Bagbin’s decision to drop Speaker’s cloak long overdue – ACEPA

The African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA) says the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin’s decision to stop wearing the cloak of the speaker on regular sitting days, is a step in the right direction.

In an interview with Citi News, Executive Director of ACEPA, Rasheed Draman said the speaker’s decision is “long overdue.”

“The angle from which I looked at it was from when he said he wanted to promote Ghanaian culture… The economics of this and the image that it will project for our country is very important,” Mr. Draman said.

“The robe is a colonial heritage, and most countries have gotten rid of that. You go to some of our neighbours and what they wear is traditional clothes to preside over parliamentary sittings and even during ceremonial times.”

Bagbin’s reasoning

Speaking in an interview on Ghana Television, Mr. Bagbin stressed the need to wear made-in Ghana clothing in order to deliberately market the Ghanaian culture.

“You may be seeing me more in traditional dresses. I may use that [the cloak] only for ceremonial occasions, which is what is in the literature of Ghana concerning that cloak and gown.”

“We also have to provide the market for our produce. We cannot always rely on what others manufacture and sell to us when we are capable of manufacturing even better ones,” the Speaker said.