The Lifaka Lecture has been established by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in memory of Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, the late Chairperson of the CPA International Executive Committee and Deputy Speaker of Cameroon.

Hon. Monjowa Lifaka was a passionate champion of the CPA and served as CPA Chairperson from November 2017 until her untimely death in April 2021.

The CPA Lifaka Lecture is intended to provide a fitting tribute to her work and the Lecture took place in the margins of the 66th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Accra, Ghana and was attended by delegates and the Ghanaian diplomatic community.

Our CEO, Betty Abeng, had the honor of being invited to deliver the inaugural lecture and used the opportunity to highlight the key role of Commonwealth Parliamentarians in global education.


Above: The inaugural CPA Emilia Monjowa Lifaka Lecture took place in the margins of the 66th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Ghana. Images: CPA Headquarters.

In her keynote, Betty spoke about the importance of education for all Commonwealth citizens and the key objective of achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 on ensuring “inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.

She also highlighted the importance of effective communication skills for all children including the ability to read, understand and connect as this aids a young person’s journey in life and is one of the qualities which enabled the late Likafa to effectively carry our her duties and serve as Chair.

Betty also reinforced the fact that insufficient support for education globally goes beyond endangering achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 4 but also threatens the achievement of multiple other sustainable development goals. Reaching them is reliant on today’s children having the conditions they need to learn and thrive.

She added that The Commonwealth’s 56 member countries have a combined population of 2.5 billion people, of which more than 60% are under 30 years of age. This high youth demographic- holds the potential to shape and secure fair, peaceful and sustainable globalisation and leadership.

She concluded that the Lifaka Lecture effectively conveyed the idea that serving constituencies and communities requires dedication, commitment and advocacy for the concerns of the people and quoted the Commonwealth Secretary-General,  The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC who at the last Commonwealth Heads of Government speaking after her reappointment said:

“To seek high office is a profound act of service”

A response came from Dr Leslie Casey-Hayford, Director of Associates for Change, West Africa and a Ghana-based international education development expert who highlighted the importance of a life of service and civic duty for all.

The Chairperson of the Lecture, Hon. Mary Muyali Boya, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Cameroon welcomed the Lifaka Lecture as a fitting tribute to Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka and the session ended with a vote of thanks by Hon. Peter Nortsu-Kotoe, MP from Ghana.

The inaugural CPA Lifaka Lecture was also supported by the International Parliamentary Network for Education (IPNEd).

A transcript of the lecture can be found here .

Newsletter Form (#4)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Fill in your details to receive the latest news and updates from our fight to end learning poverty.