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Pan African Parliament to play a greater Legislative function

Johannesburg, 6 May, 2013 : The Pan African Parliament has been invited to increase its critical leadership role and exercise greater legislative and oversight functions. AU Commission Chairperson, H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, and President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. John Dramani Mahama both trumpeted the call as they addressed the opening of the 2nd Ordinary session of the Pan African Parliament, PAP. The PAP is an organ of the African Union which 235 Parliamentary representatives indirectly elected from 47 of the 54 AU Member States.

In her resounding evidence-based and thought-provoking State-of-the-Union address to the august assembly, Dr. Dlamini Zuma enumerated a litany of opportunities for Africa to prosper with stability. She pointed to a compelling set of comparative and analytical statistics, with performance indicators in trade, economics, investments, infrastructure, human development, energy, information and communication technologies, that with democracy, human rights, peace and stability, Africa can eradicate poverty and achieve development within less than five decades.

The AUC Chairperson called on the PAP to play its rightful role. “PAP must be stronger, offering a greater voice to the people of Africa through universal suffrage, capable of promoting the enactment of relevant policies and laws necessary for growth and development both at the national and continental levels, and a degree of oversight role.”

In an earlier address, Ghanaian President, H.E. John Mahama, highlighted that, it is becoming crucial for institutions such as the African Union and its relevant organs such as the Pan African Parliament (PAP) to transform into a more effective and efficient body which will lead the continent into a period of sustained growth and prosperity. He added that at this crucial time in Africa’s history, the importance of a pan African legislative body “could not be over emphasized.” “The AU must hasten its transformation and grant this house (the PAP) full legislative powers to tackle the challenges facing Africa. These challenges are surmountable and can be overcome if the PAP makes its transition from a consultative body to a full legislative institution,” President Mahama said.

In his welcome address, the PAP President, Hon. Bethel Nnaemeka Amadi said that the AU Protocol was being reviewed with a view to turning the PAP into a full legislative body. Members of Parliament, also advocated for this move and were visibly moved to have welcomed their guests at their opening session. Over 30 MPs took the floor to react to the Chairperson’s State-of-the-Union address, which they described as eloquently brilliant and inspiring, which is a reflection of the high esteem the Chairperson holds of the Assembly.

Dr. Dlamini Zuma also announced that there would be year-long celebrations for the OAU/AU 50th anniversary. The celebrations will kick off in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 25 May, with the theme for the year-long celebration being “Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance”.

The PAP holds its 2nd Ordinary session from 6-17 May, 2013. Some highlights of the session will include the launch of the Media Freedom Campaign, the debate on Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance, an address to PAP by the President of the European Parliament and a presentation and debate on the situation in Western Sahara.

Publié le 7 mai 2013

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