This research probes the role of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) in the African Union (AU), given the documented struggle of African regional integration institutions for relevance in the highly intergovernmental milieu of African regionalism (Haas 1970; 615; Gottschalk&Schmidt 2004:138). In 2000, African heads of states met in Lomé Togo and pledged to do all that is necessary to create effective, working institutions in the African Union (AU 2000). Taking into consideration the very recent history of the AU and its institutions, the research approach was to interrogate the evolution of the Pan African Parliament as a path to determining the PAP’s definitive role in the AU. As the research progressed, the institutionalism approach unveiled how past institutional legacies and culture in the OAU shaped the emergence of the AU and in particular the PAP. The research located and developed a central argument, which is that designers of institutions will likely create institutions with functional outcomes attuned to their own motivations and intentions. These motivations and intentions in turn are shaped by historical and social exigencies which render rational reflections dubious. This central point is observed in the manner the OAU has subsequently shaped the design of the AU and PAP in particular. Consequently, the thesis views the non-interference legacy of the OAU as well as the highly intergovernmental culture of African regionalism as institutionalised baggage with the potential of crippling a supranational leaning institution like the PAP. Based on this central argument, the research found that despite its legal importance in terms of the AU Constitutive Act, the PAP in practice, plays no effective role in AU decision making. As a consultative body, the PAP has made no impact whatsoever in the decisions of the AU. Finally, drawing from the institutionalism discourse, the research argues that although these institutional antecedents may not augur well for PAP’s future in the AU, the PAP’s growth strategy should take advantage of increasing tasks and unintended consequences in the expanding AU, to find its relevance in the continental polity.