Kenya Senate Speaker Amason Kingi has said Kenya values the institution of Pan African Parliament (PAP) which is why it sends the best among its legislators to represent it in the continental legislative body.
The Speaker further noted that Kenya is a greater believer in Pan Africanism and the continental integration that is why it values the business of PAP.
“In a much-divided continent, Africa needs a strong voice in international affairs. It is our expectation that PAP will offer that much needed voice,” said Speaker Kingi.
He was speaking on Monday when Mr Fortune Chirumbira, the President of Pan-African Parliament, who is on an official visit to Kenya, paid him a courtesy call at his office in Parliament Buildings.
PAP is one of the organs of the African Union (AU) and is set out in the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community.
It consists of elected members drawn from all national Parliaments of the AU. It was formed to offer the people the platform to discuss and take part in decision-making on the problems and challenges facing the continent.
The next sitting of the Parliament is due to open in Midrand, South Africa, on May 15th 2023 with the main agenda revolving around the Climate Change.
“PAP is a critical institution that has the capacity to push and ensure the integration dream is realised,” he said, even as he challenged African parliaments to join ranks and ensure success of the process.
“PAP must also do away with the needless debates and unhealthy competition among states. MPs are the game changer in the integration process.
Speaker Kingi insisted this must change if the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is to succeed.
The Speaker remarks on the institution of PAP was in response to comments made by Hon. Chirumbira who hailed Kenya’s representatives to the body as “MPs who have sustained vibrancy and maintained the culture of excellent debates”.
“They have raised the calibre of debates. Whenever a Kenyan member is given an opportunity to contribute to a motion. We all rush to our pens and takes notes because what they say is very deep and informative. We thank you for this selection,” said the President.
He said PAP has taken over the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and promised to ensure link with national parliaments and regional economic blocs to address the challenges facing the continent.
“Members of parliament are key actors in the integration process because they bring the national dimension. AfCFTA is a great opportunity to discuss trade on the continent.”
Those who attended the meeting were Senators Danson Mungatana, who is the chairman of Kenyan MPs to PAP, Margret Kamar, Clerk of the Senate Jeremiah Nyegenye, MPs Majimbo Kalasinga, Rahab Mukami, Esther Passaris and Musa Sirma who served in PAP between 2008 and 2013.
Hon. Chirumbira was accompanied by Zimbabwean High Comissioner to Kenya Her Excellency Winpeg Moyo and her Deputy Silibaziso Manyonga.