coat of arms 600x400  Parliament of Botswana 

 

BACKGROUND

The 49th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Africa Region Conference is expected to bring together about 450 delegates from the 180 Branches. A Branch needs to be a legislative body, at national, state or provincial Parliaments, or Legislatures of dependent territories.

The Presiding Officers of Legislative Chambers are normally the Branch Presidents, while the Leaders of the Parliamentary parties are Vice-Presidents. The Clerk or Secretary-General of the Legislature usually acts as the Secretary of the Branch.

Every Branch is autonomous and the affairs of most Branches are managed by an Executive Committee, elected annually by Members and usually representative of all main parties or groups. Many Branches require their Members to pay an annual subscription and permit Members to apply for associate status on ceasing to belong to the Legislature.

CPA Branches are currently grouped geographically into nine Commonwealth Regions for representation on the CPA Executive Committee and for the organisation of regional conferences and seminars on parliamentary practice and procedure.  The Regions of the CPA are: Africa, Asia, Australia, British Islands and Mediterranean (BIM), Canada, Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic (CAA), India, Pacific, South-East Asia.

CPA Africa Region

CPA Africa Region is part of the CPA International Organisation composed of African countries that were formally under British rule with limited exceptions. Some of these countries are also members of other regional bodies such as Pan African Parliament (PAP), Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Southern Africa Development Community-Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF), East African Legislative Assembly and Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS).

It is an organisation of National Parliaments and Provincial/State/Territorial legislatures of member countries of the Commonwealth on the continent of Africa who, irrespective of gender, race or religion, are committed to:

    Respect for Human Rights and Freedoms and the pursuit of  the ideals of democracy and good governance.

    Building understanding and unity between countries of the Region and the Continent.

    Promoting the interests/perspectives of Africa into the Commonwealth and beyond.

Aims and Objectives

The aims and objectives of the CPA Africa Region are:

  1. to promote the interests/perspectives of Africa into the Commonwealth and beyond;
  1. to promote knowledge and education concerning the Constitutional, legislative, economic, social and cultural systems of member countries in the Region and beyond;

(c)      to promote and maintain gender equality and emancipation of women;

(d)      to promote respect for Human Rights and Freedoms; and

(e)      to pursue the ideals of democracy and good governance.

The CPA Africa Region pursues its aims and objectives by:

  1. arranging Regional Conferences which, as far as possible, are held annually and in such countries as the Annual Conference may determine in response to invitations received from Branches in the Region or otherwise;
  1. arranging study groups, meetings, seminars, conferences, sporting and cultural events on a regional or inter-regional basis;
  2. providing assistance or facilities for the exchange of visits between members of Branches individually or in groups to enable them as parliamentarians to exchange views and inform themselves of matters of common interest within the Region;

(d)    the publication of journals, newsletters, pamphlets, reports of conferences, seminars, discussions and visits and other papers relevant to the aims and objectives of the Region;

  1. maintaining, at the regional Headquarters, information and reports on the activities of the Branches in the Region such as branch membership, Annual Conferences, meetings and any other parliamentary activities and disseminating the same to the Headquarters Secretariat of the Association, other Regional Secretariats and Branches within the Region;
  1. inviting, at its discretion and on such conditions as it may decide, other organizations or persons to address it or participate in any of its activities; and
  1. undertaking such projects as may enhance the realization of the aims and objectives of the region and for this purpose to raise necessary finances for the implementation of the same.

Membership

Membership of the CPA Africa Region is open to a National Parliament, Provincial, State or territorial Legislature of a member country that constitutes itself as such by resolution and to all registered and current Branches of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in the Region. The CPA African region comprises of 18 member states namely Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

The objective of this regional Conference is to share ideas and experiences on democracy and good governance. The conference will also consider agenda items to be considered of the International Conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. Conferences of this nature are critical for fostering closer Regional interaction among members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

Botswana last hosted the regional Conference in 1990 hence the appeal extended to Botswana to host the CPA Africa Region Conferences and Meetings.

Hosting the Conference in Botswana would promote and advertise the country given its ambience and tourist offerings. This is in line with Botswana Government’s key strategic goal of promoting tourism to stimulate growth and create employment by continuing to generate an enabling environment for tourism businesses. The aforesaid is reinforced by the fact that Botswana was voted the best destination country to visit in 2016 by Lonely Planet Publication, a global travel and tourism publication.

Furthermore this would boost the local businesses as delegates would be paying for their accommodation, meals, transportation and entertainment. Usage of Air transportation to Botswana by delegates would also boost our economy. Some delegates would also buy some souvenirs to take back home thus promoting Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs).

Botswana will host the 49th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association African Region Conference at Gaborone International Conference Centre (GICC) in Gaborone from 13th to 22nd August, 2018.