Pan-African Parliament (PAP)
The origin of the Pan-African Parliament can be traced to the Abuja Treaty which was signed by African leaders in Abuja, Nigeria, in June, 1991 and which came into force in May, 1994. After the Abuja Treaty, the Fourth Extra-ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government held in Sirte, Libya from 8th – 9th September, 1999, adopted the Sirte Declaration. Among other things, the Sirte Declaration called for the speedy establishment of the institutions [including the Pan African Parliament] provided for in the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community signed in Abuja, Nigeria.
A subsequent meeting was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 17th to 21st April, 2000 convened by the Secretary-General of the OAU, Dr Salim Ahmed Salim and composed of Legal Experts and Parliamentarians who considered a Draft Treaty on the establishment of the African Union and a Draft Protocol of the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community relating to the Pan-African Parliament. This was followed by the 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the organization of African Unity (OAU) which convened in Lome, Togo from 10th to 12th July, 2000. The meeting approved and adopted the Draft Constitutive Act of the African Union and the Pan-African Parliament.
The establishment of the Pan-African Parliament is one giant step forward in ensuring that this deliberative continental body, once operational, will act as a common platform for all the peoples of Africa and their grassroot organizations to get more involved in discussions and decision-making on the problems and challenges which beset Africa.
The Pan-African Parliament was established in March 2004, by Article 17 of The Constitutive Act of the African Union, as one of the nine Organs provided for in the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community signed in Abuja, Nigeria, in 1991.
It is the African Union’s legislative body with advisory andconsultative powers. 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 first Parliament was inaugurated on the 18 March 2004, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Pan-African Parliament has its seat in Midrand, South Africa.
The establishment of the Pan-African Parliament is informed by a vision to provide a common platform for African peoples and their grass-roots organizations to be more involved in discussions and decision-making on the problems and challenges facing the continent.The ultimate aim of the Pan-African Parliament is to evolve into an institution with full legislative powers, whose members are elected by universal adult suffrage.
The PAP’s primary role is to promote the ratification and implementationof the AU treaties and legislative acts, inclusively in the human rights area, and eventuallyexercise oversight. It has a specific position in the AGA with direct link with the nationalparliaments and could be an entry point for theratification/domestication/implementation/monitoring of the AU decisions (especially in the human rights field).
The PAP Member States