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APO International

Pan-African Parliament 20th Anniversary: Reflecting on the Journey and Charting the Path Forward

todayMarch 18, 2024 2

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Today, 18th March, marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), a significant milestone in the African Union (AU)’s quest for a unified and stronger Africa. Inaugurated on March 18, 2004, as the legislative body of the Union, the PAP represents a step towards the realization of the dreams and aspirations of the African people for democracy, good governance, and regional integration.

Over the past two decades, the PAP has been at the heart of efforts to amplify the voices of African citizens and facilitate the implementation of policies and treaties aimed at fostering development and cooperation among member states. The PAP has seen many successes, including the advancement of women’s rights, the endorsement of democratic norms, and the promotion of peace and security across the continent.

“The anniversary of the PAP is not only a time for celebration, but also a moment for reflection on the progress we have made and the challenges we have faced along the way. The work of the PAP remains crucial in steering our continent towards a future marked by increased political unity and economic prosperity”, says Hon. Lucia Dos Passos, Acting President of the PAP. Despite its potential, the PAP faces challenges that limit its authority, including institutional issues, legal constraints, and insufficient resources. The 20th anniversary is an opportune time to reflect and envision the future role of the institution.

PAP is poised to take on an even more transformative role in line with the PAP’s mandate to facilitate economic integration and championing the African Renaissance.  The PAP’s Acting President observes that this is more pertinent particularly with the

operationalization of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and the implementation of Agenda 2063.

The 20th anniversary will be commemorated through a series of programs and initiatives including a commemorative event on the 18 March, designed to engage stakeholders from across the continent and the diaspora. This will entail a comprehensive review of the achievements and setbacks of the PAP and spark dialogue on improving its impact on the lives of African people. “We are charting a path forward that demands an even greater commitment to the vision of our forebearers for a united and prosperous Africa,” adds Hon. Dos Passos. “The PAP must evolve, embrace innovation, and be empowered to meet the current needs and aspirations of Africans.”

“On this landmark anniversary, we reaffirm our dedication to the principles that have guided the Pan-African Parliament since its inception. We call upon member states, regional bodies, civil society, and all stakeholders to renew their support for the PAP as we work together towards a brighter future for Africa.” She concluded.

In 2021, 18 March was officially launched as the Pan-African Parliament Day, also known as the PAP Day. This commemorative occasion serves as a reminder for decision-makers across the continent to honor their commitment to the PAP by ratifying the Protocol to the Constitutive Act of the AU relating to the PAP, commonly known as the Malabo Protocol. The upcoming PAP Day holds special significance as it coincides with the 20th anniversary of the institution.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Union (AU).



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