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Eleven African Parliaments To Benefit from PAP Technical Working Session

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By Melvin Tejan Mansaray

In a Press Release dated 2nd November 2021, the Secretariat of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has announced that it has initiated technical frameworks with the National Parliaments of Algeria, Benin, Congo DRC, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, and Togo to promote African Union’s (AU’s) policies and to fast-track the ratification, domestication, and implementation of AU legal instruments.

According to the PAP Secretariat, the Continental Parliament has embarked on a process of establishing administrative frameworks with National Parliaments in Africa with the aim to fast-track the ratification, domestication, and implementation of the African Union (AU) legal instruments pertaining to human rights and democratic governance.

“The process is underpinned by engagements with Clerks of National Parliaments and Clerks working with Committees on Human Rights and Governance matters. The engagements serve as a basis to develop administrative systems to ensure that AU legal instruments are tabled
in African legislatures and mainstreamed into domestic legislation.
The programme cadres with the PAP’s mandate to facilitate and oversee the implementation of AU policies and programmes; and coordinate the
harmonization of these policies in Regional Economic Communities and their parliamentary fora,” the release stated.

The release further noted that the proposed technical working sessions will focus on AU legal instruments which promote good governance, respect for human rights, justice, and the rule of law in Africa, in accordance with Aspiration 3 and 6 of Agenda 2063 of the AU, adding that: “These instruments include the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights in Africa; African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance; African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child; African Youth Charter; Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa; and the Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community Relating to the Pan-African Parliament.”

Vipya Harawa, Clerk of the PAP believes that strategic partnerships with Africa’s Parliaments on collaborative technical mechanisms to monitor the ratification and domestication of AU legal instruments will pave the way for the incoming Bureau of the PAP to engage with Presiding Officers of these parliamentary institutions at the political level as part of promoting human rights and good governance on the continent.

“Our consultations with Clerks of National Parliaments seek to put in place administrative frameworks for the implementation of norms, standards, decisions, and recommendations of the AU by member states. This will enable our political leadership to hit the ground running and get on with the business of ensuring that the PAP remains a
platform for African citizens to participate in the affairs of the AU, especially in the areas of human rights and good governance.
Throughout this programme with Secretariats of National Parliaments we
are aiming to address all technical hurdles affecting implementation at the national level through Parliaments,”. Harawa said.

The release also explained that the initial phase of the campaign currently underway undertaken by the Secretariat of the continental Parliament targets various deliberative organs in countries such as
Algeria, Benin, Congo DRC, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Togo, adding that the ongoing activity is being implemented under the auspices of the African Governance
Architecture (AGA) project.

AGA is inspired by the Constitutive Act of the AU that expresses the AU’s determination to ‘promote and protect human and people’s rights, consolidate democratic institutions and culture and ensure good governance and the rule of law’. It is a “platform for dialogue
between the various stakeholders” who are mandated to promote good governance and strengthen democracy in Africa, in addition to translating the objectives of the legal and policy pronouncements in the AU Shared Values, the release noted.

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