Second Parliamentary Dialogue with the Pan-African Parliament Civil Society Forum held - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Sunday, June 30, 2024

Second Parliamentary Dialogue with the Pan-African Parliament Civil Society Forum held

The Second Parliamentary Dialogue with the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) Civil Society Forum convened was on June 29, 2024 at the Parliament precincts in Midrand, South Africa. This significant event took place on the sidelines of the Third Ordinary Session of the Sixth Parliament of the Pan-African Parliament, reinforcing the commitment to enhancing civil society engagement in the legislative processes of the Pan-African Parliament.

The PAP Civil Society Forum was moderated by the Clerk of the Pan-African Parliament, Ms. Lindiwe Khumalo.

Purpose and Background

The Pan-African Parliament, established under Article 17 of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, aims to ensure the effective participation of the peoples of Africa in the development and economic integration of the continent. Since its inception in August 2018, the PAP Civil Society Forum has served as a critical platform for coordination, cross-pollination, and harmonization of civil society efforts, ensuring meaningful and constructive engagement with the PAP. This dialogue provides a space for civil society actors to voice their perspectives and recommendations on key thematic issues under consideration by the PAP Plenary, such as peace and security in Africa and the implementation of the African Union theme for 2024

The 2024 dialogue focused on several key issues pertinent to the continent, including peace and security, the implementation of the African Union's 2024 theme, and the human rights situation across Africa. The event provided a structured opportunity for civil society actors to present their views and recommendations directly to the PAP members, aiming to influence the resolutions adopted by the parliament.


The dialogue sought to achieve the following objectives:

1.     To have a discussion with members of PAP on the progress of the implementation of the recommendations of CSO Forum during the Parliamentary Dialogue in 2023.

2.     To access the impact of civil society engagement on policy development and implementation within the Pan-African Parliament.

3.     To identify challenges and opportunities for enhancing collaboration between Civil Society Organizations and the Pan-African Parliament.

4.     To develop strategies for increasing the visibility and accessibility of the Pan-African Parliament’s work to the broader public and civil society stakeholders.

Opening Session

The dialogue commenced with an opening session featuring several notable speakers:

Mr. William Carew, Head of Secretariat of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC), emphasized the importance of continuous dialogue between parliamentarians and civil society for advancing the continental development agenda.  He noted that such engagements promote transparency, accountability, and inclusivity in governance and emphasized that civil society's on-the-ground knowledge enriches the policy development process, ensuring that policies are well-informed and effective​.

Ms. Bonolo Makgale, Programme Manager at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, and Convenor of the PAP CSO Forum, provided opening remarks highlighting the significance of civil society contributions

The keynote address was delivered by Hon. Jessie Majome, Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission. She underscored the critical role of civil society in promoting human rights, peace, and security in Africa, and reflected on the progress made since the first parliamentary dialogue in 2023. He highlighted the importance of human rights from an African perspective and the necessity for African institutions and civil society to collaborate in articulating and advocating these rights. and stressed the imperative for PAP member states to ratify African Union treaties and implement recommendations from previous dialogues to strengthen human rights, peace, security, and democratic governance across the continent

Key Discussions

The dialogue included an extensive discussion session facilitated by Ms. Achieng Akena and Dr. Remember Miamingi. The participants deliberated on various pressing issues:

  • State of Peace and Security in Africa: Highlighting ongoing conflicts and the need for enhanced collaboration to foster peace.
  • Formalized and Deepened CSO Engagement with PAP: Emphasizing the importance of sustained and structured interactions between civil society and the PAP.
  • State of Human Rights in Africa: Addressing human rights violations, particularly in conflict zones, and the disproportionate impact on marginalized groups.
  • African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA): Discussing the implications of free movement of persons and the rights of residence and establishment.
  • African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights: Evaluating protocols related to social protection and security.
  • Election of Judges to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights: Ensuring transparency and adherence to human rights standards in judicial appointments​

Closing Remarks and Future Directions

The dialogue concluded with closing remarks from Mr. Sammy Obeng, Executive Director of Parliamentary Network Africa (PNAfrica) who on behalf of the Civil Society Organizations, underscored the importance of the relationship between the Civil Society and Pan-African Parliament, which he said, is rooted in shared common objectives and Agenda. He assured of the commitment of the Civil Society in working with Pan-African Parliament to achieve a common goal. The Chairperson of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights of the Pan-African Parliament in his remarks, also reiterated the importance of the PAP-CSO dialogues and encouraged continued engagement to address the continent's challenges collectively​. 

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