Joint Sitting opens in Cabo Verde with calls for an empowered continental Parliament

The Joint Sitting of thePan-African Parliament (PAP) Permanent Committees on Health, Labour and Social Affairs; and Gender, Family, Youth and People with Disability, is officially underway at the National Assembly of Cabo Verde.

The meeting is held in parallel with the August Sittings of the Permanent Committees of the fifth Parliament of PAP scheduled to take place at its seat in Midrand under the African Union theme of 2019; ‘Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons in Africa; Towards durable Solutions to Forced Displacement.’

In his official opening address, the Right Hon. Jorge Santos, Speaker of the National Assembly representing his Excellency the President of the Republic of Cabo Verde , says that this gathering outside of its seat in South Africa demonstrates that the PAP as the best interests of the African peoples at heart and merits the required legislative powers to deliver on its mandate.

" My sincere gratitude to the Rt. Hon. Roger Nkodo DANG and the PAP Bureau for choosing the small Island of Cabo Verde to host this Joint Sitting of our continental Parliament. As a former member of the PAP I am very proud and honored. This meeting will delve on key challenges facing our people including health, children, gender equity, among others. This reinforces the case for the need to empower the PAP with a legislative mandate so that African Parliamentarians, true representatives of the people, can lead the process of finding durable solutions to our problems.”

In her welcoming remarks, Hon. Lucia Mendes dos Passos, Chairperson of the PAP Committee on Gender, Family, Youth and People with Disability reminded that the work of this Joint Sitting needs to compliment of the overall strategy adopted by the African Union to ensure a healthier and more inclusive African Continent.

“Our consultations in Cabo Verde must be in line with the objectives of Agenda2063 which promotes a healthy continent while reminding all of us that Africa’s development will only be achieved if we implement policies that promote gender equality and the protection of our children,” says Hon. dos Passos.

Hon. Aurélien-Simplice ZINGAS-KONGBELET, Chairperson of the PAP Committee on Health, Labour and Social Affairs reiterates that the Bureau of the PAP has committed to holding more sittings of the continental Parliament outside of its seat in Midrand in order to be closer to the peoples of Africa.

“ As the PAP seeks to enhance its capacity to play a significant role in combatting challenges that impact the integration of our continent, this Joint Sitting gives us the opportunity to take stock of the situation on the ground and follow up on the implementation of the resolutions that we take as a Parliament,” concludes Hon. ZINGAS-KONGBELET.

The joint sitting will among other things engage on the promotion of children’s rights; empowerment of women and girls and gender parity; and the inclusion of people living with disabilities. The Cabo Verde Sitting will also serve as a platform for the 3rd Africa TB Summit for Parliamentarians, a collaboration between the PAP, NEPAD and the Africa TB Caucus.