n Institute for Security Studies Papers - The Pan-African Parliament : is the glass half-full or half-empty?




Regarded by many as one of the most important organs of the African Union, the Pan-African Parliament was inaugurated in 2004. The establishment of this continental parliament was perceived by many as a giant step towards democracy and good governance in Africa. However, much of the enthusiasm and glamour that was apparent at the inauguration seem subdued as the Pan-African Parliament started to deal with the very complex issues that haunt the African continent. It soon became clear that even this important institution is struggling with a variety of challenges and obstacles, ranging from its lack of legislative powers to power relations between the Pan-African Parliament and the African Union Commission. This paper attempts to provide an overview of the PAP in its first term and tries to identify some of the factors that contributed to the peculiar position in which the PAP finds itself today.


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