Pan-African Parliament opens with call for real power

The Pan-African Parliament, Africa’s fledgling continent-wide legislature, opened its second session on Monday with a call for full law-making power.

The Parliament’s president Moussa Idriss Ndele said the organisation, currently an African Union (AU) advisory body without the power to pass binding laws, is on track to become a full-fledged lawmaker next year.

“All it requires is a declaration from the African Union summit — and I am confident that will happen — to enable the transformation to take place,” Ndele told Agence-France Presse.

“That is the major theme of our session, along with the African Union themes of peace and security in Africa and agriculture and food security,” he said.

The Pan-African Parliament was established in March 2004 as an oversight and advisory organ of the AU.

Ndele has been pushing for full legislative powers for the 235-member body.

“It’s only a united and strong Africa that can survive the 21st century,” he said at the close of the Parliament’s last session.

The current session is scheduled to last until April 20. — Sapa

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