An Inter-Parliamentary Group from French-West Africa led by Senator Andre Reichardt paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu in his Chambers at Parliament Building in Freetown.
The visit was intended to engage the Speaker of Parliament on a wide range of issues including knowledge sharing, election, democracy and the establishment of an Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group between Sierra Leone and France.
Senator Andre Reichardt, Head of Delegation said that their visit was aimed at building and strengthening a good relationship between the Parliaments of Sierra Leone and France.
He also said that the Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group includes Sixteen Countries in West Africa with the aim of promoting inter-parliamentary issues including good governance and to foster regional integration among member States.
Senator Nathalie Goulet, Vice President of the Group informed Mr. Speaker that they intend to bring investors from France to boost tourism, agriculture and the waste management sector in the country.
Welcoming the Delegation, Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu extended warm felicitations and told them that their visit would develop and foster a good relationship between Sierra Leone and France. He said such a relationship would enhance exchange programmes and provide an opportunity for our MPs to visit and learn the French language.
Speaking on the importance of having such a relationship, he promised to establish a Friendship Group between the Parliaments of Sierra Leone and France.
Submitting on the functions of Parliament, he said the Sierra Leone Parliament has 18 female MPs and informed the Delegation that given the Electoral and Gender Acts women’s representation would increase considerably in the next Parliament.
Speaking on proportional representation, he said the country is moving towards the attainment of gender parity. He also spoke on the need to field in international election observation missions, and assured that the elections will be peaceful, free, fair and transparent and its outcomes will be accepted by all and sundry.
He said democratic principles and laws should be followed by all in order to strengthen democracy and good governance in the country.
On investment, the Speaker said the country is in need of an investor that will add value to its agricultural products.
The Delegation includes Senators Andre Reichardt, Patrice Joly, Nathalie Goulet, Abdallah Hassani, and Xavier Dupriez, Executive Secretary of the Friendship Group.
The Director General of Parliament, Finda Findosia Fraser and other staffers were in attendance.