Hatfield MP and former Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister Tapiwa Mashakada (MDC-T) has been elected as chairperson of the Committee on Trade Customs and Immigration Matters in the Pan African Parliament (PAP).
BY Tinotenda Munyukwi
PAP is the legislative body of the African Union. Mashakada’s committee is in charge of integration, safe migration, boosting intra-African trade, one-stop border posts, trade protocols and agreements and promotion of the African passport.
According to a post made available on Mashakada’s Facebook page, his election as chair was unanimous.
He will be deputised by Alex Chersia Grant and Veronica Kadogo Babirye from Liberia and Uganda respectively.
The committee will comprise 18 members from Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Benin, Liberia, Gabon, Uganda, Ghana, Mauritania, Algeria and Guinea Bissau.
Mashakada assumes the position at a time the continent is faced with emigration challenges that have seen thousands of Africans from North Africa perish in the Mediterranean in a bid to illegally enter Europe to seek greener pastures.
PAP comprises of 235 representatives that are elected by the legislatures of 47 of the 54 African Union States.
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Each member State is obliged to send a delegation of five parliamentarians to the Parliament taking into consideration gender and the political diversity of the member State’s legislature.