The Pan-African Parliament
In conversation with Clement Mavungu
The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) is a legislative body of the African Union. It was set out to ensure the full participation of African people in the economic development and integration of the African continent. The PAP is based in Midrand, South Africa and was inaugurated on 18 March 2004. The PAP provides a regional platform for Africans and respective civil society organisations to have a greater impact on the decisions affecting the continent.
To this effect, the Democracy and Civic Engagement Unit of the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, works extensively with the PAP. The Centre a partnership with the PAP through a Memorandum of Understanding, signed in October 2017. Key among the objectives of this partnership is facilitating capacity building on human rights and democratisation in Africa, increasing the visibility of PAP and fostering a strong interaction between the PAP and civil society organisations (CSOs) on the continent. The Democracy and Civil Engagement Unit ensures that civil society can engage with the PAP, contribute to its policies, and chart new directions for governance on the continent. To achieve its mission, Unit, in May 2019, met with CSOs from across Africa and established a forum that ensures effective and sustainable engagement with the PAP. This body, the CSO Forum, gives support to new or small organisations engaging with the PAP, and also assists the PAP in its outreach and advocacy campaigns, such as for the ratification, domestication and implementation of the AU legal instruments, particularly the new PAP Protocol. The Centre, through the Democracy and Civic Engagement Unit, manages the CSO Forum, whose members meet in Pretoria, South Africa twice a year to foster closer collaboration between CSOs on PAP-related issues, to advance and promoting the mandate of the continental Parliament.
In this episode, Mr Clement Mavungu, legal clerk of the PAP, discusses at length the functions of the Pan-African Parliament and how the work of the PAP enhances and protects the human rights of African citizens through the CSO Forum. Mr Mavungu is an international lawyer from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and currently serves as the Legal Counsel of the PAP. He is also an alumnus of the Master’s programme in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa. He has worked as the Coordinator of the FIDH Programme on the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights. He has also worked as a Senior Advocacy Officer for the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation. Mr Mavungu has experience working as a Policy and Research Manager at the Human Rights Institute of South Africa. Previously, he was a Legal Adviser at the ICJ Africa Regional Programme, where he led international and regional advocacy and litigation, built the capacity of African judges, lawyers and prosecutors, coordinated research and responses to judicial crises and supported human rights defenders and victims to access remedies for rights violations. He has published and presented papers on a wide range of human rights issues, including transitional justice, the African human rights system, judicial independence and reform, parliamentary law and practice and he effectively advocated and litigated before the United Nations and African human rights bodies. Mr Mavungu has extensive experience in undertaking comprehensive and comparative multi-disciplinary research in legal, political and policy issues, and is well versed with effective advocacy and litigation before the African human rights system.
This conversation was recorded on 20 August 2020.
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