The origin of the Pan-African Parliament can be traced to the Abuja Treaty which was signed by African leaders in Abuja, Nigeria, in June, 1991 and which came into force in May, 1994. After the Abuja Treaty, the Fourth Extra-ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government held in Sirte, Libya from 8th - 9th September, 1999, adopted the Sirte Declaration. Among other things, the Sirte Declaration called for the speedy establishment of the institutions [including the Pan African Parliament] provided for in the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community signed in Abuja, Nigeria.
A subsequent meeting was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 17th to 21st April, 2000 convened by the Secretary-General of the OAU, Dr Salim Ahmed Salim and composed of Legal Experts and Parliamentarians who considered a Draft Treaty on the establishment of the African Union and a Draft Protocol of the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community relating to the Pan-African Parliament. This was followed by the 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) which convened in Lome, Togo from 10th to 12th July, 2000. The meeting approved and adopted the Draft Constitutive Act of the African Union and the Pan-African Parliament.
The establishment of the Pan-African Parliament is one giant step forward in ensuring that this deliberative continental body, once operational, will act as a common platform for all the peoples of Africa and their grassroot organisations to get more involved in discussions and decision-making on the problems and challenges which beset Africa.