PAP President Charumbira pushes for quick implementation of Africa free trade area PAP President Chief Fortune Charumbira(centre) addressing a Bureaux meeting of the continental legislative body in Midrand, South Africa

George Maponga in Masvingo

Pan African Parliament (PAP) President Chief Fortune Charumbira has jolted the legislative continental body’s committees to prioritise review of their work plans and ensure that activities, aimed at facilitating the accelerated implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),take precedence.

Speaking today during a PAP Bureax meeting in Midrand, South Africa, which is the seat of PAP, he noted that speedy implementation of AfCFTA would engender socio-economic transformation on the African continent.

Today’s meeting chaired by Chief Charumbira, was to plan for activities of PAP’s Committee Sittings scheduled to run from March 6 to 19 in Midrand.

“This is a planning meeting. We need to agree on the issues to be discussed during the course of the Sittings of the Committees of the PAP,”said Chief Charumbira.

“The Committee Sittings are going to be held under the African Union Theme for 2023, “The Year of AFCFTA: Acceleration of AFCFTA Implementation.” At the recently concluded AU Summit, the major concern was the slow implementation of commitments made by Member States to the actualization of the AFCFTA. The PAP thus had a pivotal role to play collectively at the continental level and as PAP Members at the national level, to ensure that Member States are held to account for the commitments they make towards the implementation of AFCFTA.”

He also higlighted the importance of reviewing the Committee’s work and achievements for last year to gauge the success rate in a year where the theme for the legislative continental body was “Strengthening Resilience in Nutrition and Food Security on the African Continent.”

Attention was also supposed to be given by Paul’s committees to issues that were dominant in the African Union Assembly.

Among the issues is reform of the UN Security Council to give more voices to weak and smaller nations especilly in Africa amid concerns the continent had been grossly underrepresented both in the permanent and non-permanent categories of the UN Security Council.

Another issue hogging the limelight in Africa is calls for a broad-based and participatory process for the development of Africa’s common position on climate change that will include governments, women, youth, the private sector, civil society and academia.

The burning issue of illegal econonic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, Eritrea and Sudan by the US and EU should also continue to dominate PAP’s deliberations to enable the wheels of sustainable development to continue turning in Africa.

Unconstitutional removal of governments from office via coups,growing threats of terrorism on the continent and influx of private military fighters and private military companies all posed a threat to development across the African continent.

Chief Charumbira noted that PAP committees should be seized with spearheading discussion of issues that have a direct bearing of the continent’s peoples most of whom continue to eke out a living in situations of hunger, disease and conflict.

“Given the multiplicity of issues affecting the continent that require the intervention of the people’s elected representatives, Committees cannot afford to have a day off during the Committee sittings. Every single day, from the 6th to the 17th of March, Committees must be hard at work focusing on addressing the common challenges affecting the African citizenry and driving the attainment of Agenda 2063,” he said.

“To ensure this link with the AU’s thrust, the Bureau has invited Heads of Organs, Commissioners and various stakeholders to interact with the relevant Committees and determine how they can collaborate in driving the objectives of the Union and the hopes, ideals and aspirations of the African citizenry.”

He also exhorted PAP Bureaux to review the programme shared and reiterated the call to move from activity-based programming to results-based programming in coming up with their work plans.

The PAP President has been on a crusade to forge and deepens relations between the continental legislative body and other like-minded organisations across the world with the highlight of his drive being an historic address in the Arab parliament in Egypt recently.

Chairperson of the Southern Region Caucus of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) Ms Pemmy Majodina called on members to discuss ways of strengthening gender and women’s empowerment legislation on the continent.

The PAP regime under Chief Charumbira was inaugurated into office riding on the crest to reinvigorate,renew and revive the pan African legislative body to make it more effective in addressing challenges hamstringing development on the African continent.

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