The Role and Functions of Permanent Committees

The Committees are the engine House of any Parliament. The creation of PAP Permanent Committees was, therefore, an important move by the Pan-African Parliament to ensure in-depth analysis on topical and emerging issues facing Africa. The Committees enable Parliament to perform its core oversight, advisory and consultative functions. Further, such an arrangement allows the Parliament to perform several functions simultaneously and provide required detailed investigation on matters of concern.

Rule 26 of the Pan-African Parliament Rules of Procedure lists the specific functions of the Committees concerning their purview as depicted in their title as:

  1. Oversight on the development and harmonization of policies of the African Union and the Member States.
  2. To examine the review of the protocol and treaties of the Union.
  3. Oversight on relevant organs or institutions of the African Union.
  4. To promote the development and implementation of African Union Programs.
  5. Investigate and report to the Plenary, findings on matters to which they have been assigned.

The Committees implement programs and projects aligned with the PAP Strategic plan 2018-2023, drafted in consideration of the vision of the Parliament, Agenda 2063, AU programs and theme of the year. This implies that issues that the Committees investigates, debates on and reports to the Plenary are relevant towards the achievement of the Africa Union Agenda. This allows for synergy and consistency with the work of the African Union and its Commission. Additionally, with the mapping of the agenda 2063 exercise carried out by the PAP Permanent Committees, the Committees have identified their role in implementing the AU Vision and its flagship project also cognizant of addressing emerging matters.

Based on the program of the Permanent Committees implemented, recommendations are made from their findings in the reports which are presented to the Plenary. The recommendations elaborate expectations from various stakeholders, which could be internal or external, to address the matter under consideration. The recommendations are adopted by the Plenary if there is collective agreement on the proposal. Adopted recommendations form part of the Report of the President of the PAP that is considered by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government. It is expected that these plenary recommendations inform the formulation of AU policies and decisions.

The eleven PAP Permanent Committees are listed as follows.