By Mohammed Uriel Hadebbe (Midrand South Africa)

The President of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), H.E. Chief Fortune Charumbira, has challenged African legislators to prioritize the “rebranding and repositioning of the Parliament.”

He was speaking during the workshop on Effective Results-Based Management and Strategic Planning for the Parliament Bureau and the Permanent Committee Bureaus and Caucuses, held in Midrand, South Africa, ahead of the impending 3rd Ordinary Session of the Sixth Parliament of the PAP.

The workshop covered the Agenda 2063 Second 10-Year (2024-2033) implementation Plan, including the Moonshots of the African Union. The seven moonshots symbolise the commitment of the African Union to comprehensive development with the ultimate goal of advancing the continent and its people.

“We need to repair our ruined image and reposition ourselves in our programs for the Pan-African Parliament to regain its lost glory,” said H.E. Charumbira during the workshop, convened under the theme, “Revive, Renew, Reposition, and Reinvigorate the Pan-African Parliament.” He noted, “Quite often we are asked, what has the Pan-African Parliament done over the past 20 years? We must reposition ourselves so that people understand us in terms of our functions. The persistent conflicts within the institution since its establishment have damaged its image in the eyes of an already skeptical citizenry, and PAP has a lot of work to do to repair this tainted image. We need to realize that the PAP as an institution suffers from collateral damage every time there is a conflict within and among its membership.”

H.E. Chief Charumbira also emphasized that the objective of the workshop is to generate a high-level discussion among the political leadership on the key elements that will form the strategic priorities and direction for the next five years.

He further stated that the workshop seeks to draw the attention of Members of the Bureau and Bureaux to the directives given to all AU Organs to align their strategic plans with the continental priorities of Agenda 2063, the Continental Moonshots of Africa, and the 10-year Strategic Implementation Plan.

Moreover, H.E. Charumbira highlighted that the workshop also aims to focus the planning and reporting of all structures of the PAP, including all its Committees, on results rather than activities. He reflected that the workshop will provide legislators with the necessary information and understanding of results-based planning, implementation, and reporting, and will further provide guidance and substantive content to the Secretariat in the development of the draft Strategic Plan for the next five years.

Addressing delegates and Parliamentarians, PAP’s third Vice President, Hon. Lucia Dos Passos, underscored that “PAP must be allowed to play its political role across the continent.” She mentioned that the continental legislative arm “must always put forward Agenda 2063 and come up with concrete systems to help achieve this noble initiative as it represents the future of the continent.”

Hon. Dos Passos also challenged the AUC to prioritize engaging the Pan-African Parliament about their programs and urged them to establish a clear marketing strategy if the continent is to achieve its Agenda 2063 dream.

Presenting on “Agenda 2063 & Strategic Context for the Pan-African Parliament,” Ms. Botho K. Bayendi, Director of Strategic Planning and Delivery, underlined that strategic priorities for PAP must include the promotion of human rights and democracy, good governance and the rule of law, and budget oversight and recommendations. She also mentioned that PAP must focus on the harmonization of laws, support the integration of the continent and other continental frameworks, and pioneer coordination with Regional Economic Communities (RECs).

Ms. Bayendi also stated that, as per the Agenda 2063 Framework document, the first Ten-Year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063, and Executive Council (EX.CL/Dec.883(XXVII), PAP is mandated to advocate for the adoption of the Agenda 2063 Framework as the blueprint for Africa’s development by all Parliaments on the continent.

She further urged the Pan-African Parliament to lead the crusade for citizen education on their roles and obligations under Agenda 2063 by African Parliaments and ensure that all members of regional parliaments and political parties in national legislatures use Agenda 2063 as a basis for developing their programs and party manifestos.