On the sidelines of the Pan African meeting which is taking in Kigali, Rwanda for two weeks, the President of Rwanda and the Chairperson of the African Union has been sounding support from the Pan-African Parliament in driving the Continental Free Trade Area.
PAP is the legislative body of the African Union and is one of the nine organs proposed in the 1991 Treaty establishing the African Economic Community (Abuja Treaty). The theme of the PAP meeting this year is: “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation.”
The Pan-African Parliament purpose.
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 ultimate aim is for Parliament to be an institution with full legislative powers, whose members are elected by universal suffrage. The Continental Parliament exercises oversight and has advisory and consultative powers, reports News Times.
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 Parliament sits in Midrand, South Africa.
African Continental free trade Area Agreement (CFTA).
In March this year, Rwanda and Africa witnessed the historic signing of the Africa continental free trade Area Agreement (CFTA) – an agreement that officially made Africa an open one single market for all Africans.
Some African member states have already submitted papers of ratification to the African Union Commission, while others are still waiting for their parliaments to approve the ratification.
Addressing the first ordinary session of the fifth Parliament, that took place at Radisson Blu and convention Centre, Kagame sought the MPs support in ensuring every member state finalizes the agreement.
“I would like to ask for your support for the speedy ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons and other key pillars of Agenda 2063,” Kagame said.
The Pan-African Parliament is the legislative body of the African Union. The Parliament has over 275 members representing AU member states.
The President Kagame took the opportunity to remind members of the 5th parliament to disseminate effective communication among stakeholders to ensure speedy implementation of the agreement.
“We need your help to communicate more effectively with constituents and stakeholders in civil society about the importance of these agreements for the well-being of our citizens and our economies,” Kagame said.
According to President Kagame, “Working together is the only way to give Africa’s position the weight it deserves in the wider geopolitical context. Illusions of moral hierarchy that divided continents and peoples are crumbling rapidly as we have been seeing”, reports one local Rwandan News site
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