Speaker Anita Among Calls for Relocating CPA Headquarters from London

Speaker Among rallied for unity among African nations as they discussed of potentially moving the headquarters of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).

This call came on Monday, 11 March 2024, as she was speaking at the 86th Executive Committee Meeting of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). The week-long conference, held at Protea Hotel in Entebbe, brought together leaders from 17 of the 19 member countries in the African region.

The countries in attendance included Tanzania, Zambia, Mauritius, Nigeria, South Africa, Seychelles, The Gambia, Rwanda, Kenya, Eswatini, Botswana, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Cameroon, Mozambique, and host Uganda.

Among emphasized the importance of Pan-Africanism, believing the CPA’s Africa branch can be a powerful tool to unite nations. She highlighted a key issue – Africa’s frustration with the CPA’s status as a UK charity. With Africa facing its own pressing needs, Among argued it’s unfair for the continent to contribute funds to a charity in a wealthier nation.

“Africa should desist from contributing resources in the form of subscription fees to a charity organisation in the UK. It is not fair and it is not right. This meeting should decide that enough is enough,” she said.

She urged the delegates to leverage their combined strength to push for fairer trade, sustainable development, and a stronger voice for Africa’s interests on the world stage. The Speaker pointed out the historical injustices that have kept Africa divided and disadvantaged. But she also stressed the continent’s growing power within the Commonwealth, urging them to use their numbers to champion their shared values.

“This meeting should remind us about the global challenges and historic colonial distortions that keep us divided, exploited, marginalised and abused as a people. The good news is that Africa enjoys considerable numerical strength in the Commonwealth and we can use this to harness the respect for and protection of our cherished common African values especially the African family which is the foundation of human existence.

Another leader, Hon. Muha from Namibia, echoed Among’s concerns, highlighting the challenges Africa faces – insecurity, unemployment, climate change, and a lack of trust in institutions. He emphasized the need for a united front to address these issues.

The Ugandan representative, Hon. Asiimwe, reinforced Among’s call for unity. He explained that the meeting’s decisions would pave the way for a vote on relocating the CPA headquarters from the UK by the end of the year. Uganda had previously submitted a bid to host the headquarters in October 2023.