Community Development Legal and Parliamentary Affiars

Debt cancellation campaign, coups condemnation topical at African Parliaments’ conference

Conference of Speakers and Heads of African Parliaments

African Parliaments have pledged to spare no effort in discouraging any government installed through unconstitutional means on the Continent. This is one of the resolutions made by the Conference of Speakers and Heads of African Parliaments (CoSAP) held in Abuja Nigeria to mobilise legislatures to throw their full weight behind the post-Covid-19 recovery plans.

The increasing military takeover of democratically elected governments in the continent was raised by the leader of the South African Parliamentary delegation, Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, as an inhibitor of Africa’s effect post-Coronavirus economic recovery as people in such countries miss the benefits of initiatives of CoSAP and other multi-lateral structures.

The inaugural CoSAP conference also resolved to pursue several interventions to enable accelerated recovery of Africa from the devastating Covid-19 pandemic.

These include:
– Debt cancellation to give African countries a new start with much-needed resources to develop the continent while also sharpening oversight and interrogation to prevent unregulated debt accumulation;
– Building a resilient health care system with the capacity and requisite technology to domestically develop vaccines for any future outbreaks;
– Driving more gender-responsive budgeting across the continent to eliminate gender gaps and poverty that harm mostly women, youth, and other vulnerable or marginalised sectors of society as exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic;
– Investing appropriately to strengthen the capacity of legislatures to effectively drive oversight over the executive actions to advance people’s development, and;
– Strengthening of coordination and collaboration among African Parliaments to ensure they speak with one voice on all matters affecting the lives of all people in the Continent, with multi-lateral structures including the Pan African Parliament set to be revitalised with CoSAP forum of Speakers optimal support.

The Conference also urged member parliaments to ensure that the resolutions taken add value to people’s lives through among others domestication, development of appropriate legislation, and close monitoring and reporting on the execution of the resolutions. A technical team assists with the monitoring and tracking of progress and periodically updates the CoSAP member Parliaments and Speakers.

This is the CoSAP inaugural conference since its establishment in October 2020 by the Speakers of South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, and Ethiopia, to advance the unity, deal with all factors inhibiting Africa’s development including debt and serve as a channel for the development of thoughts and dialogue in the continent. It is expected that the conference will give impetus for the Debt Cancellation Campaign Initiative of the Speakers to gain more traction.

Speaker Mapisa-Nqakula led the South African parliamentary delegation that include the Deputy Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces Ms. Sylvia Lucas and the Chief Whip of the Majority Party Ms. Pemmy Majodina. South Africa’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Thami Mseleku, participated in the conference as well.

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende