Pan-African Parliament enhances its media engagements as a move towards a people-centred organization


The Pan-African Parliament (PAP), the legislative arm of the African Union (AU), is forging a closer relationship with the media, in a bid to effectively promote AU policies and programmes and drive a people-centred agenda. The African Union has been keen to rally citizen’s participation in Africa’s agenda. The media plays a critical role in fostering awareness on Africa’s agenda, as well as demanding accountability and transparency from the public and private sectors.

The Constitutive Act of the African Union relating to the Pan-African Parliament (Article 3) outlines the objectives of the Pan-African Parliament, which include facilitating the effective implementation of the policies and objectives of the AU, and familiarizing the people of Africa with the objectives and policies aimed at integrating the African continent within the framework of the establishment of the Union.

Recognizing the role that Media has in educating, informing, and acting as watch dogs and being whistleblowers, the Pan-African Parliament convened a media capacity-building workshop with journalists in Southern Africa from 16 to 18 May 2024, in Cape Town, South Africa. The workshop was the second in a series of capacity-building exercises that the Parliament is organising to familiarise media with the work of the institution and build alliances fit for purpose, to keep the African citizenry abreast of Continental developments and ensure the effective implementation of the AU agenda.

Addressing the media, Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira, President of the Pan-African Parliament, underscored the importance of the legislative arm of the AU and the fourth estate complementing each other in the process of building an informed citizenry, holding the executive accountable, and creating mechanisms for evaluating progress on achieving continental goals in the areas of development, economy, peace and security, and health, among others. However, the President underscored that this work must be done within the norms of good journalism.

"With the launch of the Second 10-Year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063, the Pan-African Parliament, set up to ensure the full participation of African peoples in the economic development and integration of the continent, has a crucial role to play in ensuring citizens are fully involved in the process of making the continent more prosperous, integrated, democratic, peaceful, cultured, people-driven and influential by 2033. As African Parliamentarians, we believe that collaboration with journalists will be critical as we set out to verify that Agenda 2063 is not only implemented, but also that it yields tangible results. It is therefore crucial to build the capacity of the journalists with whom we intend to work, to ensure they can meet standards and provide precise and accurate coverage,” said Hon. Chief Charumbira.

The three-day training covered several key areas. These include Contextual Reporting, which focuses on understanding complex organisations and ensuring accuracy; Ethical Reporting in journalism; Strategies for improving media relations; Identifying effective entry points for media engagement; and the role of the media in enhancing the reporting of the Continental agenda.

At the end of the training, participants developed and adopted a common strategy and implementation plan on how they will participate in creating awareness among the peoples of Africa on the AU’s objectives, policy aims and programmes; strengthening of continental solidarity, cooperation and development; promotion of peace, security and stability. Other capacity building workshops are expected to take place in the regions of the continent.