Pan African Parliament President in Ghana

The President of the Pan African Parliament, Dr. Gertrude Mongella, on Monday said there was the need to move the continental body from its current advisory role to a legislative body to speed up the development of Africa through common laws. She said the Pan African Parliament, as it stood now, had only advisory responsibilities but could not continue with that role since the body needed legislative functions and powers to harmonise national laws across the continent by giving legal backing to decisions taken by African Heads of State, as Africa prepared to have a united continent just like the European Union.

Dr. Mongella, who was speaking during a courtesy call on the First Deputy Speaker, Mr Freddie Blay in Accra praised Ghana for entrenching democracy, saying the country was a "big brother" in democracy. She expressed the hope that Ghana would maintain its lead in ensuring a peaceful 2008 general elections.

Mr Blay, on his part, touched on the need to harmonise national laws across Africa to ensure free trade and common ties in various areas of cooperation to push the development of the continent forward. Alhaji Alhasan Malik Yakubu, Second Deputy Speaker, who is also a member of the Pan African Parliament, said a strong continental parliament was needed to deal with conflicts and bad governance across the continent.

He praised Dr. Mongella for pushing hard to make the Pan African Parliament meet its desired target of becoming a body with legislative powers to entrench democracy across Africa. Dr. Mongella is expected to call on African Union Chairmn, President John Agyekum Kufuor to brief him on developments within the organisation.


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