Chief Charumbira's Call for Unity: Pan-African Parliament's Vision for the Future


Pan-African Parliament President H.E. Chief Fortune Charumbira emphasized the importance of a unified vision, urging legislators to "Think Africa Above All." He highlighted the need for cooperation and mutual support to achieve sustainable development and prosperity across African nations.

Chief Charumbira made these remarks while officially closing the 3rd Ordinary Session of the Sixth Pan-African Parliament in Midrand, South Africa, held from June 24 to July 5, 2024.

“We carry an onerous mandate to represent not just the people of our respective Member States but the whole of Africa. Once elected, we cease to be mere functionaries of our home countries and become representatives of the entire continent. While focusing on our countries' interests, we must always consider the broader interests of Africa.

“We must not use the Pan-African Parliament for self-aggrandizement but be guided by the Pan-African spirit of 'Ubuntu' – 'I am because we are.' We must be our brother's keeper, prioritizing Africa above all. Our mantra should be 'Think Africa Above All.' Remember, the world changes by example, not opinion,” he asserted.

The President announced with satisfaction that the Parliament has resumed full functionality after overcoming budget constraints that previously caused disruptions. This development marks the resumption of the Parliament's full operations.

H.E. Chief Charumbira reiterated that the Parliament is recovering its image, which had been tarnished by recent events leading some to view it as a "hooligans' institution." He commended members for maintaining the required parliamentary quorum, reflecting their commitment.

Addressing the Parliament virtually, African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security H.E. Ambassador Bankole Adeoye stressed the need to prioritize peace, security, good governance, and stability, aligning with the continent's common agenda.

“You are aware of the real, unprecedented security threats our continent faces, particularly concerning African governance. As the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) is under severe stress, we must not lose sight of our goals. Multilateralism provides us with norms and principles to protect civilians and ensure human security,” he noted.

Ambassador Adeoye emphasized addressing the root causes of instability and thanked the Pan-African Parliament MPs for standing against terrorism and violent extremism. He called for global solutions tailored to African needs.

“We are ready to work with you on prevention. We must re-energize the continental early warning system and build a knowledge base with regional economic communities to address challenges collectively. Our new policy, approved at the last summit, includes pillars such as women’s inclusion, youth participation, child protection, and climate action. Together, we can actualize African solutions to African problems,” he stated.

The Ambassador highlighted the importance of the African Parliament's voice in financing African Union peace operations and outlined efforts to revitalize intelligence architecture to achieve Agenda 2063 aspirations.

Pledging commitment to collaboration with the Pan-African Parliament, the Ambassador urged continued cooperation to deliver tangible results. He acknowledged resource constraints but assured ongoing support for democratic practices.

Mr. Luvuyo Ndimeni, Chief Director of the African Union Desk at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), noted that the South African delegation to the Pan-African Parliament was identified following recent elections on May 29, 2024. DIRCO is conducting a capacity workshop with the Parliament, aligning with the South African government’s educational reforms.

"Building a resilient education system for increased access, which promotes lifelong vitality and validity in Africa, is timely and crucial for South Africa. This aligns with Agenda 2063," Mr. Ndimeni stated, quoting the late President Nelson Mandela: "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

He also informed the chamber that South Africa is committed to enhancing its role and supporting increased funding for the Pan-African Parliament, recognizing the importance of its mandate.

"We will support this in the African Union and ensure adequate resources for this chamber," he concluded.