African Ambassadors gather in Midrand, South Africa ahead of the second ordinary session of the Fourth Pan-African Parliament.
28 April, Midrand, South Africa. Ambassadors representing the African continent gathered at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, South Africa for a briefing ahead of the second ordinary session of the Fourth Parliament of the Pan-African Parliament that officially commences on Tuesday the 3rd of May and runs until 13 May. The briefing, that was led by H.E. Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang, President of the Pan-African Parliament, served to establish protocol to facilitate sound diplomatic relations.
Inaugurated in 2004, and established by the Protocol to the Treaty, the Pan-African Parliament is the legislative body of the African Union, a continental union that comprise 54 countries in Africa. Key objectives of the Pan-African Parliament are to give a voice to the African peoples and the Diaspora; to the principles of human and people’s rights and democracy in Africa; to peace, security and stability and to contribute to a more prosperous future for the peoples of Africa by collective self-reliance and economic growth and recovery. The main role of the Pan-African Parliamentarians is to represent all the peoples of Africa and the interests of the African Diaspora.
The decision to grant legislative powers to the Pan-African Parliament was agreed upon following the adoption of the Revised Protocol to the Constitutive Act of the African Union relating to the Parliament by the African Union Heads of State and Government Assembly held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in June 2014. The protocol however requires ratification by 28 African Union member states before it can be fully operational.
In his welcoming remarks, H.E. Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang mentioned that the Pan-African Parliament Bureau has actively embarked on an advocacy programme to encourage African countries to ratify the revised protocol of the Pan-African Parliament. To date, the only countries that have finalized their formal ratification are the Republics of Mali and Sierra Leone. Other countries who are in the process of ratification are South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Cameroon, Congo and Chad. He encouraged all the ambassadors present to accelerate entry into force of the Protocol to accomplish the figure of 28 ratification by the end of 2016 and expedite the process of African integration.
In his remarks, H.E. Ambassador Bene M’Poko, Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps (ADC) pledged his country’s full support. He also suggested that a commission or committee is established to leverage the expertise of the various countries and to play a more dynamic role in aiding the Pan-African Parliament to obtain the sufficient number of ratification.