Presiding officers representing parliaments from different countries on the African continent met for the seventh annual conference of speakers of African parliaments organised by the Pan African Parliament (PAP). The conference took place at the Headquarters of PAP in Midrand, South Africa from the 6 to 7 August 2015. The presiding officers were also joined by parliamentarians who represent their respective national parliaments at PAP. The two day conference convened under the theme “2015 The Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063”. In his welcoming remarks, the President of PAP, H.E Honourable Roger NKODO DANG informed delegates that the Speakers’ conference is an initiative of PAP aimed at creating “a platform for dialogue and collaboration between the PAP and Parliaments of member states of the African Union”. Hon. NKODO DANG further stated that the Speakers’ conference is a forum were national parliaments are sensitise about AU legal instruments, programs and policies.
With regards to the theme of the conference, the PAP President urged the presiding officers and delegates to give women “equal opportunity and platform like their men folks, to realise their legitimate aspirations”. Before concluding his remarks the presiding officer of the continental body took advantage of the gathering attended by so many speakers from different countries to remind them of the struggle PAP is facing in gaining the required number of ratifications of the revised protocol that will transform PAP into a parliament with enhanced legislative role. In this regard the PAP President pleaded with the presiding officers in attendance to advocate for the speedy ratification of the revised PAP protocol by their respective national parliaments.
The Parliament of Namibia was represented by the Chairperson of the National Council, Honourable Asser Kuveri Kapere who led a delegation consisting of other five Members who are also Namibia representatives at PAP, namely Hon. Loide Kasingo, Deputy-Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Evelyn Nawases-Tayele, Hon. McHenry Venaani, Hon. Laura Mcleod-Katjirua and Hon. Bernard Sibalatani. Staff members who accompanied the delegation are Mr Himuvi Mbingeneeko, Special Assistant to the Chairperson; Mr Pietie Husselmann, Director of Legal Services at National Assembly; Mr Benedict Likando, Principal Legal Officer at National Council; and Ms Annalisa Meroro, Senior Parliamentary Clerk at National Assembly.