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The Pan-African Parliament (PAP), also known as the African Parliament, is the legislative body of the African Union and held its inaugural session in March 2004. The PAP exercises oversight, and has advisory and consultative powers, lasting for the first five years. Initially the seat of the Pan-African Parliament was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia but it was later moved to Midrand, South Africa.
On 28 October 2009, the second legislature of the Pan-African Parliament opened its first ordinary session and began a new 5-year mandate. South African president, Jacob Zuma, gave the opening speech and called for the PAP to be given full legislative powers and its members elected by universal suffrage.
The Pan-African Parliament has 265 representatives that are elected by the legislatures of 47 of the 54 AU states, rather than being directly elected in their own capacity. Additionally, Ten Permanent Committees were created dealing with different sectors of life in Africa.
The Parliament also has four Vice-Presidents:
- Central Africa - Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang from Cameroon.
- North Africa - Hon. Suilma Hay Emhamed Elkaid from the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.
- Southern Africa - Hon. Loide Kasingo from Namibia.
- East Africa - Hon. Juliana Kantengwa from Rwanda.
These officials are the composition of the Bureau of the Pan-African Parliament.
The Parliament is assisted by the Secretariat of the Pan-African Parliament.
The Abuja Treaty and Sirte Declaration called for the creation of a PAP. The former had simply listed the PAP among the organization's bodies and stated, "In order to ensure that the peoples of Africa are fully involved in the economic development and integration of the Continent, there shall be established a Pan-African Parliament. The composition, functions, powers and organisation of the Pan-African Parliament shall be defined in a Protocol providing thereof." The Treaty on the Establishment of the African Union and a Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community relating to the Pan-African Parliament followed. Then there was the Constitutive Act of the African Union. The Protocol Establishing the Pan African Parliament was adopted in 2000 during the OAU Summit in Lomè, Togo. The Protocol is now open for signature and ratification. So far 21 member states have signed and three have ratified. Article 22 of the PAP protocol provides for the Protocol to enter into force after deposit of the instruments of ratification by a simple majority of the member states.
Objectives of the Parliament
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politics and government of
the African Union
- Implement the policies and objectives of the African Union.
- Cultivate human rights and democracy in Africa.
- Make sure Member States adhere to good governance, transparency and accountability.
- Let the peoples of Africa know what the objectives and policies of the African Union are so that they might be able to integrate themselves contentally while still working within the framework of the AU.
- Engender peace, security and stability on the Continent.
- Promote self-reliance and economic recovery so as to lead to a more prosperous future for the peoples of Africa.
- Engender cooperation and development in Africa.
- Strengthen a sense of solidarity and build common destiny among the peoples of Africa.
- Create cooperation among Regional Economic Communities and their Members in Parliament.
Powers of the Parliament
- Examine, discuss or express an opinion on any matter, either on its own initiative or at the request of the Assembly or other policy organs and make any recommendations it may deem fit relating to, inter alia, matters pertaining to respect of human rights, the consolidation of democratic institutions and the culture of democracy, as well as the promotion good governance and the rule of law.
- Discuss its budget and the budget of the Community and make recommendations theron prior to its approval by the Assembly of the African Union.
- Work towards the harmonisation or co-ordination of the laws of the Member State.
- Make recommendations aimed at contributing to the attainment of the objectives of the OAU/AEC and draw attention to the challenges facing the integration process in Africa as well as the strategies for dealing with them.
- Request officials of the OAU/AEC to attend its sessions, produce documents or assist in the discharge of its duties.
- Promote the programmes and objectives of the OAU/AEC, in the constituencies of the Member States.
- Promote the co-ordination and Harmonization of policies, measures, programmes and activities of the Regional Economic Communities and the parliamentary fora of Africa.
- Adopt its Rules of Procedure, elect its own President and propose to the Council and the Assembly the size and nature of the support staff of the Pan-African Parliament.
- Perform such other functions as it deems appropriate to achieve the objectives set out in Article 3 of the Protocol.
A trust fund was established 26 May 2005. In the motion to create the fund, it was said the Pan-African Parliament Trust Fund will promote "good governance, transparency and democracy, peace security and stability, gender equality and development in the integration of African people within Africa and other nations. It will also support the fight against HIV/AIDS, hunger and poverty on the continent".
Presidents of the Pan-African Parliament
|President of the
|Term length||Four years|
|Inaugural holder||Gertrude Mongella|
|Organization of African Unity|
|No||Name||Beginning of term||End of term||Country|
|2||Idriss Ndele Moussa||2009||2012||Chad|
|3||Bethel Nnaemeka Amadi||2012||present||Nigeria|
- List of members of the Pan-African Parliament
- Bureau of the Pan-African Parliament
- United States of Africa
- African Parliamentary Union - another inter-parliamentary institution only of some African countries (non-members are Eritrea, Seychelles, Comoros, Mauritius, Madagascar, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Sahrawi Republic)
- "Diputada saharaui es elegida vicepresidenta del Parlamento Panafricano". Sahara Press Service. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2013. (Spanish)
- "The Task Ahead for the Pan African Parliament". Mathaba News Network. Retrieved 2009-11-09.
- PAP Elects New Second Vice President Pan-African Parliament Press Release, 13 May 2013
- "Establishment of the Pan-African Parliament Trust Fund". Retrieved 2009-11-09.