Threats to national and regional security is the focus for Commonwealth Parliamentarians at the 49th CPA Africa Regional Conference in Botswana

For immediate release, 21 August 2018
Commonwealth Parliamentarians from across Africa have discussed the increasing threats to national and regional security at the 49th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Africa Region Conference held in Gaborone, Botswana from 13 to 22 August 2018. The CPA Africa Regional Conference was hosted by Hon. Gladys K. T. Kokorwe, MP, Speaker of the National Assembly of Botswana and President of the CPA Africa Region, who welcomed Commonwealth Parliamentarians from across the Africa continent. The CPA Africa President said that she wished to reach out to the CPA Africa Region and to strive to achieve the Africa Agenda 2063 especially through education and awareness campaigns.

The CPA Africa Regional Conference was officially opened by the Vice-President of the Republic of Botswana, Mr Slumber Tsogwane who said: “An effective Parliament is an important element of a vibrant democracy and good governance, all of which are desired principles of the Commonwealth as enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter. It is the principle of the CPA that stronger parliaments mean stronger democracies, and greater capacity to deliver the benefits that people expect: such as employment opportunities, empowerment of women, food security, health care, education, rural development, a brighter future for children and protection of the environment.”

The opening ceremony heard speeches delivered by the Chairperson of the CPA Africa Region, Hon. Lindiwe M. Maseko, MP (South Africa); and the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Africa Region, Hon. Angela Thoko Didiza, MP (South Africa). The Chairperson of the CPA International Executive Committee, Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, MP (Cameroon) gave an address at the opening ceremony of the 49th CPA Africa Regional Conference on behalf of the wider CPA membership when she updated the membership on the work of the CPA Headquarters and ongoing CPA programmes. The CPA International Vice-President, Rt Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, MP, Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda also attended the CPA Africa Regional Conference and highlighted the Uganda Parliament’s hosting of the forthcoming Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in 2019.

The CPA Africa Regional Conference was held under the main theme of: ‘The role of African Parliaments in fostering national and regional security’. Conference workshops were held on several themes and topics including:
• A parliamentary agenda for combating human trafficking and modern-day slavery in Africa and the promotion of  human rights (gender topic)
• Understanding the nexus between climate change and the incidence of farmers/herdsmen conflicts in Africa (social, health, education and environment topic)
• A legislative framework for the regulation of vigilante groups, private security and military companies in Africa (political topic)
• Food security and sustainable growth: the role of the agricultural revolution in triggering economic development in Africa (economic topic)

Conference delegates also heard the resolutions of the Fourth CPA Africa Region Youth Parliament, presented by youth delegates, which had been held in April 2018 in Uganda under the theme ‘Securing a better future for Africa: Role of the youth’.
The CPA Africa Regional Conference included a number of events and meetings including:
• Meetings of the CPA Africa Regional Executive Committee
• Meetings of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Steering Committee chaired by the CWP Africa Regional Chair, Hon. Angela Thoko Didiza, MP (South Africa)
• The Society-of-the-Clerks-at-the-Table (SoCATT) Africa Regional Steering Committee meetings chaired by Adv. Eric Phindela, Chairperson of SoCATT Africa Region.

The CPA Africa Regional Conference was held at the Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC) and was organised by the CPA Africa Regional Secretariat and CPA Botswana Branch.