A consultative meeting of the PAP East African Regional Caucus to sensitise countries on the ratification of the Malabo Protocol is to kick off in Kenya. File picture: @AfrikParliament/Twitter.

Johannesburg – A four-day consultative meeting of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) East African Regional Caucus to sensitise East African countries on the ratification of the revised PAP Protocol, also known as the Malabo Protocol, is to kick off in Kenya, Nairobi on Monday.

The theme of the meeting is: Building regional consensus on AU legal instruments and promoting the ratification of the protocol to the constitutive act of PAP: engaging civil society organisations in the promotion of AU legal instruments.

The Malabo Protocol is intended to extend the powers of the PAP into a fully-fledged legislative organ. It requires a minimum of 28 countries to ratify it before it comes into force. To date, 12 countries have ratified.

One of the main issues to be addressed during the meeting is the slow pace at which member states move in respect of ratification and domestication of African Union (AU) legal instruments so participants will call on stakeholders to expedite the process through engagement with civil society organisations. 

PAP is one of the nine organs of the AU with the mandate to promote economic and social integration through making laws.

As it stands, its mandate extends to consultation and playing an advisory and oversight role for all AU organs pending the ratification of its protocol.

The Malabo Protocol was adopted at the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government meeting in June 2014. The ratification journey has three steps: the signing, ratification and depositing of instruments at the African Union Commission. 

Out of the 13 East African countries, only Somalia and Madagascar have signed, ratified and deposited their instruments at the African Union Commission. Comoros and Djibouti have only signed but are yet to complete the process.

African News Agency (ANA)