Pan African Parliament adopts the May to September 2019 Activity Report - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Pan African Parliament adopts the May to September 2019 Activity Report

PAP President Rt. Hon. Roger Nkodo DANG

The Pan African Parliament (PAP) at its plenary on Tuesday adopted the Activity Report covering the period May to September presented by the Parliament’s President, Rt. Hon. Roger Nkodo DANG.
Presenting the 40 page detailed Report, Hon. Nkodo DANG disclosed that PAP under the leadership of the Fifth Bureau, “implemented several activities in fulfillment of its statutory mandate which is to ensure the full participation of African peoples in the development and economic integration of the continent”.
The Report outlined the activities carried out by all the organs and structures of the parliament – the Plenary, Bureau, Permanent Committees, Regional and thematic Caucuses as well as the Secretariat towards achieving the strategic objectives of the Parliament as set out in its approved strategic plan.
“The Report strives to establish a link between implemented PAP activities and the six strategic objectives of PAP, with a view to establishing the extent to which those activities contributed, or not, to achieving the strategic objectives of PAP. The report also points out the major achievements during the period covered by the Report and the main challenges faced by the institution in the fulfillment of its mandate. The Report concludes with some reflections on the future and potential activities of PAP that will build on the progress achieved to date”.
Summary of the key achievements
According to the Report, PAP successfully organized several activities which effectively contributed to the realization of its mandate and its strategic objectives and include:
“The successful preparation and organization of all planned statutory and non-statutory activities of all organs and structures of PAP, in a secure environment and in compliance with the PAP legal framework”;
“The professional and full support given to the activities of the PAP by the leadership of PAP, members of PAP and all staff, units, divisions and departments of the PAP Secretariat”;
“The successful holding of the 10th Annual Speakers’ Conference and elections for the remaining Bureau and Bureauxes posts, in full compliance with the PAP legal frameworks”;
“The effective PAP engagement with the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) of the African Union, which laid the grounds for a joint PAP-PRC Bureau and Bureauxes meeting, which will provide an opportunity to discuss and resolve all issues and misunderstandings leveled by the policy organs against the PAP”;
“PAP continued to venture into new thematic areas, such as double taxation agreements and made tremendous progress towards the formulation of model laws”;
“The increased visibility of the Pan African Parliament and the enhancement of the IT infrastructure which will facilitate the administrative and parliamentary activities of the PAP”;
“The finalization of the formulation of the PAP 2019 – 2023 Strategic Plan which is set to be considered by the Plenary”;
“The renewed commitment of Speakers of National Parliaments to take action to push for the ratification of AU treaties, particularly the Malabo Protocol”.
The major challenges faced by PAP
According to the Report, one of the major challenges facing PAP is the high turnover of the members, with 18 new members sworn in at the May 2019 Ordinary Session and about 45 other members that were sworn in this October 2019 Session. “This cannot but have an impact on the effective participation of Members of Parliament (MPs) in PAP activities and the preservation of the institutional memory of the Parliament”.
Another observed challenge is the responsiveness of the parliamentarians for participation in electoral observer missions which has “critically decreased. It is recommended that MPs renew their commitment and respond on time to enable the PAP and AUC Electoral Coordination Units to make necessary arrangements for their travel.
There are staffing challenges, with several divisions and units such as legal, Monitoring and Evaluation, Research and Communication being severly understaffed.
The continual negative image of the PAP at the African Union Policy Organs which required sustained efforts by the parliament to rebuild was also noted as a major challenge by the report
Financial and budgetary constraints which resulted in some Committees being unable to implement planned activities such as missions of investigation, on-site visits, promotional missions and consultative meetings also posed a challenge.
The Report also noted the fears and concerns raised by the acts of of violence against foreign missions which occurred in September 2019 and which led some Members of Parliament to express their reluctance to travel to South Africa and take part in the October 2019 Ordinary Session.
Finally, the Report noted poor attendance of MPs during the Committee Sittings in August 2019 which negatively affected the quorum and prevented such Committees from taking binding decisions. The situation affected the Committees on Education, Rules and Trade.
Anticipated Challenges in 2020
It is expected that PAP will continue to have high on its agenda, a wide range of issues relating to human rights, democracy, governance and integration in Africa. “Following the launching of the African Continental Free Trade Area in July 2019, additional efforts will be made to ensure that PAP engage more with the National and Regional Parliaments to sensitize more on fast-tracking the ratification, domestication and implementation of the continental legal and policy frameworks relating to free trade and free movement, the fight against corruption, the rights of forced migrants, food security nd nutrition and the rights of persons with disability”.
 “The year 2020 will also enable the pan African parliament to continue exploring other areas for the formulation of draft Model laws, in addition to policing, disability, climate change and food security and nutrition. Beyond Model laws,  PAP will also finalize its work on the African Union Model Double taxation Agreement, which is expected to be submitted to the African Union Commission on International Law”.
It is also expected that PAP “will review and rethink its advocacy for the ratification of the Malabo Protocol with a view to fast-tracking entry into force of the Protocol. PAP is also expected to continue to strengthen its institutional and operational capacity and be prepared to take on future challenges and opportunities in anticipation of the entry into force of the Malabo Protocol as well as the implementation of the African Union institutional reform”.
“Finally, the year 2020 will also provide an opportunity to kick-start the process of reviewing and realigning the PAP Rules of Procedure to suit the PAP’s current needs and realities in the context of the last elections  and ongoing activities of PAP, several lacuna, ambiguities and inconsistencies have been recorded, making the overhaul of the Rules of Procedure an urgent and necessary exercise to embark on”.
After various contributions by Members of the Parliament, the Activity Report was unanimously adopted.

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