New PAP President pledges increased intra-continental trade under AfCFTA

By Oleen Ndori

Newly-elected President of the Pan African Parliament (PAP), Senator Chief Fortune Charumbira, has pledged to increase continental trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) economic blue print as Africa strives towards finding African solutions to African problems.

Speaking soon after a hero’s welcome at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport this Friday afternoon, Chief Charumbira said, “As President, I will ensure that the continent moves forward in the vision and mission of African Continental Free Trade Area as this is key in Africa’s economic development and reducing dependency in other continents.”

He expressed gratitude to the support he received from the SADC region to become the first ever Southern African to be elected PAP President.

“The journey has been a long one, since 2018, and the support I received was crucial in attaining this post, not only for Zimbabwe, but the SADC region.”

Senator Charumbira further spoke on the need to educate people across Africa on the role of PAP.

“The Pan African Parliament has been operating below par and we need to do more to educate and engage people across the continent,” he said.

Senator Charumbira ascended to the post of President of the Pan African Parliament in the 29th of June at an election held at the first sitting of the continental August House in Midrand, South Africa, after a directive from the African Union that regions should rotate key leadership positions.

The PAP is headed by a bureau consisting of a president and four vice-presidents. 

Members of the Bureau represent the five regions of the continent.