Speaker Muturi roots for credible elections and peaceful transitions in Africa
KIGALI, RWANDA, 24th November:-The Speaker of the National Assembly of Kenya, Hon. Justin Muturi has urged Speakers and Presiding Officers across Africa to insist on free, fair and credible elections in the upcoming electoral polls in several countries across Africa including Kenya.
“Speakers and Presiding Officers should ensure peaceful transitions”, he said noting that future generations will remember them for these democratic principles.
Speaker Muturi made these remarks at the Conference of Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers (CSPOC) Africa region being held in Kigali, Rwanda.
The Guest of Honour during the official opening of the three-day conference was the President of the Republic of Rwanda His Excellency Paul Kagame. Also present were: the President of the Senate of Rwanda Rt. Hon. Dr. Augustine Lyamuremye, the Speaker Chamber of Deputies Parliament of Rwanda Rt. Hon. Dontille Mukabalisa, President designate of CPA Africa Region and Speaker of Sierra Leone Rt. Hon. Dr. Abbas Bundu among other dignitaries from across Africa.
Making his keynote address at the conference, President Kagame acknowledged that Covid-19 pandemic has exposed Africa's vulnerabilities and reversed some of the gains she had made. He called upon the African continent to work together to get back on track with a sense of urgency. He further called on legislatures across Africa to remain in the forefront of building Africa's resilience against mainly health but also other threats.
"I advise all national Parliaments to ratify the African Medicines Agency Treaty, which has now entered into force. This is a landmark agreement that will help ensure that vaccines and medications in Africa are both high-quality and locally produced", urged President Kagame.
The conference brings together Speakers and Presiding Officers of National Parliaments of Independent Sovereign States of the Commonwealth.
The aim of CSPOC is to maintain, foster and encourage impartiality and fairness on the part of Speakers and Presiding Officers, promote knowledge and understanding of Parliamentary democracy and develop Parliamentary institutions.
The face to face interaction of Speakers and Presiding Officers comes after the easing of Covid-19 restrictions on physical gatherings and travel.
While noting that the pandemic had battered African economies, Speaker Muturi said, “it had presented an opportunity for a rethink of the role and place of Africa in the global arena”. He cited building resilience from within as key to insulating African countries from external shocks and disruptions.
Speaker Muturi who serves as the Chairperson of the CPA African Region Executive Committee expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve saying he had built lasting networks with Parliamentary leadership across the continent and globally.
Accompanying the Speaker for this conference was Clerk of the National Assembly Mr. Michael Sialai.