Pan-African Parliament Agrees on Equitable Funding Mechanisms for Regional Caucuses


In a significant move towards a more equitable and inclusive Pan-African Parliament (PAP), the continental legislative body has agreed on funding mechanisms for its regional caucuses. This landmark decision is expected to provide much-needed support to caucuses representing diverse regions across the continent, enabling them to contribute effectively to the Parliament’s legislative and oversight functions.

The agreement was reached following a series of dialogues and consultations, highlighting the PAP's commitment to addressing structural imbalances that have historically disadvantaged certain regions.

The motion, moved by Hon. Prof Margaret Kamar and seconded by Hon. Wavel Woodcock at the ongoing 3rd Ordinary Session of the 6th Pan-African Parliament, implored the Bureau to ensure equitable funding for all regional caucuses. This would enable them to fulfill their functions and contribute to achieving the mandate of the continental Parliament.

According to the Pan-African Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, Rule 83 establishes the regional caucuses, which consist of all members from a given region. Their main function is to select nominees for the election of the Pan-African Parliament President or Vice-Presidents. The regional caucuses also perform other functions assigned to them by the Bureau, Permanent Committees on Rules, Privileges and Discipline, or by resolution of the Parliament.

“We are pleased that Parliamentarians agree on the vital issue of funding our regional caucuses,” said H.E. President Chief Fortune Charumbira. “Funding of our caucuses must be a priority. As the Bureau, we respect the Parliament’s rules and systems. For the Parliament to be functional, our regional caucuses must reach the grassroots and empower the people of Africa. It is important that we include them in our budgets.”

H.E. Charumbira emphasized the importance of equitable funding for caucuses. “Our operations must be inclusive. We must not ignore equality if we are to achieve our goal of a developed Africa. We always speak about democracy, human rights, and the empowerment of women and youth; this can only be achieved if we adhere to the norm of equality as the Bureau.”

Hon. Prof Kamar applauded some regional caucuses for steering the activities of the Pan-African Parliament but expressed concern about selective funding. She highlighted that dependency on specific sources of funding compromises the caucuses and limits their ability to make independent and objective decisions regarding the agenda and logistics, diminishing the effectiveness and impact of their activities.

“We commend the Central and Western Africa Regional Caucuses for conducting advocacy missions in furtherance of the Pan-African Parliament’s mandate of familiarizing the people of Africa with the objectives, policies, aims, and programs of the African Union, in line with Article 3 (4) of the PAP Protocol as read with Rule 4(c)(i) of the PAP Rules of Procedure,” she said. “However, while the PAP provided funding for these advocacy missions, the Northern and Southern Caucuses did not receive similar funding, and the Eastern Caucus has often had to rely on the benevolence of individuals to fund their programs. We need proper systems in place to avoid such divisive practices.”

Hon. Nicaise Fagnon underscored that funding caucuses will assist in capacitating them for better outcomes in their programs. Echoing Parliamentarians’ calls to adopt the motion, Hon. Tony Sibandze said the Committee on Monetary and Finance is prepared to assist with budgets for caucuses. He also suggested that any mobilization of funds for the Pan-African Parliament must go through the Bureau.

Securing equitable funding for caucuses will go a long way in advocating for peace and security across the continent, according to Hon. Danson Mungatana. “There are disturbances in our continent which can be resolved through our regional caucuses. If funds are mobilized and distributed fairly, I believe we can play a positive role as a Parliament,” he said.

Hon. Senator Stukie Motsa stated that with support to caucuses, the Pan-African Parliament will be able to advance the African Union’s programs and objectives within its member states, fostering cooperation, coordination, and alignment among African nations, ultimately striving for a more unified and prosperous continent.