PRETORIA – Friday, 15th August, 2014 – SPEAKER of the National Assembly, Dr. Patrick Matibini has expressed hope that the National Assembly of Zambia will establish stronger links with the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) through the five Zambian members of Parliament that are representing the country on the continental body.
Dr. Matibini has also welcomed the adoption of the Protocol to the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU) relating to the PAP by the 23 Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea on 27 June, 2014. Dr. Matibini said the adoption meant that the PAP was now recognised by the AU and the institution was now available as a platform or forum for African Parliamentarians to develop and debate prototype or model laws which may be, in due course, adopted by national Parliaments.
He said this in an interview on Thursday on the sidelines of the Sixth Annual Conference of Speakers of African Parliaments held from 13-14 August, 2014 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg.
He said the protocol will also help the Southern African Development Community (SADC) with transforming itself into a regional Parliament like several others on the continent.
“PAP in my view will form a very essential cog in the broader goal of the AU to integrate Africa. You may wish to know that Zambia is a member of the SADC Parliamentary Forum and one of the cherished goals is to transform into a regional Parliament like many others on the continent.
“So the protocol that has finally recognised PAP as the legislative organ of the AU will provide the impetus to this transformation of the SADC-PF as a regional Parliament,” Dr. Matibini said.
The Speaker was accompanied by Clerk of the National Assembly, Ms. Doris Mwinga.
He said one other important highlight was interfacing with AU Commission Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma who laid out the AU’s 50 year Vision and African Aspirations. Under the vision, the AU aims to build an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, a continent driven and managed by its own citizens by 2063.
Dr. Matibini described Dr. Dlamini -Zuma’s address as illuminating and inspiring as it showed the developmental agenda that the AU wanted to pursue.
The conference adopted a wide range of resolutions and recommendations after which it issued a communiqué.
Some of the recommendations and resolutions are to request national Parliaments to plan for adequate budgets to carry out the election of the five members of the PAP and fund their participation. On peace and security, the conference regretted the situation in South Sudan, Libya, Mali, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and Somali, and the terrorism being perpetrated by Boko Haram in Nigeria. It called on African governments to operationalise the African Response Force and recommended regional and sub-regional cooperation to root-out terrorism on the continent.
The conference also resolved that the PAP and national Parliaments should prepare an annual report on the status of implementation of AU instruments for its consideration. The delegates further agreed to request the PAP and national Parliaments to organise debates in Parliament and public hearings on the Agenda 2063 to ensure that views of African citizens were captured.
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