BLANTYRE-— President of the Republic of Malawi, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika on Wednesday, described the Pan-African Parliament as crucial because it brings together 55 African countries to advance economic integration, youth and women empowerment, peace, and unity, among other benefits.
Speaking in a press conference on arrival at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe, President Mutharika said the 4th Ordinary Session of the Pan-African Parliament, held in South Africa, also aims to improve and give the Pan-Africa Parliament, enhanced powers to ensure the full participation of African peoples in development and economic integration of the continent.
In his opening speech at of the 4th ordinary session of the Pan-African Parliament on Monday, Mutharika called upon African leaders to strive for unity on the continent.
“Our national boundaries should never be an excuse for division. I have used the word excuse, because excuses are not reasons anyway. From the 1890 Heligoland Treaty to the 1964 Resolution on Border Disputes among African States by the OAU, there has never been a reason for disrespecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of nations. Africa did not come to be what it is by mistake. It is then wise to remember that we co-exist peacefully, because our forefathers who founded the countries we govern today, valued unity in spite of our boundaries.”
African Union Member states are represented at the Pan-African Parliament by five parliamentarians from each country. During the gathering, the Pan African Parliament inducted Malawi’s First Lady Madame Dr. Gertrude Mutharika, Ambassador of Goodwill to the Parliament.
Accepting the role of Goodwill Ambassador, Dr. Mutharika pledged to continue supporting efforts to reduce illiteracy amongst women, and improve girl child education. She also pledged her support to advocacy on the environment.
She also pledged to prioritise girl child education and women empowerment.
“As PAP goodwill ambassador, I will come up with a number of programmes aimed at empowering women, protecting the rights of children in Africa, and protecting the environment,” she said.