The Africa Colloquium
The Africa Colloquium of Legal Counsel to Parliaments is an event held once in every two years and aims at bringing together, Legal Counsel working in Parliaments in Africa for the purpose of networking, sharing information, capacity building and more importantly, work towards the implementation of the Nairobi Principles which were developed and adopted during the First Colloquium of Legal Counsel to Parliaments in Africa.
The First Africa Colloquium of Legal Counsel to Parliaments was held on 31st October, 2011 in Nairobi, Kenya. It was the first forum ever in Africa to bring together Legal Counsel Serving in Parliaments in Africa and it is an event that is now held once in every two years.
The overall purpose of the Africa Colloquium is networking and sharing of information amongst Legal Counsel serving in Parliaments across Africa.
The objectives of the Colloquium are the –
1. Interaction, networking and inter-linkage between Legal Counsel serving the Parliaments of different jurisdictions in Africa.
2. Examination and enhancement of the functions and roles of Legal Counsel serving in the Parliaments of Africa;
3. Examination of the functional inter-linkages of Legal Counsel and other officers serving in Parliaments, the other arms of Government, the legal fraternity and the public;
4. Sharing of modern trends and best-practices in the provision of legal services to Parliaments;
5. Examination of contemporary legal and parliamentary issues and questions;
6. Promotion of the work of Legal Counsel;
7. Promotion of capacity building of Legal Counsel serving in Parliament; and
8. The networking and co-operation with Associations with similar objectives.
Patron to the Africa Colloquium
The delegates to the 2nd Africa Colloquium of Legal Counsel to Parliaments resolved that the Clerk of the Senate of the Republic of Kenya would be the Patron of the Africa Colloquium of Legal Counsel.
The Council to the Colloquium
The administrative structure of the Africa Colloquium shall consist of a Council to the Colloquium consisting of a Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer who shall be elected from amongst the members representing the following regional blocks: –
(a) Western Africa;
(b) Northern Africa;
(c) Central Africa;
(d) Eastern Africa; and
(e) Southern Africa.
It is anticipated that the elections of the members to the Council shall be held during the 3rd Africa Colloquium of Legal Counsel to Parliaments.
The functions of the Council shall include–
(a) Providing policy oversight and direction to the Secretariat;
(b) Strategic planning for the Colloquium including Colloquium venue, program, costs, etc;
(c) Coordinating the implementation of the objectives of the Colloquium;
(d) Keeping Members regularly updated on Colloquium matters; and
(e) Liaising with partners for resource mobilization.
The Steering Committee
Council to the Colloquium
During the Third Colloquium held in October, 2015 in Mombasa, Kenya, The colloquium elected the following members to serve in the Council to the Colloquium -
(a) Mr. Pius Perry Biribonwoha– President
(b) Ms. Cecilia Sikatele- Southern Region Representative
(c) Mr. Mustapha Zitouni- Northern Region Representative
(d) Mr. Clement M. Phebe- Regional Parliaments Representative
(e) Mr. Williams Jonathan- Western Region Representatives
(f) Ms. Sylvie Mokuba- Central Region Representative
(g) Ms. Lucy Waweru- Eastern Region Representative
The Council is required to spearhead the Colloquium prior to the next elections.
During the 2nd Africa Colloquium of Legal Counsel, it was resolved that the Secretariat would comprise of the following officers of the Parliament of Kenya –
(a) The head of the Secretariat (a Legal Counsel);
(b) Finance Officer;
(c) Public Communications/Protocol Officer;
(d) Media Relations Officer;
(e) ICT Officer; and
(f) such other officers as may be required.
The Secretariat shall be responsible to the Council for-
(a) Implementation of the decisions of the Council;
(b) Planning and logistics for the Colloquium meetings; and
(c) Communication with Members to the Colloquium.
Membership to be open to all Legal Counsel serving in the Legal Offices of the Parliaments in Africa at the national, sub-national and regional level and who are over the age of eighteen years.
Parliaments represented at the Africa Colloquium
The Parliaments that have been represented at the Inaugural, Second and Third Africa Colloquium of Legal Counsel are as follows:
(5)Democratic Republic of Congo
(19)Tanzania –The Parliament of Zanzibar;
(3)Pan African Parliament
(c)Sub-national Parliaments in South Africa
(2)Free State Provincial Legislature
(3)Guateng Provincial legislature
(d)County Assemblies in Kenya
(1)Bungoma County Assembly
(2)Busia County Assembly
(3)Elgeyo Marakwet County Assembly
(4)Kajiado County Assembly
(5)Kakamega County Assembly
(6)Kericho County Assembly
(7)Kisii County Assembly
(8)Kisumu County Assembly
(9)Kwale County Assembly
(10)Laikipia County Assembly
(11)Machakos County Assembly
(12)Machakos County Assembly
(13)Makueni County Assembly
(14)Mombasa County Assembly
(15)Nairobi County Assembly
(16)Nakuru County Assembly
(17)Samburu County Assembly
(18)Siaya County Assembly
(19)Tana River County Assembly
(20)Tharaka Nithi County Assembly
(21)Turkana County Assembly
(22)Vihiga County Assembly
(23)Wajir County Assembly
(24)West Pokot County Assembly
Inaugural Africa Colloquium of Legal Counsel to Parliaments
The Inaugural Africa Colloquium of Legal Counsel to Parliaments was held between 27th and 31st October, 2011 in Nairobi, Kenya. It was the first ever opportunity for Legal Counsel serving in various Parliaments in Africa to network, share from each other's experiences and learn from best practice regarding the manner in which challenges that Legal Counsel face can be overcome. The delegates were able to deliberate on, and adopt the Nairobi Principles which would guide Legal Counsel in carrying out their duties in their respective Parliaments.
The inaugural colloquium was attended by thirty-six delegates consisting of Legal Counsel serving in Parliaments in the following countries and regional organization –
Angola; Botswana; Kenya; Ghana; Rwanda; Seychelles; South Africa; Tanzania; Uganda; Zambia; and the East Africa Legislative Assembly.
Key Output of the Inaugural Africa Colloquium
The delegates to the inaugural Colloquium adopted the Nairobi Principles which were identified as key in enhancing service delivery, promoting the advancement of knowledge and sharing of information and addressing the issues affecting Legal Counsel serving in Parliaments in Africa.
The delegates resolved to adopt these principles in their respective Parliaments. It is anticipated that the full adoption of these principles would enhance the delivery of legal services by the Legal Counsel serving in the various Parliaments in Africa and facilitate the creation of a knowledge base on legal services in Parliament.
The Second Africa Colloquium of Legal Counsel to Parliaments
The Second Africa Colloquium of Legal Counsel to Parliaments was held between 3rd and 7th November, 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya. The Second Africa Colloquium of Legal Counsel to Parliaments was held with the aim of reviewing the progress made by the various Parliaments in implementing the Nairobi Principles.
Objectives of the Second Colloquium
The objectives of the Second Colloquium were to review the implementation of the Nairobi Principles two years after their adoption and to provide a forum to discuss various contemporary legal and Parliamentary issues.
Key Output of the Second Colloquium
The Second Colloquium saw the delegates pass a number of resolutions. In particular, the delegates resolved that –
(a) The Colloquium be registered as a society in the country of the headquarters;
(b) Colloquium rules/protocol/constitution be developed by the Council and the Secretariat within one year and adopted at the next Colloquium;
(c) That membership be open to all legal counsel serving in legal offices of the Parliaments in Africa at the national, sub-national and regional level;
(d) An administrative structure be set up consisting of a council made up of representatives the Northern, Western, Southern, Central and Eastern Regions of Africa who are to be elected by the delegates to the Colloquium and a secretariat to be located in Nairobi;
(e) Mr. J.M. Nyegenye, the Clerk of the Senate of the Republic of Kenya to be the Patron of the Colloquium;
(f) The meetings of the Colloquium to be held once in every two years; and
(g) The venue of the Africa Colloquium to be determined by the Council on a rotational basis.
The Second Colloquium saw the delegates elect its members to the Steering Committee which would serve during the interim period pending the election of members to the Council proposed to be conducted during the Third Africa Colloquium of Legal Counsel to Parliaments.
First Meeting of the Steering Committee
The inaugural meeting of the Steering Committee was held between 25th and 26th September, 2014 in Nairobi, Kenya. The meeting was primarily intended to bring the members of the Steering Committee together for the purpose of planning for the 3rd Africa Colloquium and in particular, to provide a forum for the –
(a) Determination of the venue of the 3rd Colloquium and the modalities relating to the administrative costs of the Colloquium;
(b) Implementation of the Resolutions passed by the Delegates during the 2nd Colloquium including –
(a) The registration of the colloquium; and
(b) The setting up of a website for the Colloquium and other tools of communication.
The Meeting passed a number of resolutions key being the hosting of the 3rd Africa Colloquium of Legal Counsel to Parliaments which is scheduled to be held in Kenya between 27th and 30th October, 2015 and the preparation of a work-plan of activities for the implementation of the resolutions passed by the delegates during the 2nd Africa Colloquium and geared towards the planning for the 3nd Africa Colloquium.
The Third Africa Colloquium of Legal Counsel to Parliaments
Third Colloquium was held from 28th to 30th October, 2015 in Mombasa, Kenya. The theme of the third colloquium was "the Changing Roles of Legal Counsel Serving in Parliaments".
Key Output of the Third Colloquium
During the Third Colloquium, the delegates made a number of resolutions and agreed as follows -
(a) There was need to give the Nairobi Principles a binding force and this could be done through the codification of these rules into an African Charter;
(b) The Colloquium should invite and incorporate other stakeholders in the legal world to participate and make presentations at the colloquia;
(c) a representative from the judiciary be present to continue the dialogue between the legislatures and the judiciary; and
(d) delegates make proposals for the amendment of the proposed draft Constitution.