The Idriss Ndele Plenary Hall of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) was the scene of a vibrant celebration today, as the sixth Parliament concluded a successful first Ordinary Session. The Session, described as a turning for the continental Parliament, has ended with resounding accomplishments and a major boost in the new leadership’s quest to “revive, renew, reposition, and reinvigorate” the institution.
The key milestone of the just concluded statutory engagement is the unanimous adoption by the PAP Plenary of a motion to amend the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament. The long-awaited process effectively addressed past confusion and ambiguities while creating create a conducive environment for the operation of the legislative organ of the African Union (AU). The first Ordinary Session of the sixth Parliament has also adopted a series of pertinent, realistic and purposeful resolutions and recommendations that contribute to the African Union agenda in the areas of peace and security, food security, gender parity, trade and policing among others.
Africa’s premier parliamentary gathering was held under the AU theme for 2022:” “Building resilience in nutrition on the African continent: Accelerate the human capital, social and economic development”.
In his closing address to the Plenary, H.E Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira, President of the PAP sought to pay homage to his Bureau and the entire membership of the continental parliamentary body for the sterling work and commitment displayed over the past few weeks to revive the PAP.
“As a Bureau we are happy that this Parliament is moving forward, and we are even more optimistic about the teamwork displayed by the Bureau and the spirit of compromise demonstrated by members throughout this Session. Great expectations have been put upon us by the people of Africa and we are working tirelessly to ensure those aspirations are fulfilled. The highest point for us during this session was being graced by the former President of Nigeria and AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa, H.E Olusegun Obasanjo. We also managed to unanimously adopt the amended Rules of Procedure – this was historical as there was no acrimony during the processes of amendment right through to the adoption,” noted H.E Hon Charumbira.
Among the raft of resolutions adopted by the reenergized PAP, African legislators took note of the positive developments which resulted in the signing of the peace agreement between the Federal Republic of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation. The PAP congratulated the signatories to this agreement that ended the civil war in Ethiopia.
A resolution on solidarity and support to the government and people of the Republic of Mozambique was adopted with the continental Parliament condemning in the strongest terms the barbaric acts of terrorism in all its forms in that country. While commending the support Mozambique has so far received from the AU Member States, the PAP encouraged the AU to continue assisting Mozambique to fight the scourge.
Considering the objective to promote sustainable development at the economic, social and cultural levels, and integration of African economies, the PAP has landed its support to Uganda and Tanzania in the two countries’ East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project. Emphasis was put on the fact that Africa and other developing countries must have a different transition agenda that allows them to develop their resources to deal with their pressing development issues to eliminate poverty and improve resilience.
Supporting the resolution of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Heads of State and Government demanding the immediate lifting of economic sanctions unilaterally imposed against the Government of Zimbabwe and its people by the United States of America and the European Union, the PAP unequivocally calls for the immediate lifting of the sanctions. The lifting of these unilateral economic sanctions will enable the Government of Zimbabwe to attract Foreign Direct Investment which will serve as a catalyst for economic recovery needed to meet the expectations of its citizens.
The PAP Plenary further mandated the Committee on Finance and Monetary Affairs to lead the formulation of Model legislation of Factoring in Africa and a Model Law on Cooperatives in Africa. The Committee on Cooperation, International Relations and Conflict Resolution has been mandated to develop a Model Law on Statelessness as a means to promote legislative frameworks on the prevention and eradication of statelessness in Africa.
Noting that women continue to face all forms of discrimination and other barriers that restrict them from fully participating in social, political and economic life on an equal basis with men, the PAP has given the nod to the formulation of a Model Law on Gender Parity in Africa. Deeply concerned with the gravity of irregular movements of African migrants within Africa and beyond, a Model Law on labour Migration is to be formulated to stem this practice.
In conclusion, there was a standing ovation for the PAP Bureau for the successful session and for the efforts of bringing harmony to the continental Parliament.
“I am speaking on behalf of the entire Parliamentarians. We are proud of the unity you have brought to the PAP. You have reinvigorated and redefined the purpose of our Parliament. Our image out there has greatly improved since this Bureau came into office hence, on behalf of all Members of Parliament be assured that we stand with you. We appreciate you and we give you our support,” said Hon Felix Okot Ogong (Uganda).