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Legislators from 18 African countries to meet in Nairobi

06 August 2015, 09:12 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – African parliamentarians, Speakers of Parliament and parliamentary officials from 18 countries are set to meet in Nairobi for a one-week conference to seek solutions into problems of terrorism and women representation in leadership.

The 46th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) conference to commence on August 9 to August 15 will be opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta where about 400 delegates are expected to look into African Parliament’s role in tackling terrorism menace and gender rule.

Kenya, which has suffered from the brunt of Al Shabaab terror attacks has been nominated to spearhead the conference discussion on terrorism, seconded by Nigeria which has also experienced attacks from Boko Haram terrorists.

National Assembly Speaker, Justin Muturi who is also CPA’s current President said Article 27(8) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010, provides that the State should take legislative and other measures to implement the principle that not more than two-thirds of the members of elective or appointive bodies shall be of the same gender.

“The role and impact of women leadership in societies across the world cannot be gainsaid. Therefore, their under-representation in the governance spectrum is untenable,” said Muturi.

Read Also: Kenyan youth find ISIS, Shabaab 'cool and fashionable'

National Assembly’s Clerk, Justin Bundi said this year’s theme dubbed “Democracy and Development in Africa: Policy Options in the Post-Millennium Development Goals Framework” reflects the current challenges on grounds that although democracy and development represent goals in their own respect, they are mutually dependent and interconnected.

“Development is more sustainable and efficient in democratic societies where the populace enjoys various freedoms and choices,” said Bundi, who is also CPA’s Kenya Branch Secretary.

Rwanda will be represented at the conference and is the only country with the highest number of women representation in leadership in the world at 63.8% compared to Kenya which has been ranked lowest in the East Africa at19.7%.

The conference, hosted by the Parliament of Kenya comes just about two weeks before the August 27 legislative deadline which seeks to ensure realization of gender quotas in elective and appointive bodies.

The conference also occurs just a few days after the US President, Barrack Obama pledged to support African countries in their efforts to stem out violent extremism, during his recent maiden visit to Kenya and the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association is an organization largely comprising states that were colonized by the British and which links members of national, state, provincial and territorial parliaments and legislatures across the Commonwealth. Its mission is to promote the advancement of parliamentary democracy by enhancing knowledge and understanding of democratic governance.

Member states of the CPA Africa region include; Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania (including Zanzibar), Uganda and Zambia.

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- MyNews24

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