Namibian Minister of Justice, Hon. Yvonne Dausab has urged Civil Society Forum (CSF) to contribute significantly towards the development and growth of the African continent. She was addressing delegates at a Parliamentary Dialogue that transpired between the CSF and the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) in Midrand, South Africa.
The Dialogue was held on the sidelines of the currently underway Second Session of the Sixth parliament held under the 2023 AU theme, “Accelerating the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)”. Established in 2018, the PAP CSF is a platform that aims at fostering closer collaboration between and among Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) with PAP. The Forum continues to grow and to work towards increasing the visibility of PAP and fulfilling the vision of an integrated Africa.
“We are pleased to have a platform like the PAP Civil Society Forum in our continent as it enables engagements on a better future for us,” said Hon. Dausab. “CSOs must champion peace, development, growth and unity across our continent. We are aware that there is mistrust between governments and CSOs. It is a fact that some CSOs are used for nefarious means by external forces, but I believe that we do not have such within this platform; we must guard against infiltration by malicious forces. We need CSOs to commit towards assisting governments across Africa in creating better livelihoods for Africans.”
Minister Dausab also urged the PAP legislators to priorities addressing challenges affecting the people of Africa. “African legislators must execute their duties with a view of improving the lives of Africans. We are tired of engagements that do not yield results. Let us be practical and solution driven. I am pleased that the PAP is trying its best to play a role and we need it to be accorded the support it require to deliver on its mandate,” she said.
She added that the PAP legislators must prioritise solutions on unemployment, discrimination, racism, tribalism, human rights abuse and constitutional democracy. Hon. Dausab further called upon Africans to stop divisions based on languages, which stem from the continent’s colonial past.
“We must do away with identifying one another with divisive identities imposed on us by colonisers. We are Africans and we must identify ourselves as such. Africa will never see peace or growth if we are divided,” she said.