The African Union (AU) has slashed the Pan African Parliament (PAP) budget for the 2020 financial year by USD 4 million.
It should be noted that PAP had requested and passed a budget of USD 20.7m during its May 2019 plenary sitting in South Africa. However, USD 16.4m is what was approved by the Executive Council of the African Union.
The budget cut is likely to negatively impact the continental Parliament during the execution of its mandate.
It is likely to affect staff costs, missions, communications, procurement, stationery, bank charges, capital expenditure and the programme budget.
The programme budget envelopes Parliamentary sessions, statutory and non-statutory meetings, conference for Speakers, women and clerks, ratification of AU legal instruments, climate change, public hearing the women conference, Bureau and MPs allowances among others.
Commenting on the development, the PAP President, Roger Nkodo Dang noted that the move by AU will grossly affect the operations of the Parliament he presides over.
“Without the work of committees, the money will not be used. It is the AU to blame because they are the ones that reduce our budget if it is not spent. If MPs do not work, we shall close this Parliament,” Nkodo told MPs at the opening of the session on Monday, 7 October 2019.
In a report on the 2020 budget read by the Deputy Chairperson of the Committee on Monetary and Financial Affairs, James Teat Gony (South Sudan) last week, the budget was passed and subsequently presented to the AU Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) Sub Committee on Budgetary Affairs for consideration.
It was also presented to the Executive Council for approval in compliance with the African Union Financial Rules and Regulations Article 11 (3).
Uganda’s PAP representative, James Kakooza argued that despite the challenges the PAP is going to face with the budget cuts, the PAP also needs to improve on its financial and management practice as seen from various reports on the institution.
However, all hope is not lost as the PRC Sub Committee on budgetary affairs allows for AU organs and departments to request for supplementary budgets based on compliance with submission of periodic performance reports as well as acceptable budget execution rates.
With this possibility of addressing the financing gaps, a top level delegation from the PAP is scheduled to travel to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia in November to meet the PRC and hammer out a deal that stay the budget.
“Since they invited us, I am hopeful that the decision will be reversed,” Hon. Gony said.
A decision was made by the AU Assembly of the Heads of State and Government that the overall budget of the African Union be decreased by USD 32 million.