Published: Thursday, 07 February 2019

The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) is one of the organs of the African Union (AU) as set out by the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community (Abuja Treaty).

The Parliament is intended as a platform for people from all African states to be involved in discussions and decision-making on the problems and challenges facing the continent.

The first Parliament was inaugurated on the 18 March 2004, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Pan-African Parliament has its seat in Midrand, South Africa.

Its purpose, as set out in article 17 of the AU Constitutive Act, is “to ensure the full participation of African peoples in the development and economic integration of the continent”.



The Pan-African Parliament is one of the nine organs of the African Union provided for in Article 5 of the Constitutive Act of the AU, adopted on 11 July 2000 in Lomé, Togo. The composition, powers, functions and organisation of the PAP are defined in Article 2 of the Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community Related to the Pan-African Parliament, adopted in Sirte, Libya, on 2 March 2001. The Pan-African Parliament represents all the peoples of Africa. It is at present composed of 229 Members of Parliament representing 52 African countries.



The membership of the Pan-African Parliament comprises five members elected by each Member State, of which at least two are women. They are elected or designated by their respective National Parliaments or any other legislative organ of the Member States. In addition to the condition on women’s representation, the membership of each Member State must reflect the diversity of political opinions in each National Parliament or other deliberative organ. The term of Members of the Pan-African Parliament starts from the day they are sworn into office or make a solemn declaration during a plenary session. While exercising their functions, Members of the Pan-African Parliament shall enjoy immunities and privileges in the territory of each Member State.



The mission of the Pan-African Parliament is to provide a common platform for African peoples to represent, and to act as a voice of the people of Africa presenting their opinions, their concerns and aspirations, and thus effectively hold the governing institutions of the AU accountable in the implementation of policies and programmes as well as in the allocation and use of public resources for promoting just, equitable and sustainable development for all the peoples of Africa.

The ultimate aim of the Pan-African Parliament is to evolve into an institution with full legislative powers, whose members are elected by universal adult suffrage. Awaiting the entry into force of the revised Malabo Protocol of 27 June 2014, the Pan-African-Parliament exercises only advisory and consultative powers.The Malabo Protocol was adopted at the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government meeting in  2014 and is intended to extend the powers of the PAP into a fully-fledged legislative organ. It requires a minimum of 28 countries to ratify it before it comes into force. To date, 11 countries have ratified the Protocol.

The specific objectives of the Pan-African Parliament are to:

  • Give a voice to the African peoples and the Diaspora;
  • Facilitate the effective implementation of the policies and objectives of the African Union;
  • Promote the principle of human rights and democracy in Africa;
  • Encourage good governance, transparency and accountability in Member States;
  • Familiarize the peoples of Africa with the objectives and policies on the political and socioeconomic integration of the continent;
  • Promote peace, security and stability;
  • Contribute to a more prosperous future for the peoples of Africa by promoting collective self-reliance and economic recovery;
  • Facilitate cooperation and development in Africa;
  • Strengthen continental solidarity and build a sense of common destiny among the peoples of Africa;
  • Facilitate cooperation among Regional Economic Communities and their Parliamentary fora;
  • Encourage National and Regional Parliaments to ratify and integrate treaties adopted by the AU into their legal systems;
  • Cooperate with National and Regional Parliaments and similar bodies within and outside Africa as well as civil societies, community-based organizations and grassroots organizations;
  • Invite and encourage the full participation of the African Diaspora as an important part of the African peoples in the building of the African Union in accordance with modalities approved by the Assembly.