By John Odyek
The Pan African Parliament (PAP) will function better if the institution has its own funding as opposed to relying on donors.
Debating the Activity Report of the PAP President, October 2013 – March 2014, members said PAP cannot always rely on external funding for it to do its planning and carry out its activities.
This was during the Parliament’s sitting on Tuesday in Midrand, South Africa.
“We call for a free Africa and free decision making but still ask for (donations) from partners. We should do something about funding the Pan African Parliament,” Prof. Suad Al-Fatih AL BADAWI (Sudan) said a statement from South Africa.
She said that PAP is poor, its activities and budgets are meager whereas Africa has rich states and people, who can fund its activities.
“Where are the countries, the rich people of Africa, those in the diaspora? Where is everybody else?”, she asked. “It is important that the (cash till) is filled with good money from Africa, then we can fund our activities.”
The new leader of Uganda’s delegation to PAP Onyango Kakoba (NRM, Buikwe North) said the lack of adequate funding forces committees to plan and operate on an adhoc basis.
“If committees had their funding, they would plan and carry out their activities better. Currently we make our plans depending on outside funders,” Kakoba, who chairs the committee on justice and human rights said.
PAP President Bethel Amadi said it was important for all committees to continue working throughout the year irrespective of the sources of funding.
“Each committee should be allocated enough funds to have one or two activities every year. We shall continue working with funders to support the committee work,” he said.
He welcomed ideas on possible sources of funds, who share the PAP interests but do not attach stringent conditionalities.
The Activity Report of the PAP President, October 2013 – March 2014, highlights activities carried out by PAP and the challenges in their execution.
Amadi said the implementation of the PAP structure is of concern because of the need to strengthen the Secretariat to be in a position to perform more efficiently.
“I reassure all existing staff of PAP that this Bureau is committed to protecting the interest of our existing workforce who meet the qualifications criteria of the African Union Staff Regulations and Rules,” he said.