Ghana’s Parliament speaker dumps colonial dress code for traditional attire
Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has dumped the decades old colonial attire of the speaker for a traditional Ghanaian wear.
At the commencement of the First Meeting of the Second Session of the Eighth Parliament in Accra on Tuesday, Bagbin, entered the chamber of the House adorned in a traditional apparel.
Clad in a colourful kente over a white lace short sleeve shirt, a gold plated looking crown on his head and around his neck and wrists, Mr Bagbin looked more like a traditional leader than the head of the legislature.
His new look is a fulfillment of an earlier indication he gave to former MPs to ditch the colonial speakers' cloak for a more local attire as part of his commitment to changing the dress code and code of conduct for MPs.
In his address to welcome the lawmakers from recess, Bagbin said his new look sets in motion the agenda of a Parliament that should look Ghanaian.
"The practice of MPs decently dressed in traditional attire led by the Speaker is long overdue.
"I happily invite all of you to wear Ghana, grow Ghana, eat Ghana, brand Ghana, and transform Ghana. From now I want to see more Members appear in Parliament decently adorned in traditional dress.
Prior to the recent holidays, Bagbin urged MPs to promote locally made traditional outfits instead of wearing formal attire like suits.
And he led by example.
“This the Parliament of Ghana, a unique made in Ghana product and we must showcase and market it to the world as a brand. We must create a unique set of values and norms that will give a unique character to our Parliament to set it apart from the colonial legacies of the British system,” Bagbin wrote in a Facebook post. “I am convinced that Ghanaians define representation of the people to include representation of the full identity of the Ghanaian – i. e. Culture, Tradition and more importantly their dress code! Much love!”
Builsa South Member of Parliament Clement Apaak agreed with the speaker. He said Bagbin showed the way in promoting the Ghana brand and he urged the Chief Justice to emulate the speaker in ensuring that lawyers and judges are also permitted to dress in local fabrics in court.