The 12th Conference of Presidents of Assemblies and Sections of the African Region of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophone countries has kicked off in Kigali to discuss the role of lawmakers in COVID-19 recovery and implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AcFTA).
The conference, being held in Kigali, 25-28 May 2021 was officially opened by Speaker of Rwanda Parliament Chamber of Deputies, Donatille Mukabalisa.
It is an opportunity to discuss the political, social and health situation in the French speaking countries. Mukabalisa said that the choice of topics for this year is inspired by a large measure of current events in the world and the socio-political and health challenges Africa is facing.
“Our continent has huge potential that can contribute to this revival. It just depends on us, as the African people, to safeguard our dignity, to strengthen our solidarity based on the common ambition to advance our countries, continent and the people that we have the privilege of representing,” Mukabalisa said.
She further said that along the same lines, as proof of the involvement of Parliamentarians in the maintenance of peace and democracy, they will have the opportunity to learn more about the work of the Inter-parliamentary committee of the G5 Sahel region-especially the political issues such as seen in Mali.
As part of the preparation for the 28th Regional Assembly Africa this year, the lawmakers will also take time to discuss the African Continental Free Trade Area (AcFTA) as a springboard for the development and integration.
They will discuss the place and role of women in the political, economic and social development.
Mukabalisa called for cooperation, consultation, dialogue and exchange of experiences as essential for good governance and sustainable economic development that takes into account Africa’s realities and needs.
“It therefore comes back to us as parliamentarians, to ensure that our resources and finances are managed in a way that contributes to the socio-economic transformation that we want,” she said.
Mukabalisa also stressed the need to focus on the role of women in achieving post COVID-19 social economic recovery and to learn from Rwanda’s experience of women empowerment of putting in place all legal mechanisms and institutional structure guaranteeing gender equity.
Faustin Boukoubi, the chairperson of the African Region of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie said this reunion is timely for African parliaments to discuss strategies of addressing current issues affecting the continent.
“The socio-political and security crisis on our continent are at the heart of world news and this calls for the African Parliamentary community to have a sustained and special attention to, in the name of the protection of human life and of the safeguarding peace in Africa,” Boukoubi said.