From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
Sierra Leone News : Minority leader excels in African Parliament
By Awareness Times
Aug 31, 2015, 12:02

Freetown, August 27 (SLENA) - Minority Leader in Parliament, Hon. Dr. Bernadette Lahai who is currently serving as the Vice President in the Pan African Parliament (PAP) has deputized the President of PAP in the just concluded two weeks conference in South African where Clerks and Speakers of various parliaments in Africa were in attendance.

Hon Dr. Lahai is one among the few Sierra Leoneans that have made their mark in the Pan African Parliament through hard work and dedication to the principle of democracy and governance.


Briefing journalists at her office, Parliament Building Tower Hill in Freetown, Hon. Bernadette Lahai, explained the outcome of that meeting which was held in South Africa which she described as successful.


She said they first had Committee meetings followed by Clerks and Speakers meetings to dilate on issues affecting individual African countries for the ordinary session.


In these meetings, Hon. Lahai recalled, committees were set up whilst international organizations were allowed to present documents relevant to the Pan African Parliament and the continent of Africa as a whole.


According to her, they discussed the issues of gender, youth and women’s empowerment and rights, especially accessibility to land which has been very topical in war torn nations and how they could standardize African Parliaments to become more effective.


Hon. Bernadette Lahai further explained that all Parliaments in Africa are in the process of establishing PAP Desk Offices whilst others have already done so in order to outsource all relevant information about PAP and it operations.


The minority leader said she felt honoured to deputize the President of PAP in the forum. She informed that she also served as resource person and presented a very debatable paper, adding that the issue of security and agriculture was also part of their deliberations.


She added that they wanted to popularize knowledge about PAP in secondary schools because it was part of recognized valid units in African Union.


She concluded by highlighting some of the social and economic benefits member nations could have out of the PAP but most importantly she said was the ability for parliamentarians to share ideas, cultural values and compare continental standards and regional trade.


She promised to continue her hard work in making Sierra Leone a proud nation in the eyes of the international community.

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