Parliamentary Network Africa (PNAfrica), under the auspices of the Africa Parliamentary Monitoring Organizations Network (APMON) has completed the development of the maiden Africa Open Parliament Index (OPI), and is scheduled to be launched on 20th July, 2022, in Accra – Ghana.
The Africa OPI is a joint effort with the APMON Working Group, which is made up of renowned parliamentary monitoring organizations in Africa namely, Mzalendo Trust (Kenya), Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Parliamentary Monitoring Group (South Africa), Africa Parliamentary Press Network (APPN), and the Pan African Parliament Civil Society Forum which is coordinated by the Center for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria. It also received technical support from Directorio Legislativo, an Argentina-based organization which
co-founded the Latin America Legislative Transparency Index and Network about a decade ago.
Parliamentary Network Africa (PNAfrica), has reemphasized the need to analyze the setbacks and progresses that parliaments have made toward a number of important objectives, such as increasing the representation of women and young people in parliaments as well as embracing
the Open Parliament principles and new technology on the occasion of the International Day of Parliamentarism.
Under the theme of ‘Public Engagement’, the celebration of the 2022 edition of the International Day of Parliamentarism which falls on June 30 of every year, has set the right tone for an agenda to win back the diminishing confidence in Parliament and Democracy around the
We reckon that the establishment of an international day for parliaments is crucial at this pivotal juncture in the history of parliamentary democracy, when public confidence in political institutions is dwindling and democracy itself is being threatened. The theme which has become more relevant for this event following the recent launch of the Global Parliamentary Report on Public engagement in the work of Parliament, falls perfectly in
line with the objectives of the Open Parliament Index (OPI), spearheaded by PNAfrica and its partners.
According to Sammy Obeng, the Executive Director of PNAfrica, the celebration of the International Day of Parliamentarianism would be better served with the introduction of the Open Parliament Index because, “Parliaments, which form the backbone of thriving democracies, must be transparent, accountable, inclusive, and promote citizen participation in its work for democracy to flourish.”
The Open Parliament Index (OPI) which seeks to assess Parliaments across Africa using the three criteria of Open Parliament: Transparency, Civic Participation and Public Accountability, would be officially launched on July 20, 2022 at the Alisa hotel in Accra and would be subsequently released every two years.This criterion has been chosen considering the standards of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), the Principles of Parliamentary Openness and the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s (IPU) Indicators for Democratic Parliaments.
The Index will enable civil society to work together with national and regional parliaments to identify systemic challenges to achieving parliamentary openness and to co-create reforms that will strengthen the capacity of parliaments to enhance their openness.
The rationale for the Index includes:
Provide minimum standards to assess the level of parliamentary openness across African national and regional legislative institutions.
Empower parliamentary monitoring organizations (PMOs) and Parliaments to monitor the level of progress in enhancing the principles of open parliament;
Document parliamentary best practices towards supporting parliaments to be more open; and
Leverage the partnership between civil society and parliaments to co-create parliamentary reforms, policies and action plans that strengthen institutions of parliaments to effectively perform their role of oversight, law-making and representation.
- Interested persons are invited the launch of the Open Parliament Index virtually via the link provided https://bit.ly/OPILaunch Our social media channels https://web.facebook.com/PNAfricaWatch on which the event will be streamed live will also be active.