Activity Report of the Pan-African Parliament, January to December 2007

Activity Report of the Pan-African Parliament, January to December 2007

Executive Summary

1.The last report presented by the Pan African Parliament at the Eighth Ordinary Assembly and the Eleventh Ordinary Meeting of the Executive Council, July 2006, Banjul, the Gambia, highlighted the progress made by the PAP, since inauguration on March 18, 2004. Further, the report informed of the difficulties faced in the proper implementation of programmes of the PAP due to inadequate financial resources.
2.In the same breath, the difficulties the Bureau face in ensuring continuous sound management and administration of the facilities, organs and all issues of PAP, were stated. In the year under review, the report restate similar situation and urges for commencement of a process to review the legal framework in which PAP is expected to operate, as this continue to stand out as the key bottleneck to smooth operations of PAP.
3.Notwithstanding, the foregoing the PAP has continued to formulate plans and programmes for the implementation of its mandate as spelled out in the provisions of both the Constitutive Act and the Protocol to Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community Relating to the Pan African Parliament. This report gives account of some of the work and activities carried out during the year.
4.The account of the work and activities carried out is specified by each organ of the PAP, namely, the Plenary, the Bureau, the Committees and the Secretariat. Towards the end, the report revert to restate the challenges and opportunities facing the PAP.
5.In the report, prominence is given to the precedent setting visit and address by the Chairperson of the African Union and President of the Republic of Ghana at the Opening Ceremony of the Seventh Ordinary Session, May 07, 2007. H. E. Mr. John A. Kufour delivered a message of hope and exhortation for commitment and dedication to the cause of African unity. The PAP was full of joy and read in the message a voice of renewed hope for Africa.
6.Similarly, prominence is given to:—
6.1the Grand Debate on the Union Government of Africa, which was the only subject on the agenda dealt with during the Ninth Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, Accra, Ghana, July 2007. The PAP prepared a presentation with recommendations on the feasibility of the Union Government and on its perceived role. The final declarations of the Accra Assembly echoed the concerns and recommendations of the PAP; and
6.2the growing new perspective in the relationships and cooperation between the European Union and African Union, which was reviewed at the Second Summit of the Heads of State and Government, December 07-08, 2007, Lisbon, Portugal. The PAP in conjunction with the EP presented a Joint Declaration supporting and calling for in corporation of the in put of the parliaments in the reformulated EU-Africa Strategy.
7.Also highlighted are the issues revolving around the first ever audit by the Board of External Auditors of AU on the accounts of the PAP for the Fiscal Years, 2004, 2005 and 2006. The PAP welcomed and stated their readiness to abide by the Decisions of the AU on the audit and urged that, the Executive Council expedite the formation of their Committee to guide the implementation of the same.
8.Suffice to say that, the PAP has fully embraced its mandate and roaring to go. All that is needed is, for the family of the AU to maintain the momentum of support that has been witnessed in the year under review.


9.The report of the work and activities of the PAP for 2007 is presented in accordance with the provisions of Article 11(2&4) of the Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community (AEC) Relating to the Pan-African Parliament and Rule 76 of the Rules of Procedure of the PAP. The report gives brief account of some of the work and activities, bearing in mind that, the PAP could not accomplish most of the planned activities due to financial constraints.
10.The objective of the report is to indicate how within the AU framework, the PAP continue to discharge their responsibilities in the corporate approach for integration in Africa. In the year under review, the PAP had two ordinary sessions, namely, the Seventh Ordinary Session, May 07 to 18, and the Eighth Ordinary Session, October15 to 26,2007. The recommendations made, are in accordance with the provisions of Article 11(4) of the Protocol by which the PAP has the right to "make recommendations aimed at contributing to the attainment of the objectives of the OAU/AEC and draw attention to the challenges facing the integration process in Africa as well as the strategies for dealing with them".
11.The report and recommendations are forwarded to the relevant organs of the AU and it is the hope of the PAP that they will inform the process of decision making to address the needs of the peoples of Africa.

Objectives of Parliament

12.The objectives of the PAP as started in the provisions of Article 3 of the Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community relating to the Pan African Parliament, are:—
(i)to facilitate the effective implementation of the policies and objectives of the OAU/AEC and, ultimately, of the African Union;
(ii)to promote the principles of human rights and democracy in Africa;
(iii)to encourage good governance, transparency and accountability in Member States;
(iv)to familiarize the people of Africa with the objectives and policies aimed at integrating the African continent within the framework of the establishment of the African Union;
(v)to promote peace, security and stability;
(vi)to contribute to a more prosperous future for the people of Africa by promoting collective self-reliance and economic recovery;
(vii)to facilitate cooperation and development in Africa;
(viii)to strengthen Continental solidarity and build a sense of common destiny among the peoples of Africa; and
(ix)to facilitate cooperation among Regional Economic Communities and their Parliamentary forums.

Mandate of the Parliament

13.The powers and functions of PAP are stated in the provisions of Article 11 of the Protocol, which are that, the Pan African Parliament shall be vested with legislative powers to be defined by the Assembly. However, during the first term of its existence, the Pan African Parliament shall exercise advisory and consultative powers only, in this regard it may:
13.1examine, discuss or express an opinion on any matter, either on its own initiative or at request of the Assembly or other policy organs and make any recommendations it may deem fit relating to, inter alia, matters pertaining to respect of human rights, the consolidation of democratic institutions and the culture of democracy, as well as the promotion of good governance and rule of law;
13.2discuss its budget and the budget of the Community and make recommendations thereon prior to its approval by the Assembly;
13.3work towards the harmonization or co-ordination of the laws of Member States;
13.4make recommendations aimed at contributing to the attainment of the objectives of the AU/AEC and draw attention to the challenges facing the integration process in Africa, as well as strategies for dealing with them;
13.5request officials of the AU/AEC to attend its sessions or produce documents or assist in the discharge of its duties;
13.6promote the programme and objectives of the AU/AEC, in the constituencies of the Member States;
13.7promote the coordination and harmonization of policies, measures, programmes and activities of the Regional Economic Communities and the Parliamentary Fora of Africa;
13.8adopt its Rules of Procedure, elect its own President and propose to the Council and the Assembly the size and nature of the support staff of the Pan African Parliament; and
13.9perform such other functions as it deems appropriate to achieve the objective set out in Article 3 of the Protocol.

The plenary

14.Pursuant to provisions of Article 14(2) of the Protocol, two Ordinary Sessions were held in the year under review. The first, the Seventh was held in the period May 07 to 18, and the Eighth in the period October 15 to 26, 2007. The Seventh Ordinary Session gained distinction among all sessions so far, being the only one to be addressed by an incumbent Chairperson of the AU and current President of a Member State.
15.The Chairperson of the African Union H.E. Mr. John A Kufour graced and delivered a key note address at the Opening Ceremony of the Seventh Ordinary Session on May 07, 2007. The address of the President conveyed a message of hope and exhortation for commitment and dedication to the cause of African unity. Further, he underscored the need for Africa to uphold and maintain respect for human rights. Coming within the year of the celebrations marking the Fiftieth Anniversary of the independence of Ghana, the President made a timely reminder of the need to safeguard the independence of African countries and ensure that, the people of Africa enjoyed the fruits of governing themselves.
16.Since inception in March, 2004, the opening ceremonies of the Plenaries of PAP have had special attention, in that, our friends and partners have always been in attendance. The Seventh and Eighth Ordinary Sessions were no exception, they received a number of messages of solidarity and good-will from our friends and partners both within Africa and abroad.
17.Apart from the Opening Ceremony, the general layout of the agenda comprised items and subjects within the mandate of the PAP. However, the glaring gravity of the high turn over in the membership continue to undermine the efforts to build the capacity of PAP. In the year under review, a total of forty (40) new Members were sworn in, yet even they, their tenure of service is instantly unpredictable. The unpredictability is embedded in the legal instruments creating the PAP, which require the Members to serve in dual capacity.
18.The rest of the agenda of the two ordinary sessions may be conveniently split into four parts:
18.1the consideration and decisions on subjects in areas of oversight on democracy and governance in Africa that have become permanent at Plenary:—
(i)the Plenary received and considered the report of the NEPAD on the situation of infrastructure in Africa, the challenges and future prospects. The report presented by the Executive Director outlined the activities of NEPAD, specifically, the type and criteria that has been used to select the projects, the concept of regional infrastructure and the immense potential for reducing transaction costs and increasing competitiveness through the sharing of the production, management and operation of the infrastructure through the creation of hubs, development corridors or poles of development;
(ii)the Plenary also received and considered the APRM report on the status of the implementation of the assessment missions in the three pioneering states to undergo the review namely, Ghana, Rwanda and Kenya. The Executive Director of APRM summed up the findings of the missions as encouraging and indicated that, up to seventy percent of the African countries had agreed to undergo the review. Indeed, the reports on the review of the next group comprising Algeria, South Africa and Ethiopia were in the final stages of drafting. The PAP, upon, extensive deliberations, exhorted African leaders to accede to the APRM review and implement its findings; and
(iii)the Plenary considered the reports of the Committees on the matters of peace, security and conflicts in the areas of the Great Lakes, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Darfur in the Sudan, Central African Republic, Chad, Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic and Somalia. In a nutshell, the PAP recommends that, the Peace and Security Council of the AU be sufficiently resourced to take the lead in measures to resolve conflicts in these regions and countries. Furthermore, the PAP urges for concerted effort between the African Union and international cooperating partners.
18.2the consideration and decisions on subjects within the operation of the institutions of the AU:
(i)at the request of the Eighth Ordinary Assembly of AU Heads of State and Government, January, 2007 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Plenary considered the question of a Union Government for Africa and made recommendations generally on its feasibility and the specific role of PAP. The recommendations of PAP were presented at the Ninth Ordinary Assembly. Further, the PAP urged for the involvement of all organs of the AU and specifically the need to tap the experiences of the RECs which are the recognized building beacons in the process; and
(ii)pursuant to AU Financial Rules and Regulations, the accounts of PAP for Fiscal Years 2004, 2005, and 2006 were audited in April, 2007 by the AU Board of External Auditors. The report of the Board was subsequently discussed by the AU Organs during their Meetings of July, 2007 in Accra. The AU made recommendations contained in Decision No. Ex. Cl/Dec. 371 (xi). The PAP deliberated on the report of the Board and the Decisions during the Eighth Ordinary Session and welcomed the Decisions of the AU and resolved to abide by them. Regarding the PAP Trust Fund, the PAP urged the Executive Council to take speedy measures to conclude its work of advising on the implementation of the Accra Decision, as further in-operation of the Trust Fund may cause irreparable damage.
18.3the consideration and decisions on subjects within the corporate stand of the Organs of the AU and the international communityin the framework of cooperation with similar institutions for joint handling of issues of mutual interest within the African Union, the Plenary, received and deliberated on the report of the Joint European Union-Africa Strategy. The report came on the back drop of the increasing interaction between the PAP and the EP; the two had condensed their position on the Strategy in a Joint Declaration which they presented to the Second Joint EU-Africa Summit held on December 06 and 07, 2007, Lisbon, Portugal. The Joint EP-PAP Declaration addressed their joint concerns on flaws in previous relations and called for new benchmarks in the renewed relationship between Africa and Europe. Indeed, the Declaration sighted, among others, in the economy, specifically, the Economic Partnership Agreements, immigration and brain drain. It also called for a new mechanism to ensure the previous negative perceptions were not repeated so as to pave way for a new environment in which all would benefit from the cooperation.
18.4the consideration and decisions on subjects introduced by individual Members
(i)a Motion on the political situation in the Republic of Zimbabwe had been deliberated upon and a resolution to send a fact finding mission to study the situation taken in the Seventh Ordinary Session of May 07 to 18, 2007. However, the Fact Finding Mission did not take place due to financial constraints. The Eighth Ordinary Session revisited the issue and resolved to send a Mission to observe the General Elections scheduled for the end of March, 2008; and
(ii)in the ongoing debate on the reform and democratization of the United Nations, the PAP resolved to lent support for the establishment of the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly as this would ensure timely and yet strengthened representation and participation of the world citizens in the UN system.

The Bureau

19.In accordance with the provisions of Article 12(5) of the Protocol, the management and administration of the affairs and facilities of the Pan African Parliament is vested in the Bureau. In carrying out these responsibilities, the Bureau works in concert with the ten (10) Permanent Committees and the Plenary. Whereas the Plenary is the organ of the PAP that make the final decisions, the detailed discussions, study, and scrutiny of the issues for decision, is done by the Bureau and the Committees. Each of the organs of the PAP has specified mandate, functions and responsibilities stipulated in the Protocol and the Rules of Procedure.
20.The Bureau on its part shoulder responsibilities that require it to discuss and give direction on the handling of virtually every work and activity of the PAP. In the year under review, the Bureau held five Ordinary Meetings and one Extra-Ordinary Meeting at which they took decisions on various issues and matters that constituted the work of both the Committees and the Plenary. Additionaly, the Bureau is the organ that engages in external activities, including contact, representation and participation in the work of the Organs of the AU and the international community. Thus, among the activities carried out by the Bureau are:—
20.1the President of PAP accompanied by the third Vice President, Hon. Loum and four Members participated in the Eighth and Ninth AU Assemblies held, respectively, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 29 to 30 and Accra, Ghana, July 01 to 03, 2007;
20.2the Bureau deliberated and set the dates and the agenda for the two Sessions of PAP and the Sittings of the Committees;
20.3the Bureau deliberated and made responses on the issues raised in the Management Letters in the report of the Board of the External Auditors of the AU on the accounts of PAP for Fiscal Years 2004, 2005, 2006 and the Decisions thereon by the AU meetings in Accra, July 2007; the report of the Board including the responses of the Bureau and the Decisions of the AU were referred to the Committee on Monetary and Financial Affairs, which made recommendations to the Plenary. The Bureau has implemented most decisions, the remainder awaits the joint effort with a committee to be formed by the Executive Council of the AU;
20.4the Bureau deliberated on the AU Decision Ex. Cl/Dec. 348 (XI) on the harmonisation and alignment of remuneration for professional staff and implemented the same;
20.5the Bureau prepared and finalized the budget of PAP for 2008 through the Committee on Monetary and Financial Affairs and the Plenary and submitted it to the AUC;
20.6the Bureau prepared and submitted a presentation with recommendations to the Panel of Eminent Persons on the Audit of the Organs of the AU;
20.7the Bureau prepared and submitted the in-put of PAP in the Grand Debate on the Union Government of Africa; and
20.8initiatives and missions for advocacy and networking resulting in:
(i)the Joint Declaration by the PAP and the EP on the EU-Africa Strategy presented to the Second EU-Africa Summit, December 08, 2007;
(ii)signing of three MOUs—
(a.)with the Department for International Development (DFID) of UK for £ 475,000.00 Pounds for a period of three years;
(b.)with the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) for USD 2 Million for a period of four years, commencing, 2007; and
(c.)under an agreement signed between the AUC and EU, PAP will receive a total grant of EURO 275,000.00 for 2007 and EURO 1 million for the year, 2008.
21.Some of the above were subsequently forwarded to the relevant Committees which deliberated on them and made recommendations that were in turn submitted to the Plenary, for decisions. Details of the work of the Sessions and Committees appear elsewhere in this Report.

The Committees

22.In order to achieve comprehensive and exhausted participation and analysis of the issues needing decision, the Plenary rely on prior study and scrutiny of the same by the ten Permanent Committees. The Committees are established by the PAP in accordance with the provisions of Rules 22 to 27 of the Rules of Procedure of PAP, which also spell out their mandate. The ten Permanent Committees are:
(i)The Committee on Cooperation, International Relations and Conflict Resolutions.
(ii)The Committee on Education, Culture, Tourism and Human Resources.
(iii)The Committee on Gender, Family, Youth and People with Disability.
(iv)The Committee on Health, Labour and Social Affairs.
(v)The Committee on Justice and Human Rights.
(vi)The Committee on Monetary and Financial Affairs.
(vii)The Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline.
(viii)The Committee on Rural Economy, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment.
(ix)The Committee on Trade, Customs and Immigration Matters.
(x)The Committee on Transport, Industry, Communications, Energy, Science and Technology.
23.During the year under review, the ten Permanent Committees carried out a sizeable amount of work and activities which virtually covered all mandates of the PAP. The Committees sat during the periods set for their work, i.e. from February 12 to 23, May 02 to 05 and October 16 to 22, 2007. The outcome of the work of the Committees was condensed in reports and recommendations, which were subsequently submitted to the Plenary for consideration and final decision.

Reports and recommendations of Committees

Rural Economy, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment(a)a fact finding mission to Ivory Coast on the dumping of toxic waste on the African Continent, December 10 to 20, 2006;(b)workshop on desertification in Africa, Algiers, April 02 to 04, 2007.(a)establishment of a Continental Observatory Unit for surveillance, exchange of information and matters pertaining there to;(b)urge all Member States of the AU which may have not yet ratified and domesticated the Basel and Bamako Conventions on Trans-boundary Movement of Toxic Waste, to do so without further delay;(c)creation of synergy at the national and local level in the implementation of the Rio (CCC, CDB, CCD) and RAMSAR Conventions on International Wetlands.
Monetary and Financial Affairs(a)the Executive Council Decision 98 of 2004 with respect to the payment of MPs expenses for statutory meetings of the Plenary and Committees and Overview of audit reports by the AU Board of External Auditors on the accounts of PAP for the Fiscal Years 2004, 2005 and 2006 and AU Decisions thereon;(b)The AU Board of External Auditors Reports for 2004, 2005 and 2006 and The Report and Recommendations of the Advisory Sub-Committee report on the Board of External Auditors of the AU Report for the PAP contained in AU Document number DOC PRC. RPT (XIV);(c)Overview of the Expenditure for Fiscal Year, 2007 and Draft Budget for Fiscal Year, 2007;(d)The Budget of PAP for the Fiscal Year 2008.(a)the PAP is in full agreement with the Permanent Representatives Committee that all violations of Ex. CL/Dec. 98 (V) must stop with immediate effect. The Committee does not, however, agree with the principle of refunding as it is of the view that payments were made to facilitate the work of Parliament with respect to per diem and air tickets for plenary sessions and Committee Meetings;(b)the PAP agreed fully with the Bureau that all financial procedures of the Pan-African Parliament for both MPs and staff must comply with the Financial Rules and Regulations of the African Union as read with the Pan-African Parliament Protocol. Further, that all contraventions must stop with immediate effect.
Cooperation, International Relations and Conflict Resolution(a)on Workshop on strengthening the capacity of the PAP to exercise effective oversight, October 18, 2007;(b)presentation by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) on the situation in Somalia, DRC, Chad, Ivory Coast, Darfur Sudan, Somalia, Central African Republic and Arab Saharawi;(c)Report on fact finding mission to the Central African Republic;(d)Observer elections mission in Kenya, from December 27-30, 2007.(a)request briefings by or representatives of the relevant AU Organs, e.g. the Peace and Security Council, AU Commission, PRC, etc. in order to obtain relevant information or in the conduct of hearings;(b)monitor and check whether Member States have ratified treaties, harmonized national laws with treaties, etc.;(c)urge the African Union Summit to seriously call for the establishment of a mechanism of governess that will lead to stop violence and restore peace;(d)request the AU Heads of State and Government to look into a protocol that will deal with future revelations of the vote rigging by Member States using state power, in the same light that it dealt with the condemnation of military coups in Africa;(e)urges the African Union to consider sending a United Nations Peacekeeping Mission to the Birao area to secure the border with Sudan.
Health, Labour and Social Affairs(a)Workshop on the awareness and sensitization on HIV/AIDS, population and development issues — October, 2007;(b)Workshop on Orphans and Vulnerable Children (jointly with the Committee on Gender, Family, Youth and People with Disability) — October, 2007;(c)A presentation by the Local Organising Committee (LOC) on the African Legacy Programme of the 2010 FIFA World Cup — February, 2007(a)the need to create networks on HIV/AIDS, population and development in countries where there are absent and the revitalization of networks in Parliaments where they exist.(b)there should be an update on the overall situation of OVC in Africa through National Parliamentary Plans of Action for OVC (currently 21 in Africa), comparison of best practices and the planned high-level conference on Children and AIDS in 2008.
Education, Culture, Tourism and Human Resources(a)presentation by experts from the Center for Education Policy Development (CEPD) on the possible partnership with the Committee on expert advice;(b)presentation by the Division of Science and Technology of the African Union on, ‘the Second Decade of Education for Africa.’(a)action be taken by the AU to tackle the lack of human resources at the Division of Science and Technology of the African Union.
Gender, Family, Youth and People With Disability(a)capacity building Workshop for Members on gender awareness — February, 2007(b)joint workshop with Committee on Health on Orphans and Vulnerable Children — October, 2007.PAP should take appropriate policy measures and affirmative action to mainstream gender and to increase participation of women in Parliaments
Justice and Human Rights(a)Workshop on Human Rights instruments in Africa, May 11 to 12, 2007.(b)Joint workshop on strengthening the capacity of the PAP to exercise effective oversight — October, 2007 (jointly with committee on Co­operation).(a)urge Member States to sign the international instruments of international humanitarian law, to enact national legislation, to implement the international conventions of international humanitarian law, revise existing laws to implement those commitments and give priority to respect international humanitarian law in national legislation and programmes and promote the establishment of national committees of international humanitarian law(b)review the Protocol of the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights, granting individuals and NGOs the right to bring cases directly to the Court.

The Secretariat

24.The PAP is served by a Secretariat headed by the Clerk, which according to provisions of Article 12 (5&6) of the Protocol is established by the Bureau to assist in the implementation of the decisions of the Bureau, the Committees, and Plenary to fulfill the mandate and functions of PAP.

Human resource

25.In the year under review, the staff compliment stood at thirty-eight (38) of whom twenty five (25) are within the professional category and thirteen (13) are in the General Service Category. Recruitment for twelve additional positions is going on with the successful candidates expected to take up their appointments in the year, 2008. Thirty-three (33) staff who have successfully completed their probation period have been confirmed in the service.
26.The registration of the staff of the PAP to both the Group Life Insurance and the Pension Schemes was finalized with the M/s ALICO, the company which manages the two schemes for the AU staff.

International relations

27.The PAP continued to establish and strengthen relations with the inter­parliamentary organisations and others. In the year under review, the PAP participated in a number of activities including conferences, seminars and workshops for the deepening of the co-operation and the exchange of experiences within this framework; namely:
27.1the Conference of the African Parliamentary Union (APU), April, 2007, Bujumbura, Burundi, which is held bi-annually and brings together the National Parliaments of the Member States of the AU to deliberate and exchange views and ideas on common issues in the work of Parliaments. The Bujumbura conference exalted the PAP to take a lead role in the creation of closer working relations among African Parliaments;
27.2PAP enjoys observer status within the Commonwealth Parliamentary Assembly (CPA), the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the ACP/EU Joint Assembly, the "Assemblee parlementaire de la Francophonie" and African Parliamentary Union (APU);
27.3the Consultative Meeting of AU Members of Parliament on Darfur in Dar-es-Salam, Tanzania, May 2007, which is a new initiative to mobilize and harness the opinions of African parliamentarians to continue working towards the resolution of the conflicts in Darfur in the Sudan;
27.4the first Conference of AU Ministers of Sport in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, from 04 to 08 June 2007, which urged for concerted effort by the Member States of AU in support of the premier hosting of the World Cup in Africa;
27.5the thirteenth Session of the Joint ACP/EU Conference in Wiesbaden, Germany, held bi-annually, brings together parliamentarians from the African, Caribbean and Pacific to jointly discuss with their counterparts in the European Union on matters of mutual interest, eg. the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPSs); and
27.6the Second EU-Africa Summit, Lisbon, Portugal, December 06-08, 2007, was proceeded by a pre-Parliamentary Consultative Forum between the EP and PAP, who presented a Joint Declaration on the role of parliaments in the Joint EU-Africa Strategy (the Joint Declaration is attached to this report)
28.In quest to fulfill the objectives and mandate of the provisions of Articles 3 (4) and 11 (3,6&7) of the Protocol which require the PAP to maintain constant contact and to work together with the RECs, RPF and stakeholders to deliberate on the process of integration and harmonization in Africa, the PAP organized the Second Seminar in the series, in Kasane, Botswana, which discussed among others, the Union Government of Africa and the framework for harmonization of national laws. A communique issued at the end of the Seminar urged speedy identification and compilation of laws and policies requiring harmonization in the five geo-political regions of Africa (the Communique is attached to this report).
29.Further, still in the quest to fulfill the objectives and mandate of the provisions of Articles 3(4,6) and 11(1) of the Protocol the PAP organized a dialogue with the representatives of the civil societies drawn from different regions of Africa to:
29.1discuss and develop the rules of engagement between the civil society and the PAP; and
29.2sensitize and obtain the views of the civil societies on the grand debate on the Union Government of Africa.

Communication, public information and information technology (IT)

30.In fulfilment of the generality of the purpose of formation as provided for in Article 17 of the Constitutive Act and Article 11(1, 4&9) of the Protocol, the PAP has embarked on an initiative to produce and publish News Letters, Pamphlets and Magazines on issues and aspects of a framework of integration in Africa for outreach and public information. The publications of relevant material will continue so as to ensure the continuous information and participation of the grass-roots of the peoples of Africa in the work of PAP and the AU in general.
31.In the year under review, the PAP in response to the worldwide phenomena to be ICT wise has established an "Electronic Communications Policy" and a project initiation document to enhance the management of information services in PAP. As part of ICT awareness the PAP is involved in the project of i-Parliament Action Plan, funded by UNDESA. The President of PAP is a co-chair of the project on i-Parliament Action Plan, which has organized five workshops on how to strengthen African Parliaments through application of ICT.
32.A new website of the PAP was successfully launched by the First Vice President of PAP, Prof. Dr. the Hon. Fernando Jose de Franca Dias Van-Dunem on May 03, 2007. The PAP is an active participant in the project of AU Global Private Network, launched on May 25, 2007 by AUC Chairperson Prof. Alpha Omar Konare and the President of PAP Dr. the Hon. Amb. Gertrude I Mongella, MP.

Other activities of Members

33.The following activities were also undertaken for Members of the PAP with the assistance from different development partners:
33.1Capacity Building Workshop for the Bureaux of the Permanent Committees of PAP — April 26 to 30, 2007;
33.2Pan African Seminar on NEPAD in cooperation with AWEPA;
33.3Seminar on Election Observation (Selected Members across the Committees) — May 19 to 20, 2007; and
33.4Consultative Seminar on the establishment of a PAP Women Caucus — October 03, 2007.

Opportunities and challenges facing PAP

34.The Pan African Parliament is in its fourth year of continuous operation. A number of challenges have already surfaced. The challenges range from, the constraints within the legal framework in which the PAP is expected to operate and the capacity of the AU Member States to continuously support the work that PAP should undertake to fulfil its mandate and functions. To overcome the challenges, the constant backing and support from the family of the AU is inevitable. To this end and as has been expressed in the bi-annual addresses of the President to the Assembly of the AU, the PAP remain grateful for the inspiration and support it has received from all the Organs of the AU.
35.However, the PAP faces, among others, the following challenges;
35.1Financial support — the inadequacy of this continues, compounded by the intermittent and unpredictable transmission of the budgeted funds making it difficult to plan and execute activities with reasonable sense of accuracy, efficiency and effectiveness. In the year under review, only USD 6,222.945.25 million of the budget of the PAP of USD 12,626,303.00 million had been received by December 31, 2007. Consequently, most planned activities could not be executed resulting in under-expenditure of 49% of the budget.
35.2Transformation into a Legislative Organ — the envisaged status of PAP as stated in Article 2(3) of the Protocol is "... the ultimate aim of the Pan African Parliament shall be to evolve into an institution with full legislative powers, whose members are elected by universal adult suffrage. However, until such time as the Member States decide otherwise by an amendment to this Protocol... " These provisions read together with those of Article 24 of the Protocol, continue to engage the attention of the PAP about its future status given that it is now in its fourth year, yet there appear to be no moves to implement these provisions. The gravity of the challenges caused by these provisions are not within the capacity of the PAP to resolve;
35.3Incapacitation of work of PAP — the effective and efficient operation of the PAP require the presence of Members as designated by the National Parliaments. It is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve this, in view of the fact that, some National Parliaments are not abiding by the provisions of Decision No Ex. Co. 98 (v) of July, 2004. As a result, Members from such National Parliaments, either, do not come for Plenaries and or Sittings of Committees or do not stay through the scheduled durations. The Plenary and the Committees can hardly do their work in the proper manner. In the same breath, where the Members are facilitated to come, the National Parliaments do not avail to them all the usual allowances and benefits that Members are entitled to while on work of Parliament, which include their participation in the work of the PAP. It is therefore time that the relevant Organs of the AU reconsidered the veracity of Decision 98; and
35.4Sound management and administration of PAP — the need for this was recognized in the provisions of Article 11 (5&6) of the Protocol, which vest this responsibility in the Bureau. Be that as it may, neither, the Protocol nor any other legal instrument of the AU provide for the facilitation of the Bureau in this regard. Decision 98 postulates that, expenses relating to the Bureau should be borne by the National Parliaments, which as stated above are not living up to expectations. It is therefore necessary that, the status and the needs of the Bureau are considered when measures are taken to review Decision 98.

Statement of income and expenditure

36.Within the year under review and as stated elsewhere in this report, pursuant to the provisions of Article 15 of the Protocol, the budget of the PAP remain an integral part of the regular budget of the AU. In compliance thereof, the PAP has continued to prepare and forward its budget to the AU headquarters. In this year, of the approved budget of USD 12,626,303.00 million, only USD 6, 222, 945.25 million had been received by December 31, 2007. On the other hand, the expenditure to the end of the year stood at USD 7, 016, 648,32 representing fifty-six (56) per cent of the approved budget. It is possible that, this could give an impression of under performance by the PAP.

Annex 1

Report of the Pan-African Parliament Seminar on the Harmonisation of Regional Economic Communities and Regional Parliamentary Bodies

Mowana Lodge - Kasane, BotswanaMarch 12 to 13 2007


Against the background of the presentations and deliberations above, the seminar recommended that:The initiative by the PAP of hosting regional consultative seminars be encouraged and that, the AU Commission participate fully;A time frame on the implementation of the rationalisation agenda should be considered by the PAP and RPBs;The PAP should constitute a Technical Group of African experts to develop a draft PAP Position Paper on the African Union Government to be considered by the next PAP Session and for subsequent submission to the next AU Summit in July 2007 in Accra, Ghana;The PAP should promote the coordination and harmonization of policies, measures, programmes and activities of Regional Parliamentary Assemblies in accordance with Article 18 of the PAP Protocol, particularly by serving as an interface between PAP, RECs, Regional Parliamentary Assemblies and National Parliaments;The PAP and RPBs should study legal systems and instruments governing sub-­regional bodies with the view to identifying and seeking solutions to those that impede the process of integration and harmonization; andThe PAP and RPBs should be more vocal in protecting and promoting good governance, in respect of democracy, human rights and economic governance.

Annex 2

Attached separately in EP PAP JOINT. PDF
▲ To the top