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Pan African Parliament Essential for True Union of African Citizens, Says PAP President
PAP plays crucial role in transforming AU to a union of citizens, says Charumbira.
KIGALI, Rwanda— The Pan African Parliament (PAP) plays a crucial role in transforming the African Union (AU) into a union of African citizens rather than just a union of member states, according to PAP President Chief Fortune Charumbira, writes Taonga Botolo.
Speaking at the ongoing Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) Retreat on the Restructuring of the African Union in Kigali, Chief Charumbira emphasised the importance of the continental Parliament in achieving representative democracy, popular participation, and continental integration.
"The founding fathers realised that without a continental parliament, the quest for representative democracy, popular participation, and continental integration would remain nothing more than a pipe dream," Chief Charumbira stated, highlighting the vision behind the establishment of the Pan African Parliament.
Chief Charumbira further observed, "The AU reform process was long overdue, especially in the face of a sceptical African citizenry that has begun to question the value of the African Union and its various organs and agencies."
Commending the AU Reform Unit and its head, Professor Pierre Moukoko Mbonjo, for their comprehensive report on the proposed restructuring of the African Union, Chief Charumbira expressed his agreement and satisfaction with the findings. "I am impressed by how succinctly Professor Moukoko and his team captured the issues hampering the Pan African Parliament and other AU organs from effectively fulfilling their mandate and living up to the expectations of the African citizenry."
Chief Charumbira emphasised that the reform process was worth the wait and justified the time and resources invested.
He added, "The report justifies the time and resources devoted to this process, and I fully concur with the observations and recommendations on the PAP."
Highlighting the role of the PAP within the AU governance architecture, Chief Charumbira stated, "Reforming the continental Parliament is central to AU's resolve to become a truly people-centred institution, which is a prerequisite to the achievement of Agenda2063 key aspirations."
The ongoing retreat in Kigali aims to discuss institutional reforms and reposition the AU to fulfil its economic, political, and social vision as outlined in Agenda 2063.
Participants include members of the AU PRC, African Union Organs, and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs).
"The reform process might have taken a long time, but after reading and listening to their report, I believe it was well worth the wait," Chief Charumbira concluded.
The reform agenda emphasises prioritising continental scope, realigning AU institutions, improving operational efficiency, and ensuring sustainable self-financing for the Union.
Additionally, discussions will encompass the second 10-year plan of Agenda 2063, spanning from 2024 to 2033, which embodies the collective ambition of the African people—the vision of "The Africa We Want in 2063."