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NA Delegation Returns From Tanzania, South Africa

Oct 16, 2009, 5:05 AM

The Hon. Speaker of the National Assembly, Mrs. Elizabeth F. Y. Renner accompanied by Hon. Haddy Nyang-Jagne, Member for Jeshwang Constituency, Hon. Foday Jibani Manka, Member for Janjangbureh Constituency, Hon. Babanding K.K. Daffeh, Member for Kiang Central and Mr. Momodou A. Sise, Deputy Clerk from 28th September to 6th October 2009, attended the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPA) in Arusha, Tanzania The Hon.

The Speaker in her capacity as Executive Member of the Finance Sub-Committee delved into various components of 2008 report: Audited Accounts and Balance sheet for the year ended 31st December, 2008, Budgets, Projections for 2009-2011 and Financial Reports of the CPA.

Officially opening the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference, under the theme "The Commonwealth and the CPA: Meeting Future Global Challenges," which was attended by over 1200 delegates, the President of the Unity Republic of Tanzania, Mr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, warned that negative climate change is putting the earth at risk, and urged developed nations to take the responsibility of addressing the situation since they are the big polluters.

He warned that "prosperity of nations was at risk and livelihoods of people were in danger of experiencing reversals of their fortunes".

He challenged members of the Commonwealth to find ways of making the organisation stronger and effective in the face of the current global challenges.

Earlier on, in his welcoming remarks, the Speaker of the National Assembly of Tanzania and 2009 President of the CPA, Hon. Samuel Sitta, said that the conference was held in the face of major global challenges, namely climate change, global food and financial crisis and poverty.

Delegates to the 55th CPA deliberated on major challenges facing the world.

 Discussions took the form of workshops and ignited heated debates because most of the topics are currently topping various national agenda.

The topics ranged from "Coalition Governments: Parliamentary Democracy in Dilemma; Policy Responses to the Global Financial Crisis; The Role of Parliament in combating Terrorism; to the Role of Parliament in Shaping Information Society.

Elizabeth F.Y Renner seized the opportunity to showcase The Gambia's best practices in this area, pointing out that The Gambia was one of the only four countries in Africa that can boast of a Ministry of ICT, thus demonstrating government's commitment to make The Gambia an informed society.

The conference also held 2 Plenaries: the first plenary was for statements by the CPA Secretary-General and the Commonwealth Secretary-General, followed by a question and answer session.

The second plenary was centred on the topic "Can Trade Liberalisation Benefit the Commonwealth in the Current Economic Climate?"

At the end of the CPA conference, the Hon. Speaker accompanied by the Deputy Clerk proceeded to Johannesburg, South Africa, to attend a two-day Pan African Parliament (PAP) Speakers Conference under the theme: "Linking the Pan-African Parliament with National Parliaments," held from 8th to 9th October, 2009.

The Speakers Conference specifically provided the PAP an opportunity to create a framework for domestication of AU decisions and policies; disseminate information of the work of Pan-African Parliament and decisions of the African Union; disseminate information on the E-Parliament and the African Parliament knowledge Network-APKN.