African Parliamentarians commended for their unity and discipline - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Saturday, July 6, 2024

African Parliamentarians commended for their unity and discipline

The President of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), H.E. Hon.  Chief Fortune Charumbira has commended the members of PAP for their unity of purpose and dedication which they exhibited during the just concluded session of the Parliament.

H.E. Charumbira made the remark in his closing speech on Friday before the adjournment of the Third Ordinary Session of the Sixth Parliament of the Pan-African Parliament. The session lasted from 24 June to 7 July 2024 at the precincts of the Parliament in Midrand, South Africa.

He commended the parliamentarians for their maturity and decorum exhibited during debates even when the sessions lasted till late evenings.

Hon. Members, I stand before you today full of pride, hope and optimism because of the way this session has progressed. The cordiality of the debate has been refreshing, the objectivity in the manner in which we have looked at issues has been calming, the seriousness with which we took our work has been enervating, and the commitment to unite and strive for a common purpose has been rousing and inspiring.”

“We have made the proverbial first step in the right direction in the journey of a thousand miles towards building a PAP that we all want and an Africa that we all want. Let us not make this another false start. Let us all recommit in word and deed to working together seamlessly, to rejecting any overtures that seek to divide in our endeavour to further the mandate of PAP of, “ensuring the full participation of African peoples in the economic development and integration of the continent.”

He expressed delight by the discipline demonstrated by the parliamentarians throughout the session . “The way we have behaved, the sense of unity and character we have shown is amazing. With this attitude and behavior, our Parliament is destined for greater heights. Your behavior will surely drive and invite more Africans to take an interest in this Parliament. The spirit of discipline and unity is key to achieving a better Africa.”

Charumbira advised the parliamentarians to be mindful of their utterances and conduct stressing that “what we think, say and repeatedly do will become our destiny. We must, therefore, be exemplary in our conduct if we are to be taken seriously and not perceived as “an institution of hooligans.”

“We must take our roles seriously if we are to be taken seriously by an expectant citizenry. When we adjourn for lack of quorum we are shooting ourselves in the foot. When we fail to implement Committee activities when funding is available under AGA, we are losing the plot. When we fail to address recurring audit issues, we are committing financial suicide. When we burn bridges with other AU Organs, we are diminishing our effectiveness in the continental governance matrix.”

He stated that the focus of the Parliament must be on “what we are delivering to the people, what we are delivering to the continent. Our Committee activities must have tangible outcomes. The Bureau missions must have meaningful results. The recommendations that we make must meet the SMART principle (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound).”

“We must be each other’s accountability partners. We must hold each other accountable for what we are supposed to do to advance the mandate of PAP. We must hold each other accountable for resolutions and recommendations that are within our sphere of influence. To that end, from the next session, we will expect Leaders of Delegations to present Feedback Reports on what each delegation has done at the national level to promote the work of PAP, including pushing for the implementation of recommendations relevant at the national level.”

Chief Charumbira pointed out that the era of activities for activities’ sake is gone. “The era of per-diem driven missions without tangible outputs ends now. As I promised earlier, we shall convene a capacity building workshop on results based management and strategic planning prior to the commencement of Committee meetings to ensure that we all adopt a results – focused approach in what we do.”

He stressed that in order for the PAP to remain relevant in the continental governance matrix, It must align its programmes and activities to the Seven (7) African Union (AU) Moonshots/ Strategic Focus areas.

“Quite often there is a clear disjuncture between what we are doing and what other AU Organs are doing. We need to enhance synergies with AU Commission so that we complement each other in achieving the moonshots. With that approach, we will put to bed lingering questions about our relevance.”

“We should, therefore, earnestly self-introspect and interrogate whether what we are doing contributes to the seven (7) Moonshots/ Strategic Focus Areas identified by the African Union.”

The AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Amb. Bankole Adeoye in his address at the closing ceremony, highlighted the urgency for Peace and Security in Africa.

He called for concerted and intensified efforts towards peace and security across Africa and emphasized the critical nature of addressing the continent's multifaceted security challenges. He also stressed the urgent need for collective action in the face of escalating conflicts and environmental crises. "Excellencies, Honorable Members, the peace and security landscape in Africa demands our unwavering attention," said Ambassador Adeoye.

The closing ceremony was also addressed by the Dean of African Ambassadors in South Africa, H.E. Ambassador Andre Nzapayeke, a representative of the Government of South Africa, the host country of the PAP.

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