African Union flag. Image from public domain

The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) and the African Union Commission (AUC) are two important organs of the African Union (AU). While they are both integral to the functioning of the AU, their roles and responsibilities are distinct.

African Union Commission Chairperson His Excellency Moussa Faki Mahamat congratulates Pan-African Parliament President-elect Hon. Chief Charumbira after the Parliament’s elections on June 29, 2022. Image courtesy of PAP media

The Pan-African Parliament is a legislative body of the AU and represents all of the peoples of Africa. Its main functions include promoting the principles of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law across Africa, as well as facilitating cooperation between African countries on various issues, including economic integration, peace and security, and development. The PAP has the power to debate and pass resolutions on matters that affect the continent as a whole, and to make recommendations to the AU on policy matters.

The African Union Commission, on the other hand, is the executive arm of the AU and is responsible for implementing the decisions and policies of the AU. It is made up of a chairperson, deputy chairperson, and eight commissioners, each responsible for a different portfolio, such as peace and security, economic development, or social affairs. The AUC is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the AU, including implementing AU programs and initiatives, coordinating the work of AU organs and institutions, and representing the AU in international forums.

In terms of their relationship, the PAP and the AUC work closely together to advance the goals of the AU. While the PAP is a separate organ of the AU and has its own leadership, it operates under the auspices of the AU and works in partnership with the AUC to achieve the AU’s objectives. The PAP and the AUC collaborate on a range of issues, including legislative drafting, policy formulation, and program implementation. The AUC is responsible for implementing policies and initiatives developed by the PAP, while the PAP provides oversight and holds the AUC accountable for its actions.

The PAP and the AUC have a complementary relationship within the broader framework of the AU. While they have distinct roles and responsibilities, they work together to advance the interests of the African continent and its people.

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