Report of the Pan African Parliament Seminar on the Harmonisation of Regional Economic Communities and Regional Parliamentary Assemblies

"Regional integration in Africa has its roots in the Pan-Africanist Movement that propelled decolonisation from the late 1950s onwards. Yet despite the vision, Africa has still not achieved desired levels of continental unity. Organisationally, the vision of continental unity has led to a mushrooming of regional economic communities (RECs) dealing with a range of politico-economic issues. The process of integration has also seen the emergence of regional parliamentary bodies (RPBs), bringing together parliamentarians from specific sub-regions into consultative bodies. While most of these bodies do not have legislative powers, a trend towards conferring legis-lative powers on them is beginning to emerge.The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA)is an important example.Unfortunately, regional bodies have yet to function in a collaborative and integrated manner. The number of RECs has been growing without coordination. A daunting question is therefore how to harmonise and rationalise the mandates and programmes of these bodies."