Regional CPA Africa Heads Meet over Constitutional Reforms
The sub-regional representatives of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Africa Region, are currently meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in an Executive Committee meeting held in a bid to capture the intent of the resolutions of the 49th CPA Africa Annual General Meeting, held in Gaborone, Botswana in August 2018. Key among their focus areas is the review of Article 46 of the CPA Africa Region, Constitution which provides for equity and balance in the distribution of the Offices of the Association among the sub-regions.
The Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Justin Muturi who is also the Chairperson of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (Africa Region), has reiterated his commitment to the proposed constitutional reforms of the branch constitution, when he chaired the Special Executive Committee meeting, held at Ledger Plaza Bahari Beach Hotel, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, this morning. “We look forward to making a presentation on the proposed amendments during the next annual general meeting for adoption,” Speaker Muturi noted.
He further submitted that the proposed reforms would offer an opportunity to all members to participate in the growth and development of the association. The meeting is the first that Speaker Muturi is chairing, since his election to the esteemed position of the Chairperson, the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Africa Region, in August 2018, during the last annual general meeting.
The constitutional reforms process is geared towards effecting consequential changes such as rotation of top leadership positions within the Africa Region and gender representation, which is crucial for the improvement of the governance structure and operational efficiency of the Association.
Delegates to the meeting who include the host Speaker, Hon. Zubeir Ali Maulid, (the Speaker of Zanzibar House of Representatives, representing the Speaker of the National Assembly of Tanzania, Hon. Job Ndugai) and the Chairperson of Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians, Africa Region, Hon. Thoko Didiza, also deliberated on gender representation in the leadership of the Association. The meeting will also review the supplementary budget to finance CPA activities for the Financial Year 2019.
The meeting takes place just two weeks after over 40 House Speakers and Members of Parliament congregated in London, United Kingdom, for the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meeting to discuss governance issues, in a forum that also saw the launch of the updated CPA Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures at the United Kingdom Houses of Parliament.
Accompanying the Speaker to the meeting are Hon. Muriuki Njagagua (CPA Kenya Branch Representative),and Hon.(Dr) Makali Mulu (Regional Representative of CPA) and the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr. Michael Sialai, who is also the Deputy Chairperson of Society of Clerks at the Table (SOCATT) in the African Region.
The Constitution of the CPA vests in an Executive Committee, to which Speaker Muturi was elected to chair, the control and management of the activities and business of the Association thereof. The Executive Committee meets just prior to, and just after, a General Assembly of the Association, to which it reports to.
The CPA was founded in 1911 and it brings Parliamentarians and Parliamentary staff together to exchange ideas among themselves and with experts in various fields, to identify benchmarks of good practices and new policy options they can adopt or adapt in the governance of their societies.
The CPA Africa Region is one of the nine (9) regional associations of the CPA International. The CPA Africa Region is made up of National Parliaments and Provincial/State/Territorial Legislatures of member countries of the Commonwealth in Africa who irrespective of gender, race, and religion are committed to. The Association is composed of over 180 Branches drawn from legislatures in Commonwealth countries which subscribe to parliamentary democracy.