By: Kebba AF Touray
The National Assembly of the Gambia has on Thursday 7th September 2023, adopted the report of the Gambian Delegation to the Second Ordinary Session of the Sixth Parliament of the Pan African Parliament held in Midrand, South Africa from 8th May to 2nd June 2023.
The theme of the session was “To accelerate the Implementation of African Continental Free Trade (AfCFTA) of the African Union for 2023”.
Tabling the report before the Assembly, Hon. Alhagie Mbow, head of delegation, told members that PAP was established in 2004 under the provisions of Article 4(2) and (3) of the protocol to the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community relating to the Pan African Parliament.
PAP, he said, is to provide a common platform for the people of Africa and their grass roots organizations to be more involved in discussions and decision making on the problems and challenges facing the continent, as well as the implementation of policies, programs and objectives of the African Union.
He said the PAP President Chief Fortune Charumbir`a, during his opening of the session, said PAP will continue to play its rightful role in the promotion of integration, peace and stability, democracy, good governance and the rule of law by all Regional Economic Communities and Member States.
He reported that the session was marred with workshops on African continental free trade agreement, climate policy and equity.
He said during the workshop on the AfCFTA, panelists proposed among others that the adoption of policies and regulations for compensation to countries that maybe negatively affected in the implementation of AfCFTA, and build capacities of local content or entrepreneurs of the continent.
He added: “It was also proposed that the continent to develop infrastructural facilities of the continent for ease of transportation of goods and people. PAP members collectively embark on political education to unbundle the AfCFTA to the people of Africa and its benefits to the population”, he said.
On the workshop on Climate Policy and Equity, on the theme “The African Continent at Crossroad”, it was recommended that member states of the African Union should domesticate and implement the provision of the UNFCC and Paris Agreements, including allocation of adequate budgetary resources, to address climate change impacts.
On the workshop on the National Implementation of the “Africa Educates Her” Campaign: Legislation to ensure Learning Opportunities post-covid for girls, he said the workshop was aimed to serve as an opportunity to discuss initiatives and efforts to popularize and domesticate #AfricaEducatesHer campaign, to ensure learning recovery and opportunities post-covid for girls.
He said: “The workshop therefore, was expected to find lasting solutions to issues affecting the right to education for young girls whom the pandemic have immensely affected”.
On the contributions by the Gambian delegation, he said Hon. SuwaibouTouray, on the report of the Women Caucus, said continuous dialogue amongst the youths of the continent and parliament is a good move and a better strategy to advance the caucus of the youth.
Hon. Salifu Jawo said that the functions and duties of the PAP Parliament can only have full impact on the lives of the people of Africa, if it is given full legislative powers through ratification of the Malabo Protocol relating to PAP.
He said that the PAP also considered and adopted the reports of the activities of the PAP Parliament for the period January to May 2023.
He said that the PAP made the following recommendation and they include but not limited to accelerating the AfCFTA, recommendation of the Labour migration in Africa, recommendation on Cyber security and Cybercrime in Africa, recommendation on climate Policy and Equity in Africa, and recommendation for an inclusive digital world.
He added that resolutions made during the session include but not limited to resolution on promotion of peace and security in Africa, resolution on the place of traditional medicine in the African Health System, and resolution on the development of model on climate change in Africa.
He finally expressed thanks to the offices of Speaker and Clerk of the Gambia National Assembly for their unflinching support, continuous confidence and trust bestowed on the membership of the delegation to serve PAP.
He subsequently moved for the consideration and adoption of the report of the delegation by the National Assembly, which was seconded by the Member for Brikama North and Minority Leader, Hon. Alhagie S Darboe.
During the debate on the report, lawmakers hailed the delegation for a befitting report, and urged that the report be made available to all the relevant stakeholders, so that the recommendations and resolutions made in the report be harmonized and domesticated in the policy issues of the Gambia.
As alluded to by the legislators the said resolutions and recommendations are vital in enhancing the spirit of Pan Africanism. The report was subsequently adopted by the plenary.