By Raphael Oni
His ExcellencyNana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, , President of the Republic of Ghana will be the Guest of honour and keynote speaker at the opening ceremony of the fourth Ordinary Session of the fifth Parliament of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP). The ceremony is scheduled to take place on 24 May 2021 at the PAP precincts in Midrand, South Africa.
President AKUFO-ADDO Will address African Parliamentarians as they gather to engage on the African Union (AU) theme for 2021: “Year of the Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want.” You will recall that in 2019, Ghana marked 400 years since the first enslaved Africans reached America. It was also the year Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo, invited all people of African descent to return to the continent to rethink their identity and reclaim their roots.
Hon. Chief Fortune CHARUMBIRA, Acting President of the PAP has described H.E. Akufo-Addo as a fervent Pan Africanist, whose presence at the upcoming ordinary session will reafirm the strategic importance of the PAP as one of the essential pillars to achieve the objectives of the AU. In his words, “President Akufo-Addo’s initiative to reconnect African Americans to the continent was poignant and it is a continuation of Ghana’s history of a Pan-African movement which is central to the progress of Africa and Black people in general. His presence at the next ordinary session, as we commemorate Africa’s culture and heritage, is Ttting. We look torward to his message on unity for the social, economic and political progress of the continent as well as the importance of the continent growing together, charting and redefining its own way,”.
In a press statement made available to the media from the office of Jeffrey Onganga, the Media Officer, Pan-African Parliament stated that at least 120 new delegates from different countries will be sworn in as Members of the PAP following elections in a number of African States and rotation within delegations.
The Statement further revealed that the Clerk of Parliament, Mr. Vipya HARAWA says this will be a unique session as it ushers in new leadership. The term of the Bureau of the fifth Parliament will come to an end in May 2021. As a result election of the new Members of the Bureau of the PAP will take place on 31 May 2021 on the side-lines of the Session. The leadership of other structures of the Parliament, including Permanent Committees and regional and thematic caucuses will also be renewed.
His Excellency Olusegun OBASANJO, former President of Federal Republic of Nigeria is also expected to deliver a message of solidarity during the opening ceremony. The opening event will further be addressed by H.E. Naledi PANDOR, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) of the Republic of South Africa and host of the PAP.