First female speaker of ECOWAS parliament emerges

Maimunatu Ibrahima has been sworn in as the first female speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) parliament.

Ibrahima, who is from Togo, was sworn in on Thursday at the second extraordinary session of the parliament in Kano.

She was nominated for the post by members of the parliament from Togo and was elected unopposed.

The ECOWAS parliament operates a rotational system for the speakership using an alphabetical order of countries.

Barau Jubrin, Nigeria’s deputy senate president, previously held the role before Ibrahima’s succession.

Jubrin was initially elected as the first deputy speaker at the inauguration of the sixth legislature of the ECOWAS parliament last month but had to act as speaker to avoid creating a vacuum of leadership after Togo’s absence at the session.

The French-speaking West African country was yet to conduct elections at the time to enable the nation to send its representatives to parliament.

The position was held last by Sierra Leone.

In her acceptance speech, Ibrahima thanked parliamentarians for electing her and assured that she would bring her wealth of experience to bear on the sub-regional parliament.

She also thanked the presidents of Togo, Nigeria, and the authorities of the heads of state for supporting the parliament.

“My priority is to work harmoniously with my colleagues to advance the integration of the West African sub-region,” she said.

Ibrahima previously served as the third deputy speaker in the fifth legislature of the ECOWAS parliament and has been a member since 2021.



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