By Lizzy Okoji
Bong County (Liberia)- Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Sidie Tunis has been conferred with an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from the Cuttington University, Bong County Liberia in recognition of his contributions to the ECOWAS Sub-region.
Tunis bagged the honorary doctorate degree on Saturday during the University’s 14th commencement convocation of its School of Graduate and Professional Studies.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the honorary doctorate was conferred on his by his Alma Mater for his contributions to the ECOWAS sub-region as Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament.
Speaking to Journalists, Tunis who was elated on the conferment of the honorary doctorate in said he will continue to do more to advance the cause of West Africa and its citizens.
He said that he will use his position as Speaker of the Parliament to bring ECOWAS Closer to the people and the community Parliament.
“I feel very happy. Apart from being Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, this is also my Alma Mater.
“I graduated from Cuttington in 1989 and today I have been given this honor and I thank the Almighty Allah for his blessings.
“When I took over as Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament in 2020 I said that I will bring the ECOWAS Parliament to the people.
“Ad with this honor today I will continue to ensure that ECOWAS reflects indeed that of the people’s parliament, that of the community parliament,” Tunis said.
Earlier in his commencement address, Tunis urged the grandaunts to see themselves as a tool for an intergrated Africa, stating that the youths are the future of Africa’s development.
He also commended their resilience for pushing through their academic year amidst the unique situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As you graduate today, see yourselves as a realisation of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s call for a more integrated Africa that is focused on attaining inclusive and sustainable development.
“The continent’s AU Agenda 2063 remains a shared aspiration for transforming our continent into a group of prosperous, equitable, and integrated nations.
“In your sundry contribution towards the collective future of the Great Republic of Liberia, your contributions are critical towards this shared continental aspiration especially in the post-COVID era.
“The new Africa will be led by young, innovative, and enterprising persons like you. You have the obligation to control the new economic scramble for Africa.
“By ensuring that you are active participants in the global economy and can therefore participate as equal partners.
“COVID-19 may have slowed down economies and altered lives and livelihoods but your graduation today is new cause for optimism that we will prevail over the worst and triumph with the best.
“An African renaissance is possible with young and agile minds like yours and we therefore must celebrate you today as an addition to that critical mass that will transform the future of our continent,” Tunis said.
President of the University, Dr Herman Browne while conferring the doctorate honors on Tunis said the institution was honoring him in recognition of his contributions to ECOWAS as speaker of the Parliament.
Brown however urged the speaker to continue in his good works and push towards the development and integration of the sub-region.
He commended Tunis for his contributions to global, humanitarian and national movements which has further earned him several recognitions and awards.
Speaking on behalf of the ECOWAS Parliament delegation, Mr Bertin Some, Direction of Parliamentary Affairs and Research congratulated Tunis on receiving the honorary degree.
Some said it was a well-deserved recognition as the Speaker has shown himself worthy of t through all he has done heading the affairs of the Parliament.
“This is a unique occasion and a wonderful occasion that we have today.
“We want to commend his efforts because it is the acknowledgement of all his efforts that made him get this recognition and the ECOWAS parliament is very proud of that.
“We want to encourage him to continue to do more in his tenure as Speaker”, Some said.