The Opposition Chief Whip, Hon. Cecilia Atim-Ogwal has called for a harmonization of national policies and strategies across country borders in order to offer proper solutions to problems affecting the African people.
Ogwal, who was representing the Speaker of Parliament at the opening of the Sixth Ordinary Session of the 3rd Pan African Parliament, said Africa needs to re-assess and re-focus its socio-economic models with a view of building intra-Africa cooperation and collaboration.
“Africa has a lot of potential to offer its own home grown solutions to its problems. The only problem is that the continent’s efforts are fragmented and disjointed within the confines of individual national and regional social, economic and legal regimes and policies,” Hon. Ogwal said.
The Sixth Ordinary Session of the 3rd Parliament is being held at the PAP headquarters in Midrand, South Africa; May 18 – 29, 2015.
Hon. Cecilia Atim-Ogwal (FDC, Dokolo district) was formerly the Leader of Uganda’s delegation to the Pan African Parliament. Uganda’s representatives to PAP are Hon. Onyango Kakoba (NRM, Buikwe North), Hon. Beatrice Barumba (NRM, Kiruhura district), Hon. Jacquiline Amongin (NRM, Ngora district), Hon. Elijah Okupa (FDC, Kasilo) and Hon. Sam Amoti Otada (Ind., Kibanda).
In her presentation, Ogwal added that “PAP as a continental legislative body will no doubt offer a powerful clearing house for harmonizing laws and policies in Africa. This in itself will be an anchor to the unity and stability Africa is yearning for.”
She said that large numbers of youths leaving university have failed to get employment since jobs are not available and planned for; the effects of which are rising social unrest and increasing levels of crime.
Hon. Ogwal also said that Africa has witnessed considerable progress in opening up more space for women in national leadership structures in both Cabinet and Parliament, commending Rwanda and South Africa. She however said that some countries have a “very embarrassing state of affairs” as they have few or no women in Cabinet and Parliament.
“This calls for Africa to collectively re-emphasise the campaign to open up more space for women in leadership. Women can and have been making fundamental contributions to this continent in complimenting efforts of their male counterparts,” said Hon. Ogwal.
She urged PAP members “to be disciples of preaching the gospel of love for the continent and commitment to help one another” exhibited by Uganda’s willingness to help in restoring peace in Somalia and South Sudan.
The Kenyan President, H.E Uhuru Kenyatta, who was the guest of honor at the Opening ceremony, said that he would sign the amended Protocol for the Establishment of the African Economic Community relating to the PAP, making the country only the second after Mali.
He also said that Africa must use its resources to create jobs, remove obstacles and open up borders in order to reduce incidents of insecurity.