Assessing the Scope of National and Supra-National Parliaments to Form African Policies

Linked with Gertrude Ibengwe Mongella – Tanzania, with Southern African Regional Poverty Network SARPN, and with African NGOs and the Pan African Parliament.

Published on inwent, not dated, by Gertrude Ibengwe Mongella, President Pan-African-Parliament of the African Union, Member of Parliament of Tanzania.

Excerpt: … Parliamentary mandate:

All national parliaments have legislative powers. The regional and Pan African Parliaments have representational and advisory mandate in varying degrees according to the protocols that establish them. In the process of developing regional and Pan African Parliaments as democratic institutions, in the final analysis they should have the following powers:

  • Legislative;
  • Advisory;
  • Policy shaping and influence ;
  • Investigative – oversight;
  • Budgetary oversight;
  • Enforcement of justice;
  • Promotion of good governance, democracy and regional integration.

Scope: There are many parliaments in the continent of Africa at different levels. The effectiveness and efficiency of these parliaments will depend on a number of factors:

  • Availability of resources both human, financial and technical;
  • Clearly defined relationships between parliaments of one level and another to avoid repetition of things;
  • Relationships of parliaments and the people they represent and institutions they relate to including the civil society;
  • Adequate democratic capacities to perform parliamentary functions;
  • Access to information and communication.

Issues to be addressed:

In order for various parliaments to achieve African development goals it is a responsibility of every parliament to address:

  • Increased Poverty ;
  • Peace and security;
  • Economic policies for Africa (NEPAD and APRM).

Methodology:

  • Setting regional agenda and influencing global agenda; regional parliaments need to define their policies for their global partners;
  • Partnership and ownership of policies;
  • A participatory approach that involves the civil society;
  • Harmonisation of democracy and human rights;
  • dialogue at all levels;
  • Adequate and effective representation;
  • Capacity building to PAP, parliamentarians and staff reorientation;
  • Exercising effectively the oversight role.

The Pan-African Parliament role: (go on with full long text).

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