Members of the media are advised that Hon. Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa will deliver the keynote address on the occasion of the opening of the Joint Retreat between the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) and the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC) of the African Union.
The Retreat will take place as follows:
What: Joint Retreat between the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) and the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC) to reflect on the challenges affecting the effective exercise by the PAP of its mandate within the African Union institutional architecture.
Hon. Naledi Pandor will officially open Retreat with an address on: “The Role of the Pan-African Parliament in the Integration and Economic Development of Africa: Giving Full Effect to the Dream of the African Union Founding Fathers”
When: 19 December 2022
Where: Pivot Hotel Montecasino (Montecasino Entertainment Complex, Montecasino Boulevard, Fourways, Johannesburg, 2055)
Time: 9.00 am (SAT)
The following Strategic Objectives will guide the Joint Retreat:
- Understanding the Core Business of the PAP & the Institutional Legal Framework.
- Understanding and appreciating PAP’s deliverables in relation to the expectations of the African citizenry.
- Assessing the efficacy of the institutional arrangements in place to support PAP’s core business, including staffing issues.
- Strengthening the institutional working mechanisms between PAP and other AU Organs including the PRC.
- The legal status of MPs in the AU governance architecture and the attendant conditions of service.
- Understanding and appreciating the financial and resource support required for PAP to fulfil its mandate effectively.
The Joint Retreat will be attended by:
- Members of the Bureau and Bureaus of the PAP
- Members of the PRC
- Members of PAP
- Bureau of the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC)
- Representatives of the Host-Country
- Dean of African Ambassadors in South Africa
- A technical team of six (6) Ambassadors in Pretoria
- The AUC Acting Secretary General
- AUC Directorates
- Invited Guests
In order to buttress the new focus of performance orientation by the PAP, the Outcomes from the Joint Retreat will be:
- Improved understanding, appreciation and execution of the mandate, roles and expected deliverables of the PAP in the continental governance agenda.
- Challenges encountered by the Pan-African Parliament in the fulfilment of its mandate within the African Union institutional architecture assessed and addressed.
- Synergies between the PAP and PRC and opportunities for their possible collaboration in achieving Africa’s integration and economic development identified and actioned.
- The legal status of MPs in the AU architecture is regularised and befitting and appropriate incentives are implemented.
- Financial and Resource support to the PAP is improved and aligned to its mandate, roles and performance thrust.
Eighteen (18) years after its establishment, it is clear that while the Pan-African Parliament has achieved several milestones, it continues to grapple with numerous challenges with regard to the enabling environment for PAP to effectively perform its role. As a result, despite the heightened expectation that greeted the establishment of the PAP and the noble intentions of the founding fathers, the institution has not been able to fully deliver to an expectant African citizenry. Public perception of the institution and the entire AU architecture thus remains negative and unflattering.
In view of this background, the Pan African Parliament initiated a comprehensive soul-searching exercise to reflect on its founding principles and the institutional imperatives for PAP to deliver to the expectations of the citizens of Africa. To that end, in August 2022, the PAP convened a 3-day Strategic Reorientation Workshop under the theme “REVIVING, RENEWING, REPOSITIONING AND REINVIGORATING THE PAN AFRICAN PARLIAMENT.” The workshop sought to interrogate the role of the PAP in the continental governance matrix and whether its structures, practices, systems, and procedures enable the PAP to perform to the citizens’ expectations. This process of institutional reform culminated in an in-depth appreciation of the PAP’s mandate and deliverables in relation to public expectation, the restructuring of Committees to make them more effective in their functions, the amendment of the Rules of Procedure to strengthen the representative, oversight and legislative role of PAP within its consultative and advisory role, and the revision of work plans to guarantee responsiveness and impactful delivery on issues affecting the people. The thrust of the 6th Parliament of the Pan African Parliament is firmly on tangible results.
After this comprehensive self-introspection, it is opportune and timely for the PAP to now meet with the PRC whose role in the continental governance framework is critical. In line with Rule 4 of the PRC Rules of Procedure, the PRC acts as an advisory body to the Executive Council, considers the AU’s program and budget and makes recommendations to the Executive Council, and monitors the implementation of the AU Budget.  For the PAP to successfully revive, renew, reposition, and reinvigorate itself, its programmes must be implementable. It is critical, therefore that the PRC should fully understand and appreciate the performance imperatives of the Pan African Parliament similarly, the PAP should also fully understand the expectations of the Union as represented by the PRC. The Retreat thus provides an opportunity for the PAP and PRC to develop a shared understanding of the mandate, core business and deliverables of the PAP and the strategic direction the institution is taking as some of the work plans require AU decisions.
Further, the Retreat will provide an opportunity for the PAP and the PRC to critically reflect on the challenges affecting the effective exercise by the PAP of its mandate within the African Union institutional architecture, including interrogating the efficacy of the present institutional arrangements and whether they enable the PAP to achieve its mandate; assessing the current legal status and incentives for PAP Members and how it impacts on their work and the overall attainment of the PAP’s mandate; and, exploring better opportunities for sustainable inter-organ synergies and increased institutional support for the PAP.
For more information:
Jeffrey ONGANGA – Media and Communications Tel: +27 115455000 ext 5307/Mobile: +27 79 074 0005 - firstname.lastname@example.org
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