The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) is one of the ten (10) organs of the African Union (AU) provided for in Article (5) of the Constitutive Act of the AU, adopted by the Thirty-Sixth Ordinary Session of the Conference of the Heads of State and Government of the former OAU in Lome, Togo on July 11, 2000. The PAP is established according to the provisions of Article (17) of the Constitutive Act of the AU so as to "ensure the full participation of African peoples in the development and economic integration of the continent".
The composition, powers, functions and organization of the PAP are defined in the Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community Related to the Pan-African Parliament, (the PAP Protocol) adopted by the Fifth Extraordinary Session of the Conference of African Heads of State and Government in Sirte, Libya on March 02, 2001.
The Pan-African Parliament was inaugurated on March 18, 2004 at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, according to the provisions of the PAP Protocol. Membership is open to all AU Member States who ratify the PAP Protocol. Currently, membership stands at forty-seven (47). Each National Parliament elects/designates five of its Members to the PAP.
The ultimate aim of the establishment of the Pan-African Parliament is for it to evolve into an institution with full legislative powers, whose Members are elected by universal adult suffrage. At present, it exercises advisory and consultative powers.
THE OBJECTIVES OF THE PAN-AFRICAN PARLIAMENT
The objectives of the Pan-African Parliament are spelt out in Article (3) of the PAP Protocol as being to:
* Facilitate the effective implementation of the policies and objectives of the OAU/AEC and, ultimately, of the African Union;
* Promote the principles of human rights and democracy in Africa;
* Encourage good governance, transparency and accountability in Member States;
* Familiarize the peoples of Africa with the objectives and policies aimed at integrating the African continent within the framework of the establishment of the African Union;
* Promote peace, security and stability;
* Contribute to a more prosperous future for the people of Africa by promoting collective self-reliance and economic recovery;
* Facilitate cooperation and development in Africa
* Strengthen continental solidarity and build a sense of common destiny among the peoples of Africa;
* Facilitate cooperation among Regional Economic Communities and their Parliamentary Fora.
THE BUREAU OF THE PAN-AFRICAN PARLIAMENT
The Bureau of the Pan-African Parliament is composed of the President and four Vice-Presidents, who represent the five regions of Africa. The current President of the Pan-African Parliament is Hon. Dr. Moussa Idriss Ndele, MP, from Chad.
THE PLENARY AND COMMITTEES OF THE PAN-AFRICAN PARLIAMENT
The Pan-African Parliament holds at least two Ordinary Sessions annually. The authority to make decisions of the PAP is vested by both the Protocol and Rules of Procedure in the Plenary Session. However, the main work which results in the decisions is performed by the ten Permanent Committees, which at the same time meet to oversight the work of the AU. The Committees are:
* The Committee on Rural Economy, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment.
* The Committee on Monetary and Financial Affairs.
* The Committee on Trade, Customs and Immigration Matters.
* The Committee on Co-operation, International Relations and Conflict Resolution.
* The Committee on Transport, Industry, Communications, Energy, Science and Technology.
* The Committee on Health, Labour and Social Affairs.
* The Committee on Education, Culture, Tourism and Human Resources.
* The Committee on Gender, Family, Youth and People with Disability.
* The Committee on Justice and Human Rights.
* The Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline.
THE SECRETARIAT OF THE PAN-AFRICAN PARLIAMENT
The work of the PAP is supported by a Secretariat of permanent staff members who are headed by the Clerk of Parliament, Adv. Zwelethu Madasa, from South Africa. The Secretariat is also assisted during Sessions by support staff seconded from National Parliaments and freelance staff.
Gallagher Convention Centre, 19 Richards Drive, Private Bag X16, Midrand 1685, Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa
Tel: (+27) 11 545 5000 - Fax: (+27) 11545 5136
Web site: www.pan-african-parliament.org