President Uhuru Kenyatta this evening arrived in Pretoria, South Africa, where he is scheduled to open a session of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) .
The president’s plane touched ground at the Waterkloof Military Airbase shortly after 6.00 pm, local time.
President Kenyatta will open the sixth ordinary session of the third Pan African Parliament whose representation is drawn from the 53 countries that comprise the African Union. The Head of State will be the Guest of Honour at the ceremony.
According to the official programme President Kenyatta is the only Head of State scheduled to attend PAP’s opening ceremony , underlining the geo-political status of Kenya.
The President who is accompanied by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohamed was met at the military base by South African Deputy Minister of State for Security Ms Ellen Molakane, PAP President Bethel Amadi and Kenya’s Ambassador designate Ms Jean Kamau.
Others were Kenya’s members of PAP including women representative Rachel Shebesh, Zakayo Cheruiyot (MP) and Senator Kipchumba Murkomen among other senior officials from the South African government and the continental parliament.
PAP ( whose headquarters is at Midrand , Johannesburg), was established in March 2004, by Article 17 of The Constitutive Act of the African Union. It is one of the nine Organs provided for in the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community signed in 1991 in Abuja, Nigeria.
The rationale for the creation PAP is to provide a platform for African people and their organisations to be more involved in discussions and decision-making on the problems and challenges facing the continent.
Each of the 53 African states has five members from respective national assemblies. The Protocol establishing the continental Parliament requires that at least one (1) of the nominees must be a woman.
Besides Murkomen, Shebesh and Cheruiyot, the other members of PAP from Kenya are Millie Odhiambo (MP) and senator Janet Ong’era.