Challenge for PAP

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THE Pan African Parliament (PAP) hopes of bouncing back with impact rests on the extent to which its operations will help the AU realise the vision of the continent’s founding fathers.

When the OAU (now AU) was formed in 1963, the aim was to create a united sovereign continent free of manipulation by our former colonisers.

At the re-orientation workshop at the Parliament’s seat in Midrand, South Africa, its president Chief Fortune Charumbira emphasised the need for the institution to gear itself for rejuvenation.

As the legislative organ of the AU, the revival task of PAP is appreciated.

Generally, the objectives of this legislative body are very noble.

But we cannot have a continent that is peaceful and prosperous as long as we are not sovereign.

For a start, this legislative assembly has no power, as representatives of the African continent, to make binding resolutions on solving problems and challenges bedevilling the African continent.

Our erstwhile colonisers are still calling the tune.

It is still our former colonisers who define to us the meaning of human rights and the so-called democracy.

The world is rapidly becoming multipolar and Africa should face this development as one united continent.

If we continue facing this reality as appendages of our erstwhile colonisers, we are doomed.

Yet if we face the multipolar world as a united continent, with the natural resources we have, we will be a formidable player.

It is in our hands to stop our founding fathers from turning in their graves.

With the natural God-given resources on this vast continent, there is no reason we can’t support ourselves financially.

With the vast land that we have, there is no earthly reason this continent’s food security should be affected by a war in far away Ukraine.

As we speak, even this esteemed PAP depends on the financial goodwill of donors.

And these donors come with objectives not in tandem with those of the African continent.

Thus, PAP will find itself afraid to pass resolutions that are considered hostile by their donors.

The continent of Africa is made up of 54 States, each with its own quota of natural resources.

If there is a conscious effort to fund itself, PAP can agree on a minimum sum each member-State has to contribute for self-sustenance.

If our survival continues to depend on donors, then all talk about fulfilling the vision of our founding fathers will remain a pipe dream.

The saying: ‘He who pays the piper calls the tune’ is a truism that needs no further debate.

At the re-orientation workshop in Midrand, PAP president Charumbira correctly pointed out the importance of the complementary role of this Parliament in driving the vision of our founding fathers.

At the inauguration of Vision 2063 by the AU, the realisation that without financial muscle, set goals would be difficult to meet was acknowledged.

Hence the need for beneficiation and value addition of our raw products.

This reduces the level of exploitation of what is ours, thereby enabling us to retain what belongs to us.

To the president of PAP we say, in order to fulfill your ambition, impress upon the AU the importance of being financially independent.

With goodwill, it is possible.

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