Pan African Parliament hosts 2019 Annual Conference of Speakers of African Parliaments - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Thursday, August 8, 2019

Pan African Parliament hosts 2019 Annual Conference of Speakers of African Parliaments

PAP President Roger Nkodo Dang

The 2019 Annual Conference of Speakers of African Parliaments kicked off on Tuesday with the President of the Pan-African Parliament Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang calling on African countries to unite and work for prosperity of the continent for the benefits of their citizens.

Presenting his address at the parliamentary speakers forum in Midrand, Johannesburg South Africa, Dang called on the speakers to address the challenges which Africa face and also take advantage of the available opportunities.

"We need unity of Africa to be pioneered by the Speakers and Clerks of national parliaments as we move forward in establishing a better and functional Africa," said Nkodo while officially opening the conference during the August Session of the Permanent Committee Sittings of the Pan African Parliament Fifth Parliament.

"There are people out there who are sabotaging Africa and its executive institutions that are development driven. We would like to urge you as our national parliaments to shape a correct and better continent for all Africans. We rely on you and we need to come together and work together. As the PAP we are here to partner up and working with you to achieve the work that lies ahead your way."

He said that unity of African people is necessary for peace, and is the condition for democracy to thrive. "There can never be prosperity where there is no unity. We have to unite to fight cross-border violence, terrorism and other scourge facing the continent," said Dang.

He reiterated that development in the continent can only happen when there is peace, safety and stability and pointed out that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) should be implemented to integrate the continent and have inclusive economic growth.

"We have to work together based on common consensus to serve the African people," he added.

With its main purpose aimed at promoting the ownership  of the theme of the African Union for 2019 and 2020, and its implementation at the national level, the conference took place under the theme "Towards durable solutions to forced migration to accelerate integration and development in Africa: role of national and regional parliaments".

Hon. Nkodo also challenged the Speakers and Clerks to lobby their parliaments and countries to ratify all outstanding protocols being advocated for by the continent at various levels.

"As our clerks and speakers of parliament we are also relying on you to get all protocols ratified. Can you see to it that every country ratifies all outstanding protocols urgently. We need to seriously pull in one direction as a continent. I would like it if your priorities include challenging everyone out there to ratify protocols. I believe that if you are to walk out of this conference having taken a stand to prioritize the ratification of protocols all will be great for Africa," added Nkodo

African Parliamentary News recalls that the Annual Conference of Speakers of African Parliaments was instituted by the second President of PAP, Late Hon. Dr. Idriss Moussa in 2010 and has since then been hosted annually by successive PAP Presidents except for the 2018 conference which was postponed due to budgetary constraints.

In the past, the Speakers of National Parliaments were instrumental in getting the AU Assembly of Heads of State to approve the Revised PAP Protocol in 2014 in Malabo (Malabo Protocol). For example, the Speakers facilitated advocacy visits to their various heads of state to canvass for the adoption of the revised Protocol.

At the last Conference which was held in 2017, the Speakers took stock of the ratification, domestication and implementation of other critical legal instruments and AU Treaties that would advance the African agenda particularly relating to youth empowerment.

It committed to advocate for and strengthen the establishment of focal points within the ministries of foreign affairs of member countries who would be tasked with fast-tracking the process of ratification of AU legal instruments and undertook to take the necessary steps to expedite and finalize by December 2017, the signing and ratification of the Malabo Protocol.

As at 2017, only five countries had ratified the Malabo Protocol. Today, the number had climbed to twelve, up by seven.

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