On Thursday 25 February 2016, SAPST broke new ground as it engaged the Pan African Parliament Committees on possible areas of technical support and cooperation. SAPST officials, John Makamure (Executive Director) and Henry Ndlovu (Senior Communications Programme Officer) briefed the Pan African Parliament (PAP) Sub-Committees on Trade, Customs and Immigration and Finance, Monetary Affairs Economic Planning and Integration on SAPST’s parliamentary strengthening regional programme. The briefing was at the invitation of the Committee on Trade, Customs and Immigration following the Committee’s resolution in October 2015 to “identify and meet with various regional international partners”.
The purpose of the meeting, therefore, was to explore areas of technical cooperation given that SAPST is one of the leading organizations in the region providing technical and financial support to regional Parliaments. The following areas were flagged out as possible areas of technical support; capacity-building programmes on trade and regional integration, public finance management, effective monitoring mechanism for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as exchange programmes for MPs and provision of research and expert services to PAP Committees.
The key resolution that came out of this meeting was that instead of entering into an agreement with one Committee, the agreement should be at an institutional level; between SAPST and PAP. It was, therefore, agreed that the partnership between SAPST and PAP be consumated in the form of a Memorandum of Understaning (MoU).