Lawmakers at the National Assembly on Monday unanimously considered and adopted three reports. They are: the report of the 8th Annual Conference of Speakers of African Parliaments (4th-5th August, 2016), the Statutory Committee Sittings of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), and the First Annual Meeting of the Association of Secretaries General of the African Parliaments (ASGAP) from 3rd- 4th August, 2016 under the theme “From Adoption to Ratification of African Union Treaties, in particular the new Protocol of the Pan-African Parliament: What are the advantages for Africa,” held from 28th July to 5th August in Midrand, South Africa.
Tabling the reports, Hon. Samba Jallow, Minority Leader and NAM for Niamina Dankunku noted that the theme was quite apt for the PAP’s vision of providing a common platform for African people and their grassroots organisations to be more involved in discussions, and decision making on the problems and challenges facing the continent.
He revealed that the President of the PAP, Hon. Roger Nkodo-Dang, in addressing members expressed grave concern over the robbery and shooting incident involving four members of the Parliament. He said parliamentarians and PAP by extension were becoming victims of armed attacks, recalling the attack on the wife of the former President of the PAP, Hon. Bethel Amadi.
Jallow further stated that the President of South Africa Jacob Zuma is committed to meeting with PAP very soon, noting that the Department of International Relations and Cooperation had issued a statement underscoring the importance of the safety of members, to South Africa and its Parliament.
“‘In ensuring the safety of our public representatives to fulfill their constitutional mandate, our Parliament will work with the PAP to assess the safety and security of members and address any weaknesses that may exist,’” he quoted President Zuma.
Hon. Jallow said that this working group has since its establishment focused on three main goals: to build gender capacity and input of women into academics, to support networking among women scientists in order to increase their profiles and roles within science academics and, to serve as role models to younger girls so as to encourage their retention in scientific careers.
The Academy hosted by Nairobi, Kenya-Africa Academy of Sciences (AAS), he said is one of five regional offices of the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) garnering opportunities for young scientists. “Launched in 2004, its main objective is to promote the activities of TWAS and its affiliated organisations in the region in terms of training of fellows, issuing of grants and awards and networking amongst TWAS members in Africa.”
He disclosed that the session also witnessed presentation that focused on ratification of Africa Union treaties and the PAP protocol with special emphasis on best practices and progress on parliamentary action and advocacy, trends, challenges and opportunities for Africa; and allaying fears and amplifying potential gains for Africa.
Contributing to the motion, Hon. Kalifa Jammeh, National Assembly Member for Bakau remarked: “As we have seen in the report, out of 54 countries in Africa only 21-member countries that have a consortium of merit-based science academics in Africa. I urge our Assembly to make sure we are also part and parcel of this consortium because our future lies in terms of technology.’’
Hon. Abdou Kolley, National Assembly Member for Kombo South, lamented that Africa is facing huge challenges in tackling corruption thus the need for partnership and appreciation of the efforts of all in fulfilling their mandate as parliamentarians. He welcomes the idea of establishing a National Network of Africa Sciences Academics.
by Aji Fatou Faal-Sonko