The Pan-African Parliament has eleven Permanent Committees whose functions are aligned to those of the African Union Commissions. Each Committee has a maximum number of thirty Members with regional and gender representation (Rule 22 (5)) excluding the Committee on Audit and Public Accounts which has a maximum number of fifteen Members.
Members are designated to committees by the five (5) Regional Caucuses, including new members who have gone through the verification exercise by the Committee on Rules, Discipline and Privileges to ensure that the procedure and conditions for designation by their National Parliaments are met. The Permanent Committees meet twice a year (March and August) for statutory meetings and can meet more often during parliamentary sessions or for non-statutory meetings when the need arises.
The Role and Functions of Permanent Committees
The Committees are the engine House of any Parliament. The creation of PAP Permanent Committees was, therefore, an important move by the Pan-African Parliament to ensure in-depth analysis on topical and emerging issues facing Africa. The Committees enable Parliament to perform its core oversight, advisory and consultative functions. Further, such an arrangement allows the Parliament to perform several functions simultaneously and provide required detailed investigation on matters of concern.
Rule 26 of the Pan-African Parliament Rules of Procedure lists the specific functions of the Committees concerning their purview as depicted in their title as:
- Oversight on the development and harmonization of policies of the African Union and the Member States.
- To examine the review of the protocol and treaties of the Union.
- Oversight on relevant organs or institutions of the African Union.
- To promote the development and implementation of African Union Programs.
- Investigate and report to the Plenary, findings on matters to which they have been assigned.
The Committees implement programs and projects aligned with the PAP Strategic plan 2018-2023, drafted in consideration of the vision of the Parliament, Agenda 2063, AU programs and theme of the year. This implies that issues that the Committees investigates, debates on and reports to the Plenary are relevant towards the achievement of the Africa Union Agenda. This allows for synergy and consistency with the work of the African Union and its Commission. Additionally, with the mapping of the agenda 2063 exercise carried out by the PAP Permanent Committees, the Committees have identified their role in implementing the AU Vision and its flagship project also cognizant of addressing emerging matters.
Based on the program of the Permanent Committees implemented, recommendations are made from their findings in the reports which are presented to the Plenary. The recommendations elaborate expectations from various stakeholders, which could be internal or external, to address the matter under consideration. The recommendations are adopted by the Plenary if there is collective agreement on the proposal. Adopted recommendations form part of the Report of the President of the PAP that is considered by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government. It is expected that these plenary recommendations inform the formulation of AU policies and decisions.
The eleven PAP Permanent Committees are listed as follows.
Hon. Didier Molisho SadiRural Economy, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment
Hon. Amina SOUNAEducation, Culture, Tourism and Human Resources
Hon. Mohmmed Mubaraka MuntakaMonetary and Financial Affairs
Hon. Sen. John Bonds BideriTrade, Customs, and Immigration matters
Hon. Jean Patrice France QuirinHealth, Labour and Social Affairs
Hon. Dao Gabala MariamGender, Family, Youth and People with Disability
Hon. Jean Marie NibirantijeJustice and Human Rights
Hon. Thembekile Richard MajolaRules, Privileges and Discipline
Hon. Behdja LammaliTransport, Industry, Communication, Energy, Science and Technology
Hon. Dr. Eng. Sherif El GabalyCooperation, International Relations and Conflict Resolution
Hon. Miles SampaAudit and Public Accounts