Forty-two members of the Somali HirShabelle regional assembly, who are leaders of the assembly’s various oversight and legislative committees, are meeting in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, to enhance their legislative and oversight capacity.
The capacity building sessions will focus on the role and functions of a Parliament, and will include experiential visits to the Nairobi and Machakos county assemblies.
“This workshop is important, as it will teach MPs on legislation and how to come up with motions,” said HirShabelle Assembly Speaker Sheikh Osman Bare Mohamed, during the official opening of the training workshop, today.
The Speaker pleaded with the African Union Peace-keeping Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), to organize more workshops of similar nature, to enable more MPs benefit. “AMISOM works with us to nurture us into a powerful tool, and supports us in peace-building efforts, so that we can eradiate the Al-Shabaab,” the Speaker noted.
Dr. Ododa Opiyo, AMISOM’s Head of Stabilization and Early Recovery Programme, said the training of MPs, which was aimed at enhancing the capacities of the regional assemblies, was critical for the democratization efforts, in the Horn of Africa country.
“We would like Somalia to have democratic institutions alongside security responsibilities. This conference is part of the process aimed at consolidating the gains achieved, in the security and political fronts,” Dr. Opiyo stressed.
Through its Stabilization Programme, AMISOM has in the past supported the training of legislators from other Federal Member States, on legislative and oversight parliamentary functions, as part of its mandate, to help build democratically sound institutions, alongside securing the country, to allow reconstruction and state building to continue.
This training therefore, builds on the ongoing processes, aimed at consolidating the gains achieved on the security and political fronts and will empower the state MPs to make weighty decisions that benefit their people back home.
Dr. Opiyo further noted that areas requiring legislation include politics that protect the environment and deals with the effects of drought. He challenged the MPs to provide speedy solutions to the urgent challenges affecting their electorate. “AMISOM will walk with you in this journey,” he assured the MPs.
Fadil Karrar, the conference facilitator, said AMISOM was proud to improve the legislative processes of Somalia’s Federal Member States.
He said the AU Mission is committed to equipping parliamentary committees with “knowledge on how to debate legislative matters; to equip parliamentary oversight committees with understanding (of their) roles and responsibilities”.
Thus, the conference’s aim to enlighten the participants on the formation of parliament and outline its oversight roles and responsibilities.
In the course of the six-day capacity building workshop, the MPs will also learn how to draft legislation, and enhance their skills on debating on the floor of the House.