The Speaker of Ghana's Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, is leading a Ghanaian delegation to the 52nd Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) African Region Conference taking place in Freetown, Sierra Leone, from 3rd to 9th June, 2022.

The delegation will represent Ghana’s interests, inclusive of Parliament, in the Conference and related meetings. The conference is under the theme, "The role of African Parliaments in building an inclusive society to counter growing insecurity in Africa". The conference will explore and share ideas and perspectives on how to strengthen democracy in Africa.

Rt. Hon. Bagbin, a seasoned legislator who had retired from his role as a Member of Parliament, ended up being elected Speaker. He is expected to address the session on ways to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Ghana and the African sub-region. He is the first opposition member to be elected as a Speaker in a government other than his party.

The African Region of the CPA comprises 63 national and subnational legislatures with a mission to promote and protect the interests and perspectives of African Parliaments and countries, within the Commonwealth and beyond. It also aims to promote gender equality, emancipation of women, respect for human rights, freedoms, democracy and good governance.

The conference is hosted by the Parliament of Sierra Leone in collaboration with the CPA African Region secretariat, and brings together 400 delegates, observers and other participants from CPA African Region's member states. These include Ghana, Botswana, Rwanda, Mauritius, Nigeria, South Africa, Eswatini, Cameroon, Namibia, Malawi and Tanzania, as well as 16 sub-branches, nine from South Africa and seven from Nigeria.

The conference will be officially opened on Monday, June 6 2022, at the Freetown International Conference Center, at the Bintumani Hotel. The Ghanaian delegation will participate in the plenary and side meetings of various committees, including the Executive Committee, Commonwealth Women’s Parliament Steering Sub Committee, Constitutional Amendment Ad hoc Sub Committee, Regional Representatives Sub Committee, and Programme Planning and Finance Sub Committee.

The high-level delegation includes the leaders from both sides of the house; the Majority Leader, Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu and the Minority Leader, Hon. Haruna Iddrissu. In accordance with rules 15 (1) and (2) of the Regional Conference Preparation Guidelines, the CPA's approved party representation formula for parliamentary representatives for Ghana’s delegation is:

• Cyril Nsiah: Clerk to Ghana’s Parliament; • Richard Acheampong: Head of the Speaker’s Secretariat; • Camillo Pwamang is a CPA Secretariat member. • Sheba Osei: Head, Parliamentary Relations; • Akua Osei-Somuah: Senior Assistant Clerk and • Mahama Shaibu: Speaker’s Office

The Ghanaian delegation is expected to deliberate on the following topics:

• Visibility of Parliament: Efforts of Parliament to allocate resources to carry out its constitutional mandate; • Evolving and Adapting New Strategies for Increased Women's Participation in Politics; • African Parliaments' Role in Accelerating Intra-African Trade • Coordination and cooperation at the regional and international levels to respond to COVID-19 and future pandemics; • Drawing lessons from COVID-19 to build foundations for future pandemics.

The CPA was founded in 1911 at a meeting of Heads of Government at Westminster Hall as the then-Empire Parliamentary Association, and its affairs were administered by the UK Branch. The original members were Australia, Canada, Newfoundland, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.