WINDHOEK - Leader of the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) and Member of Parliament (MP), McHenry Venaani has been elected as the Chairperson of the Trade, Custom and Immigration Committee of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP).
Venaani announced the developments through his Twitter account on Tuesday. He will serve in the position for a period of three years until the next bureau is elected.
Pan-African Parliament, also known as the African Parliament, is the legislative body of the African Union (AU).
Initially the seat of the Pan-African Parliament was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia but it was later moved to Midrand, South Africa.
Speaking to New Era from Johannesburg, South Africa yesterday, Venaani said he is delighted to take over the position at the time that Africa has already rectified at the level of Head of States, the Continental Free Trade Area of free movement of people and goods.
“My first priority will be to address the rectification of parliaments throughout the whole of African continent to make sure that parliaments has rectify the Continental Free Trade areas so that it has direct effects to nations,” he said.
The PDM president said secondly, he will be focusing on the question of value addition on the African continent as a key priority area.
“You must understand that over 60 percent of African youth are unemployed, so if we don’t address the question of trade volume, adding value to commodities, jobs will not be created on the African continent, so value addition will be a very key area that I will put attention on,” he said. “I will be talking to the African business communities and African governments to make sure that we narrow the gap of value addition,” he added.
“I already move a motion in our own parliament to that affect, so this is work that I have already done and is work that I will continue to do at a continental level,” he said.
Venaani says he will also be giving a lot of attention to our borders and customs, to make sure that customs address the questions of expediency and fair pricing to ensure that small and medium traders have a bigger role and share in trading between nations.
In fact, he said, Africa trade more outbound than inbound and that need to change. This he added can only change if we maximise the level of women traders and the youth traders to be able to be given better opportunities.
“So, the question of financing is very key, I have already line-up meetings with African billionaires that agreed to meet me, to talk about financing, the value of value addition and I am very happy in that regard,” he said.