African parliament have a significant role to play in the democratisation process. Legislative bodies have unique challenges in both parliamentary and presidential political systems. Many African countries evolved from elite consensus endorsed by the former colonial masters. This gave legislative bodies significant leverage in the initial phases of independence. However, over time, legislative bodies have largely been undermined by dominant executives. In many jurisdictions they have lost their counterweight as the democratic coordinate organs to the executive. In terms of representation they embody the widest popular mandate that can counterbalance charismatic powerful presidents. At independence they represented the elite upon whose consensus the new nations were founded. The interplay of the balance of power between the executive, the executive and the accountability to the citizens have defined the progress of democratisation in most African states. Well-functioning parliaments are fundamental to promoting good governance.
Governance goals of greater accountability, transparency and participation are directly related to parliament’s three primary functions: legislating; overseeing the executive and representing citizens. Parliament, the executive and the judiciary, together with wider society, provide the overall governance framework of a given country.
Key programmatic areas include;
- Support to parliament to carryout their legislative, oversight and representation roles.
- Induction workshops to members of parliament.
- Enhance the capacity of parliamentray committees.
- Support parliament in budget making roles and monitoring effective utilisation of public funds.
- Support sub regional assemblies particularly the East African Legislative Assembly.