Rwanda: African C’wealth parliamentary body meets

(The New Times)Africa’s position in the Commonwealth and the progress made by its parliamentarians were on the agenda yesterday as the top organ of the Africa Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) convened, at the Senate Chambers in Kimihurura, Kigali. An official said the meeting of the Executive Committee of CPA Africa is one that approves all matters discussed at the annual general meeting, scheduled for Thursday. Before the session, Saidi Yakubu, the Clerk Assistant in Tanzania’s Parliament, told The New Times that: “What is being tabled here, are the administrative issues pertaining to the association; finances, women affairs, the progress that Commonwealth parliamentarians made, Africa’s position in the Commonwealth world, and other issues. And also, today there is a special agenda discussing Rwanda’s membership to the club”. Rwanda has already joined CPA International, but there are formalities to comply to join the Africa region. In a short interview during a break, South Africa’s Mninwa Mahlangu, the Chairperson of the Executive Committee, said that in July, there will be elections for the Chairperson of the wider Commonwealth group of nations. He said that the elections will take place in London, adding that the African caucus already has three candidates. “We have three candidates who will be participating, and it is for the people to see which candidate they would like to vote for”. “It is important because we need a chairperson that is international, who is in charge of all the regions. It is an important issue not only for Africa, but for all the regions that are in the club,” Mahlangu said. The Executive Committee of the CPA Africa region has a total of 45 members drawn from 18 countries. These would soon be 19 when Rwanda officially joins. The ongoing 42nd annual conference will officially welcome the Rwandan Parliament into the association. Rwanda is hosting its first Africa CPA annual conference since it joined the Commonwealth group of nations in 2009.

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