
commitment to establish and nurture the PFA.

He said the various
forms of parliamentary diplomacy created the enabling platform for sharing
experiences and best practices.

He said parliamentary
diplomacy should therefore be seen as a complementary tool to the traditional
diplomacy reserved for the Executive and the Diplomatic Corps.

Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the
Minority Leader commended Prof Oquaye for continuing the programme, which
started under the former Speaker, Mr Edward Doe Adjaho by working to formalise
the processes and procedures for the establishment of the Management Committee.

He said the Committee
and the parliamentary groups had the responsibility to foster a stronger
partnership and relationship between Parliament and other friendly countries.

He said MPs would be
playing new additional role as ambassadors of Parliament.

He said it had been the
sole prerogative of the Executive to exercise the right and power of foreign
policy.

Mr Iddrisu also stated
that some the benefits of the parliamentary groups were to help MPs to learn
about other cultures and their way of life.

He said through these
Associations the MPs were able to learn how MPs in other democracies were able
to exercise their mandate.

GNA

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