Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Speaker Anita Among has re-echoed the call for unity as talks to move the headquarters of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Africa Region gains momentum.

She said this while speaking at the 86th Executive Committee Meeting of the CPA (Africa Region) on Monday, 11 March 2024 at Protea Hotel in Entebbe, about 40 kilometres from the capital, Kampala.

The conference that attracted 17 of the 19 Africa Region member countries runs from 07 to 12 March 2024.

The countries in attendance included Tanzania, Zambia, Mauritius, Nigeria, South Africa, Seychelles, The Gambia, Rwanda, Kenya, Eswatini, Botswana, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Cameroon, Mozambique, and host Uganda.

In her remarks, Among said that Uganda is cognisant of the power of Pan Africanism and therefore, believes that CPA Africa Region is a strategic vehicle for galvanising nations towards unity, adding that one of the key issues that CPA Africa Region should handle with unity of purpose is the rejection of the Status of CPA as a charity organisation in the United Kingdom (UK) since Africa has more charitable causes due to colonialism, imperialism, unfair trade and climate change disasters than the UK.

“Africa should desist from contributing resources in the form of subscription fees to a charity organisation in the UK. It is not fair and it is not right. This meeting should decide that enough is enough,” she said.

The Speaker also petitioned the delegates to leverage Africa’s numerical strength to advance and champion strategic interests such as advocacy for and realisation of fair, equitable and sustainable trade, industrialisation and value addition and sustainable natural resources extraction and processing.

“This meeting should remind us about the global challenges and historic colonial distortions that keep us divided, exploited, marginalised and abused as a people. The good news is that Africa enjoys considerable numerical strength in the Commonwealth and we can use this to harness the respect for and protection of our cherished common African values especially the African family which is the foundation of human existence,” she said.

The Vice Chairperson of the CPA Executive Committee (Africa Region), Hon. Lukas Sinimba Muha (Namibia), laid out challenges that Africa faces at the international arena such as insecurity, youth unemployment, climate change, high cost of living and the lack of a trust in the political institutions and thus there was a need to continue pushing for the agenda of the bloc.

Hon. Enos Asiimwe, the MP for Kabula County in Lyantonde District and Chairperson of the CPA Uganda Branch, reiterated Among’s appeal, establishing that the resolutions from the meeting will expedite the preparations for CPA Africa members to vote whether to relocate the CPA headquarters from the UK before November 2024 when the annual general meeting convenes.

Uganda had earlier submitted her bid to host the CPA headquarters on 04 October 2023 during the 66th CPA conference in Accra, Ghana.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association consists of 180 branches consisting of national parliaments and sub-national legislatures of the Commonwealth member states.

The branches are divided into nine regions, Africa, Asia, Australia, British Islands and Mediterranean, Canada, Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic, India, Pacific, and South East Asia.

CPA Africa’s mission is to promote and protect the interests and perspectives of CPA Africa Regional Parliaments and countries, in the Commonwealth and beyond, and to promote gender, equality, emancipation of women, and respect for human rights, freedoms, democracy and good governance.

The CPA Secretariat is headquartered in London.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.

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