The thesis further advanced the recognition that the promotion of constitutionalism and democratic governance is imperative to the achievement of sustainable development and that the deficit of constitutionalism and democratic governance is the major problem militating against the realization of Africa’s development initiatives. It underscored the increasing role of regional organizations in promoting constitutionalism and democratic governance in their regions through their parliaments. In this connection, the thesis focused on the role of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) in promoting the African Union (AU) agenda on constitutionalism and democratic governance’ (the agenda). It investigated the problem of the generally perceived ineffectiveness of the PAP in promoting the agenda in Africa. The research methodology adopted is doctrinal with the aid of a combination of descriptive, analytic, prescriptive and comparative study of other supranational parliaments that play similar role with the PAP.
Approached from two scenarios, the thesis first demonstrated that the limitation of the powers and functions of the PAP to advisory and consultative role only under the PAP’s Protocol, coupled with its institutional weakness are factors that can militate against PAP’s effectiveness in promoting the agenda. The thesis also demonstrated that potentials exist under the extant Protocol for the PAP to creatively undertake advisory, consultative and oversight functions, as well as propose model laws for adoption by the AU Assembly to effectively promote the agenda. Second, the thesis analyzed the transformation process of the PAP from a parliament without legislative powers to a parliament with enhanced legislative powers and functions by the Revised PAP Protocol and the problem of its ratification. It argued that the slow pace or reluctance of AU member states to ratify the Revised Protocol is mainly attributable to the intergovernmentalist approach to the implementation of the AU integration agenda and the underlying sovereignty concerns of African leaders. Furthermore, existing gaps and ambiguities in the Revised Protocol as well as possible implications of its operationalization were identified.
Learning from the experiences of other supranational parliaments in promoting constitutionalism and democratic governance in their regions, the thesis concluded that despite its potentials the transformation of the PAP is imperative for its democratic legitimacy and empowerment for greater effectiveness. In this respect, the thesis made a number of recommendations ranging from: amendment of certain sections of the Protocol; strategic non-legislative options; and diplomatic engagements with critical stakeholders.