PAP delegation heads to Malawi for an official visit

The Republic of Malawi will be hosting an official visit by a delegation of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), led by Acting President Hon. Bouras DJAMEL on 8 – 12 November 2020. The Acting President will be accompanied by PAP’s Vice President Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira; members of the PAP representing the five regional caucuses; and the Clerk of Parliament Mr. Vipya Harawa.

The visit is expected to advocate for the ratification of the African Union (AU) legal instruments including the PAP Protocol and the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). The PAP delegation will also explore partnership opportunities with the Parliament of Malawi in the areas of PAP visibility; capacity building; and implementation of AU Treaties/legal instruments and PAP Recommendations and Resolutions at national level, among others.

In this regard, the PAP delegation is scheduled to hold an audience with H.E. Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi.  The mission led by Hon. Djamel will also be received by Rt. Honourable Catherine Gotani Hara, Speaker of the Parliament of Malawi. Other engagements are planned with the Minister of Justice and AU representatives in Malawi.

African leaders took the leap into history by signing the AfCFTA to create one of the world’s largest trading blocs with over 50 countries on 21 March 2018, prior to its entry into force on 30 May 2019. On the other end, the PAP Protocol, also known as the Malabo Protocol, is intended to extend the powers of the PAP into a full-fledged legislative organ. It requires a minimum of 28 countries to ratify it before it comes into force. Malawi is one of the AU member states that have yet to ratify both the AfCFTA and the Malabo Protocol.

PAP is one of the nine organs of the AU with the mandate to promote economic and social integration through making laws. As it stands, its mandate extends to consultation, and playing an advisory and oversight role for all AU organs pending the ratification of its protocol.

In the past, PAP has enjoyed technical and administrative support from a number of national parliaments including the Malawi Parliament especially in the areas of hansard preparation, committee meetings, plenary sessions, and secretariat management. The mission to Malawi is hoping that it can achieve a model partnership that can be replicated with other parliaments in the continent to consolidate this support.