A Joint Parliamentary Session of MPs and Senators yesterday officially approved Rwanda’s plan to join the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).
This comes in the wake of a visit to Rwanda by the Secretary-General of the CPA, Dr. William F. Shija, where he officially invited the Rwandan Parliament to join the association.
Presenting a paper before Parliament, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Gideon Kayinamura, said that the Rwandan Parliament will obviously benefit much from the block if the House approved the application.
“We will be reaching out to the bigger part of the world in terms of information exchange; there will be professors coming to lecture in Rwanda and Rwandan students getting commonwealth scholarship,” reads a statement from Parliament.
He added that the parliament will particularly benefit in terms of technological exchange, field trips among others.
The CPA is an organization which works to support good governance, democracy and human rights, especially among member states of the Commonwealth.
It was founded as the Empire Parliamentary Association in 1911, with its first branches being Australia, Canada, Newfoundland, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom, with the latter branch administering the association as a whole.
In 1948, the association changed its name to the current Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.
Rwanda is the 54th member of the 60-year old Commonwealth club of nations.
Meanwhile, the Parliament also approved Rwanda’s joining of the East African Association of Public Accounts Committees.
Members of Parliament approved the proposal and stated that this is one of the ways of ensuring better public financial management
They also approved plans to join the Association of Parliamentary Libraries of Eastern and Southern Africa.
The Lawmakers indicated that joining the bloc would help the Rwanda Parliament in information exchange programs and cooperation among the parliamentary libraries and promotion of exchange of parliamentary documents with the region.
After deliberations on joining the three bodies, MPs and Senators agreed on sending application letters to the secretariats of the blocs immediately.