Following a 12-year absence of parliamentary elections, a new parliament was elected in December 2011. Of the 255 elected deputies, nearly 90 percent are serving in a national legislative body for the first time. To assist the National Assembly and the newly elected deputies fulfill their duties, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) initiated an interim National Assembly Support Program in Cote d’Ivoire. The goal of this limited-duration program is to assist the National Assembly as it establishes itself as an independent branch of government committed to the effective exercise of its representational, legislative, and oversight roles and responsibilities.
Following the opening of the National Assembly on April 25th in Yamoussoukro, USAID grantee NDI conducted a successful two-day orientation program for new deputies. This event provided new members with a greater understanding of their roles, responsibilities, and legislative priorities for the coming year. Former Canadian parliamentary speaker John Bosley provided technical guidance to the new deputies and the Office of the President of National Assembly, as part of a longer USAID funded advisory consultancy. The U.S. Embassy Development Counselor gave opening remarks at the orientation session stressing the commitment of the U.S. Government to support the National Assembly’s work serving the people in Cote d’Ivoire.