Pan-African Parliament (PAP) legislators have embraced Resolutions and Recommendations presented by the Civil Society Forum (CSF) during a productive Parliamentary Dialogue held in Midrand, South Africa on Friday May 19, 2023. The dialogue took place amid the PAP’s ongoing Second Session of the Sixth Parliament, centered on the 2023 African Union (AU) theme of “Accelerating the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).” The CSF, a platform aiming to foster collaboration between Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the African parliament, submitted their proposals concerning the AfCFTA, among other related issues.

MPAPs and African civil society leaders pose for a group photo at the Civil Society Forum meeting held on May 19, 2023. Image from PAP Media

The CSF urged the PAP to exercise its mandate as the entity responsible for expediting the alignment and ratification of AU treaties. They called for the PAP to spearhead a ratification campaign in conjunction with their respective constituents, who directly authorize their actions. The aim is to secure the necessary ratifications for the Free Movement of Peoples Protocol, thus bringing it into force by 2024.

Furthermore, the CSF appealed to the PAP to promote the philosophy of free and safe movement within Africa, which remains a distant reality for many Africans, particularly marginalized groups such as women, children, youth, and economically disadvantaged individuals. The CSF also requested the PAP’s support in enforcing compliance with the principles and norms that foster peace, security, and democratic practices in Africa, including the implementation of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance (AACDEG). They emphasized the need for the PAP to use its moral authority as an advisory body and set an example by halting the trend of term elongation and constitutional tampering at national levels.

The Resolutions and Recommendations put forward by the CSF will now undergo further discussions and deliberations by PAP committees. This process reflects the commitment of PAP legislators to consider the proposals in-depth and work together toward the development and integration of the African continent.

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