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The Association’s purpose is to encourage exchanges between parliamentarians from Canada and African countries around the core parliamentary duties of oversight, accountability and representation and to enhance Canadian parliamentarians’ understanding of the issues, opportunities and challenges facing the African continent. In support of its objectives, the Association regularly conducts bilateral visits abroad, receives incoming delegations to the Parliament of Canada and organizes briefing sessions and other learning opportunities on issues relevant to Africa.

Since its inception, the Association has focused on strengthening ties with parliamentarians from African countries, the Pan-African Parliament and the African Union. It has also developed ties with the eight Regional Economic Communities of the African Union. The Association has travelled to numerous countries in Africa, working to strike a balance between maintaining existing relationships and developing new ones. Association members have also visited the Pan-African Parliament in South Africa three times. On three occasions, the Co-Chairs were invited to speak at the opening of a session.

The Association provides a mechanism for Canadian parliamentarians to learn about the opportunities and challenges in Africa and to share their experiences and expertise. During its bilateral missions, the Association engages with legislators, government officials and members of civil society on issues related to governance, human rights, development, the rights of women and girls, security and the economy. These exchanges provide an opportunity to share knowledge and to strengthen parliamentary cooperation between Canada and countries throughout the African continent.

The Association is unique in terms of its scope and the range of issues that it focuses on. Unlike many other associations, the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association’s bilateral missions and activities are entirely self-funded and accomplished without the support of an international secretariat.

In the coming years, the Association will continue its work with parliamentarians from African counties at all levels and will continue to keep its members informed of issues in Africa.

Parliamentary Associations are governed by the procedures set out in their constitutions. These constitutions call for the creation of an executive committee to direct their work and provide for an annual general meeting of the membership.