Magazine article New African

Pan-African Parliament: One Africa, One Voice

Magazine article New African

Pan-African Parliament: One Africa, One Voice

Article excerpt

OVERVIEW

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The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) is one of the ten (10) organs of the African Union (AU) provided for in Article (5) of the Constitutive Act of the AU, adopted by the Thirty-Sixth Ordinary Session of the Conference of the Heads of State and Government of the former OAU in Lome, Togo on July 11, 2000. The PAP is established according to the provisions of Article (17) of the Constitutive Act of the AU so as to "ensure the full participation of African peoples in the development and economic integration of the continent".

The composition, powers, functions and organization of the PAP are defined in the Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community Related to the Pan-African Parliament, (the PAP Protocol) adopted by the Fifth Extraordinary Session of the Conference of African Heads of State and Government in Sirte, Libya on March 02, 2001.

The Pan-African Parliament was inaugurated on March 18, 2004 at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, according to the provisions of the PAP Protocol. Membership is open to all AU Member States who ratify the PAP Protocol. Currently, membership stands at forty-seven (47). Each National Parliament elects/designates five of its Members to the PAP.

The ultimate aim of the establishment of the Pan-African Parliament is for it to evolve into an institution with full legislative powers, whose Members are elected by universal adult suffrage. At present, it exercises advisory and consultative powers.

THE OBJECTIVES OF THE PAN-AFRICAN PARLIAMENT

The objectives of the Pan-African Parliament are spelt out in Article (3) of the PAP Protocol as being to:

* Facilitate the effective implementation of the policies and objectives of the OAU/AEC and, ultimately, of the African Union;

* Promote the principles of human rights and democracy in Africa;

* Encourage good governance, transparency and accountability in Member States;

* Familiarize the peoples of Africa with the objectives and policies aimed at integrating the African continent within the framework of the establishment of the African Union;

* Promote peace, security and stability;

* Contribute to a more prosperous future for the people of Africa by promoting collective self-reliance and economic recovery;

* Facilitate cooperation and development in Africa

* Strengthen continental solidarity and build a sense of common destiny among the peoples of Africa;

* Facilitate cooperation among Regional Economic Communities and their Parliamentary Fora. …

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